All In The Family

Not Archie and Edith, but Ernie, Izzy, Jemma, Jeb and Justice. This beautiful family was rescued from West Virginia. One of our volunteers went to pick up a mom and her 3 newborn puppies but upon arrival she discovered that there were 4 older pups from a previous litter and Dad as well. They were living in an outdoor kennel and had no concept of love or affection. The human hand was to be feared and they learned to stay away from them.

One year ago, they all headed for NCCR and a better life. All of them went to foster care, Mom Izzy stayed with her puppies and watched as they were cared for, she never made any attempt to bite or show aggression, but she did not want to be handled. Unfortunately, one of the older puppies died the day after he arrived, likely from not having been treated for parasites soon enough. The other 3 remained aloof and continued to live in fear. Dad Ernie went to another foster and he had a heart for adventure. He began to come closer to the human and was happy to see his food dish, but stayed out of reach. Ernie discovered that he could climb over his fence and began to venture out at night which got him into big trouble as he learned that porcupines are not to be played with. He came home with 15 quills in his nose so the “catch me if you can” saga began. We had to figure a way for him to eat as he still was not about to be caught. We found if we put scoops of food on a flat surface he could pick it up by turning his head sideways. One by one the quills came out and Ernie was beginning to trust. He would stay in the yard when out of the fence, he even learned to come when he was called but the nights still intrigued him. One morning he was in his dog house but didn’t come out which was unusual for him. After much persuasion he crawled out with an old rusty trap attached tightly to his foot. Fortunately he had been able to break the chain that held it down. Now, there was no choice but to sedate him, remove the trap and get him to the vet. That accomplished, it was decided to take him to the shelter. Jem, one of the pups, has a tale of her own. She also went into a foster home where she learned to play with the other dogs and with toys but it was still the humans that she feared. Her foster mom could walk her and touch her but that was all. One day on a walk a man reached to pet her and she bolted. For days she stayed away from anyone looking for her, finally, she became a little to curious and checked out a have a heart trap and was caught. Not long after that adventure someone left the gate to the fence open and Jem found her escape again and for 95 days she played hide and seek. She stayed near home where she was fed and watched her house but would not let anyone near. Then one night, whether she intended to or was caught of guard she went through the door of the house and it was closed behind her. Jem is now at the shelter lets us touch her. Izzy remains aloof but also can be touched. This sweet little family loves to spend time together out in the yards, while they aren’t sure about humans, they are comfortable with dogs.

Dad Ernie, now Harley, was adopted by a very patient and kind family. He loves his canine companion (also from NCCR) and is making small daily strides with his family.

Mom Izzy and Jemma are each in search of a patient person or family too. In addition, they will need a fenced yard and a canine companion. More info and an application for Izzy and Jemma can be found on the available dog page:

Jeb and Justice are still almost completely feral and not ready for homes, but we will continue to work with them. We all wonder what could have happened to this beautiful family that put so much fear in them. Whatever it was, it is our goal to see that each one of these kids gets a chance to have a happy life and put the horrors of the past behind them.

Play time in the yard: