4 Guys from Utica

On July 25th, we were contacted by the daughter of a man who recently passed away in the Utica area. He had 5 dogs which had previously belonged to his wife. She was known to breed dogs. While he didn’t want to part with his beloved wife’s dogs at the time, he clearly didn’t know how to care for them and by the time they got to us, they were in pretty rough shape. Within a day of getting the call, Board member Amy drove to the home and was able to take 4 of the dogs. The family decided to keep one.

The local vet upstate was able to get all 4 in within a day to do initial vaccinations and bloodwork, and one week after that, 3 of the 4 have been neutered. Here is what we know so far about them.



Shadow is about 12 years old and has a big personality. He was one of two of the dogs who arrived in filthy crates. Of the 4 dogs, two got along and the other two did not, so they were often kept in the crates and not often let out. He was an absolute mess, covered in fleas and had a large tumor on his back. A rescue volunteer groomed him so nicely after his arrival and he was ready for the works at the vet where he was neutered, teeth cleaned and tumor removed. We will be getting pathology on the tumor to see if it is anything worse. Shadow appears to have a cataract in one eye and he tested positive for Lyme so he is taking a course of antibiotics for the month. As Shadow comes out of his shell, he is showing us that he loves to play ball and has plenty of energy for an old guy. His energy is sometimes too much for the others and he can be reactive and escalate a conflict with his house mates. He has been fine with the dogs in the foster home. He is also a food guarder and may be best as an only dog, because 1 on 1, he is loving and very much enjoys attention. As the hormones change after neuter, it is likely that all of them will mellow out a bit.


Lucky was also in one of the crates and he was in the worst shape. He was caked with 2 inches of his own poop around his hips and had to be shaved down before going to the vet. He was also groomed by our wonderful volunteer and looks amazing. Despite his handsome looks, this guy has some real issues. His body condition was underweight at only 20 lbs, he had a UTI, tapeworms from all the fleas and his bloodwork indicates that he could be in some rather progressed kidney failure. It is uncertain if this bloodwork is due to his overall care, but he is energetic and happy so we are going to check it again after a week to see if there is improvement. Until then, Lucky has not yet been neutered. He is a feisty old guy and while he is usually fine in minding his own business, he will also get scrappy with his old buddy Shadow when competing for food or attention.


Trip and Paws seemed to be pretty close. They rode nicely in the car and were not in crates. They seemed to be a little less neglected than Shadow or Lucky, but they certainly weren’t without problems. We are guessing Trip got his name because he was stepped on as a puppy and broke his leg. It didn’t heal correctly and he certainly gets around, but the family was convinced he was fine. We could see that he is clearly uncomfortable so while he was neutered this week, we had xrays done. Sure enough the break is old and healed, but he now has quite a bit of arthritis. Rescue may give this guy an orthopedic consultation to see what choices may be in his future. Meanwhile, he is on pain meds and he has meds to clear up a bacterial and fungal skin infection on his back and tail. Despite everything, Trip is one of the happiest dogs we have ever met. His tail is going all the time and he wants nothing but love. He seems to be well house trained and doesn’t like being in a crate. He is a big guy at over 40 lbs, but could also lose a little weight if we can get it comfortable for him to exercise more.


Paws is almost entirely blind at only 8 years old. He has a very cloudy cataract in his left eye and we think he can see shadows or light from his right eye. At first we thought he might be dependent on Trip. While they do get along and can often be seen hanging out together, Paws can get around quite well on his own. He loves to follow his person around and has no problem exploring new surroundings very slowly and carefully. Paws loves affection and will bark to let you know that he feels alone. Paws is 34 pounds and sometimes needs to be carried on stairs as he is not as confident there. While we thought his blindness was his main problem, the vet found abnormal testicles when he was neutered so we are waiting for pathology to tell us if he might have any disease. If he has a clean bill of health, we will take him to the eye doctor to see if his cataracts can be fixed. Paws crossed!