Monday, February 11, 2013
Denton poodle in foster care after surviving severe neglect
A repairman found Ginger when he fell through her former owner's apartment ceiling.
DENTON Her overgrown matted hair has been sheared. Her nails are clipped and no longer growing into the pads of her feet. Today, Ginger, the 14-year-old apricot poodle -- whose condition was brought to attention on Facebook -- has a temporary home but new-found hope.
Ginger was found Wednesday in a Denton apartment, her coat of hair so overgrown that she was barely recognizable as a poodle. The Denton Animal Shelter posted photos of Ginger on its Facebook page the same afternoon, saying the dog was surrendered by her owner after it was found in “hoarding conditions.”
The shelter provided updates as it cleaned up the 4- to 5-pound poodle, which had the “worst hair situation” that kennel supervisor Gayla Nelsen had ever seen.
“The dog had never been outside. It had never been groomed,” Nelsen said.
The animal shelter staff immediately went to work on Ginger when she was brought in Wednesday and her photos were posted. By Saturday morning, the Facebook post had been shared nearly 500 times and drawn more than 100 comments, mostly outrage at how anyone could have grossly neglected the dog.
Ginger’s hair was so matted and “nitted” that hair was growing into her mouth and connected to ear and foot, Nelsen said.
When Ginger was groomed, she was excited, “sniffing and greeting everyone,” Nelsen said. “It was like a bird out of a cage.”
The Humane Society of Flower Mound was contacted and the nonprofit pet rescue group arranged medical care and found someone to care for Ginger.
“Anytime people see a pet in that condition, it really touches a lot of people’s hearts,” said Stacy Smith of the Humane Society of Flower Mound. “It’s very emotional and people have been very supportive and interested in helping.”
Smith said the Flower Mound Veterinary Hospital treated Ginger, who was dehydrated because she couldn’t drink through her own hair. Blood work showed that Ginger has no kidney or liver disease, Smith said.
“Her mouth is a big concern because hair has grown into her mouth,” she said. “It was so bad that when they shaved her, junk was still in there.”
Once Ginger gets stronger and able to undergo anesthesia, she’ll be treated for an infection in her mouth, Smith said.
Smith said Ginger’s caregiver this weekend is an experienced foster who also happens to be a nurse, so she’ll be monitoring the dog’s vital signs. On Monday, a new foster will care for Ginger in a quiet stress free environment, Smith said.
Smith said the dog was found when a utility repairman fell through the ceiling of the apartment above Ginger’s owner.
“I have, unfortunately, seen animals in very similar condition,” Smith said. “But this was about as bad as I’ve ever seen.”
The Humane Society of Flower Mound is just one of several pet rescue organizations in Denton County.
“We all sort of take turns — whomever has the room and the funds,” Smith said. “This time it happened to be us. We take a lot of these kinds of cases. We’re lucky to have the ability to help.”
Follow Ginger’s progress on Twitter: #gingerthepoodle
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