By Sarrah Peters, News Editor
Humane Society Pet Rescue and Adoption Center Shelter Manager Lisa Brackett remembers exactly how rescue dog Lieutenant Dan got his name. She and several staff members were intaking about seven puppies that had come in together into the Humane Society system. While examing one of the puppies, the group found out that he had one back leg that was only a nub, the other back leg ended at his knee and his tail was missing.
“When I picked him up, it was weird, we all four at the same time said ‘Lieutenant Dan, you ain’t got no legs,’” said Brackett. “That’s how he got his name.”
Brackett said that the shelter believes that Dan’s mother, while cleaning the afterbirth after delivering her puppies, inadvertantly chewed off his limbs.
When Lieutenant Dan arrived at the Humane Society, the amputated limbs had already healed.
“He had no idea that he didn’t have any back legs,” said Brackett.
Natalie and Steve Entrekin and their family fostered Lieutenant Dan. Lieutenant Dan finally found his forever family when he attended Yappy Hour at Back Forty Beer Company.
Heath Johnson attended Yappy Hour and was handed Lieutenant Dan. Johnson proceeded to carry him for most of the event, and by the end knew that he was taking Dan home with him.
Johnson said that Dan is an amazing dog; he just requires patience. Dan gets along with Johnson’s other dog Uncle Jesse.
Although three wheelchairs have been made for Dan, Johnson said that he doesn’t really like them, and with carpet gets along just fine, even if he is a bit slower. He can’t jump, so he must be picked up to get on the couch, takes longer outside and needs to be scratched often because he can’t scratch himself.
Johnson’s biggest worry when he adopted Lieutenant Dan was that he liked to spend a lot of time outdoors, but when he goes camping with groups of people and dogs, Dan keeps up with the other dogs. Johnson was very surprised to find out recently that Dan is a very good swimmer.
For the most part though, Johnson said that Dan is just like any other dog with an incredibly happy and perky temperment.
Humane Society Director Christi Brown said that the $24,000 raised by the Paws for St. Paddy auction goes to help special medical cases like Lieutenant Dan’s.
Brown said that this fund prevents special needs animals from being euthanized.
“We try save everything we can, no matter what level of care they need,” said Brown. “And there are people out there that want to provide that care. It’s important for people to realize that the needs of the animal aren’t what determines whether we keep it or not, it’s the space.”
Brown encourages the public to do what they can to reduce the number of animals brought into the shelter, specifically by owner surrender.
“If you take out the owner surrenders that come in every month to the shelter, that’s over half of the animals we are taking in,” said Brown. “If everyone was a responsible pet owner and honored that commitment and didn’t have unwanted litters, if those pets weren’t coming into the shelter we would be at 50 percent less capacity.”