Happy meal trip yields unexpected golden prize

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By The Staff

As the economy goes to the dogs, many dogs end up discarded. The lucky ones either end up in a new home, a rescue group or end up at an animal shelter.  Such was not the case for one Golden Retriever, who found herself no longer the cute, golden-coated puppy with the large brown eyes adored by some family. As a “disposable” animal, she found herself on the road, alone, and finally ended up at the McDonalds in Springfield. You might not think it is such a bad place to be. There is, after all, plenty of food going out their door.

The employees at McDonalds called her “Big Mac.” However, not everyone found the golden colored dog a blessing in the parking lot. While some people threw food for her, some threw objects at her, some even tried to run her over. The lack of human compassion toward “Big Mac” is inexcusable. She was once a sweet, loving and social animal and the lack of positive human compassion caused her to revert back to her wild dog roots. She had good reason not to trust humans. Over the two years she lived in a thicket behind McDonalds, she had at least two known litters of puppies.

Luckily for “Big Mac,” when Sandy Adler of Springfield went to McDonalds she was one of the customers who would throw the golden colored dog something to eat when she stopped by. Sandy realized that this dog no longer thought of humans as friendly. She tried on more than one occasion to catch her, but “Big Mac” would not allow anyone to get close enough to grab. Sandy took time out of her busy schedule to go to Marion County Animal Shelter and get a large dog live trap.  Her determination paid off, and she was able to catch the dog on the first day.  Sandy had already located where “Big Mac” had carefully hidden her 10 puppies, she took them and “Big Mac” with her to veterinarian Dr. Jim Cook in Lebanon.

“Big Mac’s” lack of trust in the human population has made her a huge flight risk, so housing her was something that the veterinarian’s office took very seriously. Three weeks later and fully vetted, “Big Mac” was in need of a more long term place to call home. The story was out in Springfield about this golden colored dog, and some kind, compassionate people stepped forward to help pay for the vet bill for her and the puppies. Though there is still a balance, Dr. Cook was kind enough to release “Big Mac” to a foster home. This is where I came into the picture. I had heard of “Big Mac”, whom I called “McDog,” and that she had been captured. I contacted Sandy and offered to foster the golden colored dog, until a permanent home could be found.

Sandy has been successful in placing seven of “Big Mac’s” puppies into new homes and they too have been fully vetted. Just Paws, a local spay/neuter group in Lebanon, has offered to give adopters of these pups a voucher to help lower the cost of spay/neuter surgery. Sandy is going to hold onto one pup named Rascal, due to the fact that he has a hole in his heart and will need further expensive medical care. Anyone interested in donating to help pay for the remaining vet bill for “Big Mac” or Rascal, can contact Dr. Cook’s clinic. They have been fantastic in helping Sandy, “Big Mac” and her puppies.

Animals are not disposable! They are living, breathing creatures. If you are no longer able to care for your pets, there are options out there for you.  Horrible as it may sound, being put to sleep is much more humane than to turn loose an animal who has been dependant on people for survival. Dumped pets suffer from the inability to find food or water. They are attacked by other animals, such as coyotes. They are at risk for being hit by cars and left suffering for hours without medical care. It is a criminal offense known as “Animal Abandonment.”

If you find yourself in a position where you can no longer properly care for your animal, please do the right thing and take them to your local animal shelter. As for the person who once claims to have loved this golden colored dog, shame on you!

Editor’s note: Wendy Doric is a member of Just Paws.