Chain of Hope received a call from a woman that was crying and said that she had a Mastiff and a Doxie with mange and that she’d had to put them outside and they had no shelter. She and her boyfriend had no money to take them to the vet, etc. She said she wasn’t going to let them back in the house because of the mange.
I went right over and when the woman came to the door, she had her plastic cleaning gloves on and was apparently scrubbing down the house. She seemed a little out of it (actually, a lot out of it) and said that she had researched mange on the internet and she was totally convinced that it was everywhere in her house. She told me that she couldn’t sleep in her bed at night, that she stayed up sitting in a hard chair all night (which was sitting there in front of the fireplace) because she was afraid that the mites would get on her. Although mange is serious and something that needs to get treatment as soon as possible, this woman and her boyfriend had taken it to a whole other level. She was really convinced that mites were everywhere, to the point of not being able to live a normal life. She clearly had some issues, but I was there to see about the dogs.
She took me to her backyard and there was an incredible black Mastiff with mange. He was laying on her patio, not chained. He was at a pretty good body weight. She told me that when she rescued him he had weighed 110 lbs. and she had put weight on him and done the best she could. She just couldn’t afford to take care of him medically. Her Dachshund was out there too and he looked fine. She said he was about 10 yrs. old, he was fat and he looked totally fine. However, she was convinced that Pepper had mange too and she refused to let him back in the house.
I told her that I could take the Mastiff if she wanted to relinquish him to Chain of Hope. She started crying and said that she needed to because she couldn’t take care of him properly. I tried to tell her that the Doxie looked great and I’m sure she’d do fine having one small dog, but she would not believe me. She was convinced that Pepper could no longer come in the house. I took both dogs over to Bannister Vet Clinic and had them checked out. Boris, as we named him, had Demodex mange. Pepper, however, had nothing wrong. The vet cleared him to be able to come back in the house. I took Pepper back to the owner and told her to let him in the house, he didn’t have mange and he was fine.
Boris came with me and he is a dream! What a fantastic dog! He has a great personality, truly a gentle giant. He weighed 124 lbs. when we got him and cleans his bowl every time we feed him! We are treating his mange and looking for a foster or forever home for him. Demodex is the non-contagious kind of mange.
Two days later, this woman called Chain of Hope again, crying. She said that her boyfriend said to get rid of Pepper, they couldn’t deal with all of this mange and having dogs, etc. I was surprised because this woman seemed to love Pepper and Pepper was cared for. He was fat, neutered, had a great coat, etc. I really couldn’t believe it. I went over to her house later that day to see what was going on. The woman was really having emotional difficulties, to put it mildly. Pepper’s dog bed was in the living room floor, Pepper was in the house and he looked wet. I asked her if she’d given him a bath and she said that she had. When we were packing up Pepper’s things, I asked her if I could take Pepper’s bed. She said, “Yes, but you need to wash it. I just washed it yesterday, but it’s full of mites again.” Then she pointed to the sofa and said, “That thing is full of mites, don’t sit on it. We can’t sit on it.” She said she’d been scrubbing and scrubbing and scrubbing and she just couldn’t get rid of the mites. She started crying again. This was really a difficult situation. The most difficult part of being out there on outreach is dealing with the owners. We get everything thrown at us from people, as I know animal control does, too. This woman was not stable, but thank goodness she was willing to relinquish both dogs. Pepper is with Aunt Crystal (doggie daycare queen) doing fine and Boris is with Chain of Hope, also doing great.
Thanks for making rescues like these possible!