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Archive for Saturday, August 15, 1998

S TALE IS STILL FAR FROM A HAPPY ENDING

August 15, 1998

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The Lawrence Humane Society is struggling with the care of ``Lady,'' an abused and abandoned German pointer.

``Lady'' is eating well and gaining weight, adding bulk to her frame.

But the German pointer the Lawrence Humane Society took in last month is still not out of the woods.

Chronic breathing and coughing problems continue to be a concern, the society's executive director, Midge Grinstead, said Friday.

``She's really having a hard time breathing,'' Grinstead said. ``Dr. Lee thinks she might have permanent lung damage.''

Grinstead said staffers at the animal shelter are weighing whether it is time to euthanize Lady. They have been treating her for more than two weeks without much success in curing her labored breathing.

``Her coughing racks her whole body,'' Grinstead said.

The victim of cruelty and neglect, the pointer has been at the society's shelter since July 27. A man working on a house near East 1900 Road found the dog, nearly starved to death, and brought her to the shelter, where Dr. Ron Lee has treated her for pneumonia, malnourishment, dehydration, hookworms and roundworms, and other problems brought on by her abuse and abandonment.

The shelter plans to ask Lee on Monday about Lady's future. Grinstead said it's encouraging Lady is eating well, but she said the shelter also does not want to prolong the animal's pain if it would be best to put her down.

One positive outgrowth of the cruelty case is that Lady's story inspired a lot of donations and interest in the shelter, Grinstead said, with one woman virtually offering a blank check for the pointer's care.

If Lee decides Lady has a chance to recover, Grinstead said she might approach the woman to ask if her offer still stands and try to place the dog at a veterinarian's office where she can receive round-the-clock care.

Lady is among the average of 40 animals a month the shelter responds to due to abuse or neglect. The Douglas County Commission recently passed a resolution allowing the shelter to place abused animals up for adoption or euthanize them after notifying the owners. Under the resolution, the owner may place a bond for the animal's care until the case goes to court.

-- Deb Gruver's phone message number is 832-7165. Her e-mail address is dgruver@ljworld.com.

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