I had an email today from Betty Peyton the shelter director of the Humane Society of Madison County located not far from us in London. I am going to copy most of her email in this post word for word, because she does a wonderful job telling the story of Abigail Valentine.
Betty wrote: “Imagine, if you will, that for one year you grew up in a home where you were more or less treated like an inanimate object. You did receive some attention. You did have food, water, and shelter. You got by. You didn’t know any different kind of life.
“Then one day everything you knew and needed was being carried out the door. The chair you reclined in while waiting for the folks to come home from work. The couch where you sat next to your companion while watching TV. The TV – gone. The bed you slept beside – gone. Everything and everybody you knew, gone.
“Abandoned in a house with just the food and water that was left in your bowls.
“You sat and waited. Then you waited some more. You hoped they would come back. They might not have been super loving to you, but at least they were there. You sat and waited. Hungry and thirsty.
“One day, the door opened and you wondered how long had it been since you had been left behind. You had lost track of time. You had run out of food and water for what seemed to be days or even weeks. This person, you didn’t know them. They didn’t know you. They didn’t even know your name. They talked softly to you, telling you, ‘It’s okay, sweetheart.’ Fear took over. What should you do? You had never been mean to a person, but fear gripped at you. Still you were also weak from hunger, unbearably thirsty, and now completely confused.
“You hung your head and cowered, letting this stranger take you out of the only home you ever knew.
“The stranger put you in the back of her vehicle telling you that it would all be better. That you would be taken care of. Still the fear was there. That wondering of what evil was coming around the corner. What other disappointments you would have to face.
“You were taken into a building you had never seen before. The folks there seemed nice. They kept saying, ‘How cute…sweet, poor thing.’ You were then taken to a kennel where food, water, and a bed waited for you. You didn’t know it, but you had been ‘rescued.’
“Yes, this is the story about a dog who the shelter named Abby. But there was more to it and her story continued.
“Abby was found on January 21st, abandoned in a house with no clue as to the number of days she was there. There was no food and water and it looked like from the ‘waste,’ it had been a while. Abby was very malnourished.
“On February 3rd, Abby was taken to a vet clinic to get spayed so she could be put up for adoption. During the surgery it was discovered that Abby had been impregnated by a much larger dog. Abby, only 7 pounds herself, would have died trying to naturally give birth to the overly large pups. Abby was rescued yet again.
“While at the vet clinic it was also discovered that Abby had even bigger problems. She was diagnosed with two luxating patellas that were considered a grade 3 on a scale of 1-5. A luxating patella is where the knee cap pops in and out causing lameness in dogs. The higher the grade, the worse the case is. And Abby, who had already been through so much, had unknowingly been given bad news.
“Abby arrived back at this shelter on February 5th and the staff was given this bit of information. They were upset that a surgery spot for a spay was wasted on her since now they would have to put her down.
“Humane Society of Madison County Shelter Director Betty Peyton just happened to be at this other shelter and was shocked to hear this. ‘Why can’t you help her?’ asked Peyton. ‘Surgery can be expensive, but you need to help her.’
“The other shelter’s staff answered, ‘No money, and no time to raise it.’
“Peyton said, ‘Give her to me and we will take care of her. This dog, who might not have had the best life, yet have it ripped away when folks abandoned her, deserves a chance for a happy life, a happy ending.’
“Arriving at the HSMC Animal Shelter with her new name as Abigail Valentine, a clean bed and plenty of food and water, the small dog curled up on the office chair and went to sleep. We believe it might have been the first good sleep she had in a long while. In the meantime, there was no napping for Director Peyton. Even though Peyton knew surgery could cost over a thousand dollars and that the Sheba/Noelle Fund, which is for medical emergencies and needed medical procedures like Abigail’s was empty, she just could not give up on her that easily. In Abigail’s short life she had demonstrated that she was a survivor. This was in keeping with the HSMC’s philosophy of promoting life and promoting adoption and giving survivors a second chance.
“’Just look at this small, sweet, cute girl and you will agree,’ said Peyton. ‘I just could not leave her there to be put down. She deserves a chance.’
“The first call was to Dr. Joe Bando of VCA Sawmill in Columbus. Dr. Bando said he would do all he could to work with the HSMC in helping little Abigail Valentine. Thanks to his generosity, the surgery can be done for a discounted price.
“Help make a life saving difference for this small girl who has already stolen the hearts of the staff at the HSMC animal shelter. There are several ways folks can donate to help with Abigail’s surgery. First, funds can be mailed to HSMC at P.O. Box 777, London OH 43140. Second, funds can be donated using the paypal button at their website www.hsmcohio.com. Third, credit card donations can be made directly at VCA Sawmill by calling 614-766-2222 and letting them know it is for the Humane Society of Madison County and for Abigail Valentine’s surgery. Lastly, you could bring your donations directly out to the animal shelter (funds are deposited daily). The shelter is located at 1357 ST RT 38 SE, London next to Fairhaven School. Shelter is open 12-5 Monday to Saturday.
“Abigail Valentine will be taken to VCA Sawmill on Monday, February 8th so her surgery can be done when Dr. Bando has room in his schedule. She will receive excellent care from VCA’s dedicated staff, prior to, during, and after the surgery.
“The HSMC is currently looking for little Abigail Valentine’s forever family, a family who will give her all she will need for a happy, healthy life. Or a foster family, who will be willing to help Abigail with her recovery from surgery and the physical rehabilitation that will follow. The first and foremost goal is to raise the funds needed to help this small, sweet girl with a big heart who was at one point nothing more than an inanimate object and subsequently abandoned. Abigail Valentine deserves a Valentine of her own that will make every day for her Valentine’s Day! “
If you can, please make a donation toward Abigail Valentine’s surgery. Unfortunately, stories like this happen every day and the Betty Peytons of the world are not always there to stop the euthanizations. We must continue to work toward a No Kill community, where dogs and cats that can be saved with medical care will be.