FORT WAYNE – He was found a few blocks south of Reservoir Park, so caked with urine and feces that his skin had burns from the waste.
His body was covered in infections, he weighed less than half what he should have and appeared to have been locked in a kennel so long that he was hunched over and unable to walk.
His whole hindquarters were atrophied, so he couldn’t walk or stand very well, said Peggy Bender, Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control’s community relations and education specialist. He was just staggering.
The red-and-cream male cattle dog mix was taken to Animal Care & Control on March 24, where he was treated, fed and named Ranger.
He’s coming along, Bender said. His infections are healing, and we’re seeing a substantial improvement. And we’re seeing a nice personality emerge.
In two weeks of care at the shelter, Ranger has doubled in weight and is expected to make a full recovery.
Bender said Ranger is doing so well he will likely be made available for adoption next week but will need to go to a home able to meet his special needs.
We have to find a family that understands what his special circumstances are, that can provide the special foods he needs, the medicines and can help him socialize, she said. He’s very insecure, and everything is new to him.
Despite what Ranger’s been through, Bender said, he is learning to be affectionate.
If he kind of bonds to someone and someone else comes into the area, he will approach the new person but will quickly run back and cling to the first person, she said. But the good thing is he’s bonding to people.
While shelter staff search for a loving family, enforcement staff is searching for justice.
Bender said officials are looking for any information available on the owners so they can bring animal cruelty charges. After Ranger was found, officials canvassed a four-square-block area, going door-to-door asking whether anyone knew anything about the dog or who might have owned him, but turned up nothing.
That tells us either people are afraid to speak up or someone drove the dog there and dumped it, Bender said.
Anyone with information that can help authorities locate the owner of the dog is asked to call Animal Care & Control at 427-1244. Information can be left anonymously.
In the meantime, the cost of Ranger’s care – such as his medical needs, and special food – has to be covered by donations. You can donate to the shelter’s medical fund at fwacc.org.