‘We would have never found him on our own’ Anonymous caller leads to Mississippi dog’s rescue

Published 5:45 am Tuesday, May 7, 2024

An anonymous caller alerted the officials on Friday to a small dog in desperate need of a rescue.

Karren Ewing, the  Adams County Sheriff’s Office victims’ advocate and de facto animal crimes deputy, traveled down Lower Woodville Road toward Sibley in search of the dog the caller reported that needed help.

“We would have never found him on our own,” Ewing said. “We had to drive down a driveway past a private gate, and there he was in the pasture, tied up. I am so grateful to whoever it was who made that call to us.”

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

What Ewing and a deputy from the sheriff’s office found was a small pet whose hair was so matted he was almost unrecognizable as a dog. The dog, thought to be a Shih Tzu or a Shih Tzu mix, was tied up with a wire to a stake in the ground.

His foster, Linda Kennon, who was a long-time veterinarian’s assistant and volunteer rescuer, removed more than three pounds of matted hair from his small body.

“When I got there to take him, he was so matted I almost could not get to the hook to release him from the wire because of how thick the mats were. He couldn’t even move a foot. And the weather was coming in. It was urgent we get him some protection,” Ewing said. “And he smelled so bad. I’ve never smelled anything like it.” The dog’s mats were saturated with urine.

The dog also had no access to food or water, she said.

The owner, who is not being identified at this time, was there when the deputy arrived, but left before Ewing arrived.

“She told the deputy she was going to work,” Ewing said. And the owner allegedly did not provide the dog with food or water before she left.

Ewing said she called the owner and texted her, asking for her to voluntarily turn over the dog on her own, but the owner never responded. Ewing then got a court order to seize the dog.

Ewing said the owner would be served with a subpoena to come to a hearing in Justice Court.

“There is no way the owner will get this dog back. At that hearing, the court will decide if she should face charges,” Ewing said.

The primary reason for the hearing, she said, is to enable the county to ask for restitution for the cost of his care and veterinary services.

Ewing estimates the dog, which is a boy, is about five to six years old.

“Linda (Kennon) has been our savior so many times,” she said. “From the moment he got to her house, he wanted down so he could play with the other dogs. He wagged his tail. The first night he slept in the bathroom and Linda said he didn’t make a sound.

“He is definitely in good hands now. She has saved us so many times when we needed someone to take an animal quickly. Linda gravitates to those who are in such bad shape,” Ewing said. “We just hope every time we do one of these that the court will charge the person so we can get restitution. He has to get shots and has to be checked out for other things. His owner needs to have to pay for that.”

She thanked the anonymous caller for alerting the sheriff’s office to the dog’s situation.

“It’s like they say, if you see something, say something. Whoever this anonymous caller is, we don’t know. We don’t track that. We are just grateful for the call. We have no other way for us to know these things,” Ewing said.

Kennon said the dog is delightful and happy.

“When we got all that hair off, he was ready to go. He’s a good baby — well mannered and he has not used the bathroom in the house once. He gets along with the other dogs,” she said. “He weighed 12 pounds when I started grooming him and now he is down to nine pounds. He’s a little bitty thing. His mats were the worst I’ve ever seen. I was almost afraid he was going to have to go to the vet to be sedated because removing those mats hurts. But we took it a little at a time. I still have one leg to do.”

Kennon is bearing the cost at least for now of the dog’s care. Should you want to donate toward his care, please contact Southside Veterinary Clinic, 239 U.S. 61 South, 601-653-4706.

Mats were so thick on this dog, it was difficult to make out his body. He was tied to a wire and stake with approximately one foot to move at a home on Lower Woodville Road. He had no access to food or water. (Submitted)His rescuer holds the matted dog. (Submitted)Rescued Shih Tzu, right, beside the three pounds of mats removed from his body, left. (Submitted)