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TUESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2007
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Mother dog, pups get vet assistance

By Ronnie Thomas
rthomas@decaturdaily.com · 340-2438

SOMERVILLE — A resident on East Upper River Road sought treatment for a mother dog and her six puppies Saturday after Morgan County Animal Control put him on notice.

The pets were the focus of a Friday story in The Daily, after a call from a passer-by who perceived the torrid heat and perhaps neglect were harming the animals. The grass was so high around the mobile home that people thought it was vacant and someone had abandoned the dog and her pups in a pen.

Kim Osborne of Osborne Animal Clinic said the pet owner brought the mother in past closing time early Saturday afternoon but Dr. Steve Osborne took the dog in and de-wormed her.

“On Monday morning, he brought the mother and all six puppies in,” Kim Osborne said. “Steve de-wormed them, and also gave him more de-wormer to take with him.”

She said her husband told the man that the puppies, which are about 7 weeks old, need to stop nursing.

“They need to come off the mother because they’re pretty big pups and she is so thin,” Kim Osborne said. “She needs to gain weight.”

Osborne said she doesn’t know if the mother’s condition is from neglect or nursing.

“I’d go with the nursing before I would neglect. I do not think that the dog is being abused or neglected. I think it’s a case of the owner not taking the puppies from her.”

Osborne said that otherwise, the mother dog appeared in good health.

“She seemed happy and was wagging her tail,” Osborne said.

Claudia Ray, director of Morgan County Animal Control, said officers first heard about the dogs Aug. 20 and took water and food as they attempted to locate the owner.

Ray said when she and officers returned Thursday after a reporter’s visit, the owner drove up and Ray told him the mother dog needed to go to a veterinarian. She said she gave him until Saturday afternoon.

She said animal control officer Cory Henson returned to the residence Friday and noted that the owner had put out fresh water and food. She said Rita Vinson, animal shelter coordinator, spoke with the dog owner Monday after his second trip to the vet.

“I agree that’s a lot of puppies for the mother to be nursing,” Ray said.

Ray said she is pleased the owner is taking care of the dogs, but animal control will monitor the situation.

“We do rely on the public to contact us and let us know anything that’s happening we should check on,” she said.

To report

Anyone seeing a pet in danger in Morgan County or Hartselle should call the animal shelter in Hartselle at 773-2934.

Ronnie Thomas

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