Sonny's Story

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Boxer Buddy
Sonny is here with us today largely due to a dog named Oliver.

Oliver was a stray yellow lab that wandered into our yard one scorching hot Friday afternoon in July. He was dazed and confused, terribly overheated and scared. Andy was outside to go to the bathroom, and when I went to bring him in I spotted him watching Oliver totter underneath our jet ski as it was shady there. I took Andy inside and coaxed Oliver into our porch, where I gave him water and a cool bath to help bring his temperature down.

My husband and I decided if we couldn't find Oliver's family we would keep him. He had no collar or ID, so I phoned around the police and the humane shelters in the area to see if anyone turned him in. I also called a few different vets to try to get an appointment for him but being late in the day, no one was able to see him until Monday except the really expensive emergency vet.

I managed to feed him esilabac with a syringe (he had no interest in dry food), and he was drinking water like crazy, but the rest of the time he was sleeping and dazed. I cut his claws, cleaned his teeth and ears, and saw to his eyes which were pus filled.

On Sunday, Oliver wouldn't wake up. We ended up taking him to the emergency vet who examined him, said he was 13, in shock, a LOT of pain and had tumors. His owners had probably drove him far away and threw him out to die. We held him as we euthanasied him as it was the only humane option.

A few days passed and I was angry, sad, and broken hearted. I really had thought I could save Oliver, and didn't even entertain having to put him down until we were there in the emergency vets' office. I decided that if I couldn't save Oliver, that we could handle another dog, and I wanted another dog, a rescue dog that could be saved from a similar tragedy. The only thing I wanted to consider was that the dog would be suitable for Andy as he is a boisterous boxer boy and it would not be fair to bring a dog in the house that would not be suitable. And, as my husband and I are crazy about boxers and love the breed, we decided we would rescue a boxer.

I started looking online and found a shelter on a large dog finder site which had a 2 yr old boxer female. I called the shelter and they said that the female was gone but they had two brindle 6 month old boys who were ready to go. The story I got was that their breeder had suffered a stroke and was unable to care for them so she had to put them in the shelter for their whelp and they'd been there ever since.

When I went to view them it was an.. experience. The shelter was appalling. The dogs need resuced from this so-called "shelter". Cage after cage after cage of dogs, of all different sizes and breeds and species lined the perimeter of this property. They were all in the cages together, up to 20 dogs in one large outdoor cage. I observed dogs engaging in sexual activity and subsequently 'tied' while there, there was poo in the woodchipping that needed cleaned, every dog I saw was underfed and skinny, dirt and bug covered. Inside the building the smell was overpowering. I observed three toy breeds stuck together in one airline-style kennel. TONS of kittens roamed free-range, with pus-filled eyes. Ducks and geese waddled around, chickens and roosters roamed, bunnies roamed and the dogs barked. There must be at least 50-75 dogs in these conditions.

And this was where I met Sonny and his brother. I had brought Andy with me but I was almost afraid to let Andy out of the car in these conditions. However my heart bled for any animal kept in this manner so I let Andy play with the two dogs. When I saw how well they got along I knew I had to save one of them. I chose Sonny because Sonny was more interested in people than his brother, who just wanted to eat the kittens who were taunting the dogs from outside the cages, causing some dogs to climb over the top of the cages and stick their paws through trying to get at them. Sonny was friendly and happy to see me, tail wagging. His brother tried to nip at me though when I went to pet Sonny so I knew he was not the right dog even though I hated to leave him there.

Sonny and his brother still have their dewclaws and full tail. The shelter owner tried to feed me a line that 'it's inhumane to remove them', but after much research, it's actually humane, and personally I wonder if she even bothered to check on the bitch while whelping, which is possibly why only 3 dogs survived - by the time she bothered to clean and tend to the pups, it was past the time the tail and claws could painlessly be done, and she probably didn't want to pay for it. None the less, it makes Sonny unique but I will need to be vigilent that he does not harm himself with either.

I told the shelter owner I'd take Sonny right then but she insisted on getting him neutered the next day, so I went down the next evening, brought Sonny home, and in a few days, after a very careful bath (to avoid the stitches - he was dirt-encrusted and smelled terrible), cleaning his ears, teeth, clipping his claws, grooming him and getting him on good food and to a vet, Sonny already looks like a different dog. He's putting on weight nicely, and is the sweetest boy ever. I am so glad we got him and saved him from a life in that shelter or even potentially ending up like poor Oliver did. His forever home will be one of love and care until his final day!

Kosmo's Mom

Super Boxer
I think you did a wonderful thing by saving Sonny from that awful place and I am sure that Oliver is thankful to you for having his last days filled with everything he should have had for his entire life.
I don't understand how people can just decide they no longer want a dog & drop them off in the middle of nowhere to die. That makes me so angry:(

Good Luck with Sonny. Sounds like he found a wonderful forever home:)


Boxer Insane
WOW....Sounds like you have a big heart with lots of love to give. It is so heart breaking to see all the pets in the shelters. I am also one of the people that just wishes to save them all but even one at a time is better then doing nothing at all. I am happy to hear that Sonny will have a life full of joy and love. Also it is wonderful to know that in Olivers last days he was loved as he should have been his hole life.

Godspeed Oliver


Boxer Pal
I can't believe what I am reading ! It sounds almost identical to the situation we rescued Molly from.
I too am from PA north of Pittsburgh. We got Molly from a "rescue" south of Pittsburgh and found her on that pet site also. Read Molly's story and you can see how she came to us.
I know we have certain guidelines on these boards. But can you tell me did you get your little guy in Fayette County? I have been strongly encouraged by family and by my new found friends on boxerworld to report this situation to the humane society or SOMEONE!
I admire you for what you've done by getting the little guy out of there.


Boxer Buddy
Oh yes.

From Fayette County.

Hibbs PA to be exact.

Are we speaking about the same lady and the same shelter? Did you feel like you nearly had a moral duty to save a dog from that hell?

I called the SPCA for that area and they referred me to another rescue shelter. That shelter I called said there was nothing they could do with Ms. P.L. and her F.B.F.F. shelter but I could call the State Agricultural dept. and the State Dog Warden and tell them. She also said don't be suprised that I didn't get any luck as P.L. has so many lawsuits against her it's not funny by and to the state.

If I were you, I'd go on the websites to WPXI, KDKA, and WTAE and ask them to investigate F.B.F.F. I did that yesterday. If enough people do it, perhaps one of them will interveine for the sake of the poor dogs.


Boxer Pal
I had to give myself a chance to cool off before I responded to you.

Yes, we are speaking of the same place. As a matter of fact I believe our boxer girl may have been in the same kennel as your little guy and his brother(to the left of the kennel up on the hill). And I was given some of the same info as you were about her backround. I will never regret that we took our Molly out of there. The shape she was in, she wouldn't have survived without the medical care she needed. It is sad that these people ACT soooooo... concerned about what is good for the animal.

You are so lucky that you rescued(and I do mean rescued!) Sonny when he was young. Molly is 3 or 4 years old(P.L. said she was 18 mos)and I am pretty sure she was used to breed(I know she's had multiple litters). Which explains why we were being so strongly encouraged to consider a young male when we went there to meet Molly. I guess its hard to let go of your money making puppy factory!

You have two beautiful dogs there. Keep me posted on how Sonny is doing. Who knows Molly could be his Mom!


Boxer Buddy
That's incredible.

I have very little doubt in my mind that Molly is Sonny's mom then. P.L. said there was three dogs from the litter - one fawn sister and two brindle boys. More like MOTHER than sister. Or it could be both seeing as how utterly unscrupulous she is.

Definitely I will watch Molly's progress. I am so glad you saved her from P.L. 's hell-on-earth. I, as well, paid P.L. 's extortionate fees thinking "I was helping the dogs" but in retrospect I think a bigger help to the dogs will be getting her closed down. I really am going to do everything in my (sadly, limited) power to see that she is shut down.

If you ever want to talk on the phone or meet up about this I'd be glad to. It would be interesting to see how Molly and Sonny relate to each other now they're safe. We're having a Meet'n'Wag (details in the boxer bash forum) at Misty Pines in Wexford sometime next month and you're welcome to come.

Interesting what you find when you google her name, her daughter's name and the name of the shelter. ;-)

I am so glad I met you.


Boxer Pal
Just one more thing I need to vent. When I finally got an email reply from PL about the issues and concerns we have had with Molly she had the nerve to say that every time we contacted her since we adopted Mollie it was to complain so if we were so dissatisfied that we could bring her back for a full refund. She KNEW we already loved Molly or I am certain she would not have offered that refund. Second she covered her butt legally by putting in a written email that she would refund our money. I think this made me the maddest of all. We are not the kind of people who "throw away dogs" like trash if the going is a little tough. I detest people who do that. Animals are a committment and a part of our family. Ok I feel better now :)

I will check out the Meet n Wag thing sounds great. If Molly is ready for it I think it would be good for her(and me!).

I too am glad we met.


Boxer Buddy
PL is totally motivated by money. I'd go so far to say that she is emotionally detached completely from the suffering all around her. She's a very cold woman who I believe has serious emotional problems.

She wouldn't know the first thing about giving support to people having problems with their animals. All she cares about is minimizing her costs and maximising output.
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