Monday, June 08, 2009

Dog Rescued, Rehab, Rehomed. Hagrid. Mastiff. Philippine Animal Welfare Society. June 2009.

Here's a story of rescue, rehabilitation, and adoption that will surely warm your heart. Coming out of the Philippines, this is the story of Hagrid, a mastiff abandoned by his owner on the street.Of course, he was left there to fend for himself and ultimately to die from hunger and apathy. Fortunately, a member of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society ( PAWS ) chanced upon him and took action. I don't want to sound like a bitter, cynical man but sympathy isn't enough. Sympathy usually makes OUR conscience feel good, but action makes the abused animal feel better.

This is a wonderful story, and so don't be afraid to read through it. I won't regurgitate. Instead, I am reposting the article that appeared last week in the animal welfare advocates forum. The article is unsigned but I am almost sure that it was written by the Director of PAWS, Anna Cabrera.


He was found in an advanced state of malnourishment along Katipunan Avenue.

The massive dog hardly had any fur left on him and flies feasted on his stinking body. He had sagging skin and discharge coming from his eyes. Someone had left him there to die. What other reason could there be for someone to leave a sick English mastiff on the sidewalk of Katipunan?

Hagrid was weak from hunger, he could barely stand up when a PAWS officer saw him
The PAWS officer who stopped to ask passers-by about the dog was informed that a jeepney driver "owned" the dog. The same driver quickly denied ownership and said that the dog was given to him by an unknown man when PAWS started asking him questions.

The Shelter took in the gentle giant and PAWS Adoption Head, Liza Umayam , a Harry Potter fan, aptly named him "Hagrid".

For months, Hagrid stayed in the dog quarantine area, always wagging his tail and greeting visitors with crinkled noses : the sticky discharge from his mangy skin would fill his kennel space with a smell that could drive a skunk away. To test a new volunteer's mettle in cleaning kennels was to assign him or her to scrub THE KENNEL and to give THE DOG a bath.

Many baths later, after completing tests and vaccinations, our shelter vet said that it was safe for Hagrid to be mixed with the other dogs of Dog Run 1.

So late March 2009, Hagrid timidly stepped into an enclosure where ten average-sized native dogs quickly huddled away from him in one corner of the run.

It was a day of 'new things' for these shelter dogs - a portable kiddie pool had just been brought in so that they can cool off in the hot weather..and now, this giant hulk being made to join them!
"They rescued a pony and brought him in with us!" or so we thought we heard the dogs say.

For a few awkward minutes, Hagrid ran around the pool trying to make friends with the frightened PAWS shelter dogs. Parvati, the brave (white) one, was the first to assess that Hagrid was nothing more than an oversized puppy. Once that was established, everything went back to normal in Dog Run 1. =)

But inwardly, shelter staff and volunteers feared whether the curse of "big dogs" would continue and whether we would indeed be able to find Hagrid a good home.

Large breeds are among the most difficult to place, requiring owners with plenty of yard space, time and a fair bit of experience with dogs. Memories of Buck, the shelter's Great Dane, who died unadopted in the shelter, were still clear in volunteers' minds

Our fears evaporated when Doris Cruz started walking Hagrid in April 2009.

It seemed as if it was love at first sight. Our long-time shelter patron and dog-rescuer, Doris, and our gentle giant, Hagrid - definitely a match made in heaven!
Last June 1, Doris Cruz took Hagrid home. She sent us the photo below yesterday.

Is it our imagination or is that the biggest doggie smile ever?

-The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)


air said...

Such a great story! Doris is a gem! And she shines brighter with Hagrid. Thanks Chess. Been needing a happy story for quite awhile.

Chessbuff said...

Take it easy, Air. Sometimes, happiness is a conscious decision.

Verushka said...

Hagrid is one of the lucky ones.