Abandoned puppies rescued, need new home (video)
April 11, 2013 at 5:04 p.m.
Updated April 10, 2013 at 11:11 p.m.
Victoria is home to several organizations that care for and adopt out animals that can no longer be taken care of by their owners. These organizations include:
• Dorothy H. O'Connor Pet Adoption Center, 135 Progress Drive, 361-575-8573.
• Adopt-A-Pet, 8215 Houston Highway, 361-575-7387.
• Victoria Animal Shelter, 122 Perimeter Road, 361-578-3564.
The shivering puppy wrapped its paws around Kathleen Pine's arm as she spoke to it in quiet, soothing tones.
"All we need is someone with a kind heart and a fence," said Pine, who rescued the puppy and his brother last week from bushes near the Hidden Meadows subdivision.
"I tried to get hold of them, but they were shy and didn't want to be touched," she said. "They were really skinny and licking the water off the leaves. It just broke my heart."
With the help of her husband, Hutch Pine, the pups were finally corralled.
"I have a full house with two large dogs and six cats, or they'd be ours," Pine said.
She took the pair to the Main Street Animal Hospital, where veterinarian Travis Schaar examined them.
"Overall, they were both in pretty good health. They had no skin conditions or anything like that," Schaar said. "They were thin and both had some eye problems."
Schaar said one of the mixed-breed puppies seemed to have suffered an eye injury, causing a cloudy cornea.
"That has impaired its vision in that eye," he said. "I don't know if it was from maybe fire ants when it was younger or from some sort of trauma."
The cloudiness in the other pup's eye has cleared up since being at the animal hospital.
"This may clear up, too," Schaar said. "They are eating, and they are active."
Schaar said the dogs will likely grow to between 25 and 35 pounds.
Pine paid for the pair, which she has dubbed "Peaches and Herb," to be de-wormed, neutered, vaccinated and receive any other medical attention they might need.
"They are going to stay here until I find a home for them or get them placed at Adopt-A-Pet," she said.
Dog abandonment and neglect is not uncommon in Victoria, said Jean Dunham, a member of Pets are Worth Saving and the president of Victoria Trap-Neuter-Return.
"It's a huge problem in this area. It's prevalent," she said. "We found one dog the other day that looked like it had been used for pit bull bait."
Dunham said the dog required medical care that tallied up $700 in veterinarian bills.
Heather Kern, Victoria Animal Control assistant supervisor, has a less pessimistic observation.
"I can honestly say that a very small percentage of the stray dogs that we pick up are injured or abused looking," Kern said. "Most of the dogs appear healthy. A few have minor issues such as skin conditions, but again, it is a small percentage."
Either way, Pine said it is the responsibility of an animal's owner to take care of it.
"The thing that confuses me is that they are between 3 and 4 months old, and they must have been some place or they wouldn't have lasted this long," she said. "They had to be in someone's care.
"The sight imperfection may make them less desirable to many people, but in my thinking, it makes them more desirable.
"Animals depend on us, and it's our responsibility to do our best for them. Our best includes caring for the ones who need it most."