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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2006
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Jeff Black of W. S. Electric Air, left, greets Lucky the dog and Dr. Steve Osborne as he receives his 2007 Rescue Animal calendar, which features Lucky and other pets who have survived abuse.
Daily photo by Gary Lloyd
Jeff Black of W. S. Electric Air, left, greets Lucky the dog and Dr. Steve Osborne as he receives his 2007 Rescue Animal calendar, which features Lucky and other pets who have survived abuse.

Lucky 365
Days A Year

Abused dog graces front of calendar to help raise funds for new Decatur shelter

By Sheryl Marsh
smarsh@decaturdaily.com · 340-2437

Lucky the dog and some of his furry friends, who are survivors of abuse, are featured in a calendar that an organization is selling to raise money for a new animal shelter in Decatur.

Lucky became a household name 10 months ago when someone found his mangled body stuffed in a trash bag inside a garbage bin.

Through loving care of a veterinarian and animal lovers locally and nationally, he survived.

Sixteen others, three cats and 13 dogs, survived severe abuse as well.

Their pictures in the calendar show what can happen when animals receive proper care.

That’s the message that veterinarian Steve Osborne, president of the Animal Services Advisory Board, wants to relay.

“Animal shelters were originally established to keep stray animals considered a nuisance off the streets,” Osborne said. “Over time animal services have become parallel to the department of human resources, to provide health care for the well-being of animals.”

Better animal care

Danny Melson, director of the city’s animal shelter, said providing better care is priority.

“That’s something we definitely are trying to do here,” said Melson. “I think shelters all over are trying to improve animal care and we should. It’s our duty to see to it that they get proper care.”

He said he appreciates Animal Services’

fundraising efforts for the shelter, which is to move into the Center for the Developmentally Disabled building on the Beltline once the center relocates to a new facility on Central Parkway. The current shelter is at the city compound on Central Parkway.

The organization has pledged $200,000 toward the city’s new shelter, which is projected to cost $1.2 million, Osborne said.

The pet calendar fundraiser is one of several the group will conduct to raise the money.

Decatur artist Lee Nabors produced portraits of the animals, which now have homes, and photographer Carla Swinney shot pictures of the portraits for the calendar. Lucky has the cover spot.

“That’s because everyone knows about Lucky’s situation,” said Osborne’s wife, Kim. “It got so much attention nationwide.”

Osborne said the other animals have intriguing stories, also.

“It would’ve been nice to have each animal story in the calendar,” he said. “One was hung up in a chain and nearly had his head cut off and one was abandoned by his owners who moved from an apartment building. Another one was left in a basket beside a door just weeks after birth. They’ve all turned into super pets.”

The 2007 calendar is titled “Lucky & Friends.”

About 3,000 available

The cost is $15, and Osborne is promoting bulk sales through businesses. “We have almost 3,000 and if we can sell them all that would bring $45,000 toward our goal,” Osborne said. “Calendars are popular right now with the New Year coming, and we’re asking businesses to buy a bundle of them to maybe give to customers.”

The organization contacted 2,000 businesses for the fundraiser.

Osborne started a fund for Lucky after his plight in February that grew to more than $16,000 and he said some of the money will be donated for the facility.

A portion of the money paid a tipster who led police to Lucky’s owner. He awaits trial for alleged animal cruelty and related charges.

Lucky now lives with the Osbornes. Although one of his legs had to be amputated, he’s doing fine.

Lucky & Friends

  • The 2007 calendar is available for $15.
  • Animal Services has pledged $200,000 toward the city’s new shelter, which is projected to cost $1.2 million.
  • The organization’s fundraising efforts, which include the calendar, will help the Decatur animal shelter move to its new location on the Beltline.
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