Dragger is one lucky dog.
The 4-year-old English bulldog was found starved, dehydrated, emaciated, covered with sores and with eyes that were crusted shut.
Now, two months after being rescued by state police in Somerset and the Somerset County Humane Society, Dragger is heavier, healthier and happier.
“He’s in good shape,” said Tina Thompson, an officer with the Humane Society. “He’s healthy and getting ready to go to the vet to be neutered.”
Authorities seized Dragger from a trailer court in Somerset on Dec. 5.
A week later, authorities found a 5- or 6-year-old boxer named Dixie in similar condition outside a home in Confluence.
Both animals were sent to the Laurel Highlands Animal Hospital for treatment.
Both owners face animal cruelty charges.
Dragger was later taken to Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Care, where he had surgery to save his right eye.
The eye is healing and Dragger is expected to regain 90 percent of his sight, Thompson said.
Once weighing only 27 pounds, Dragger now weighs about 45 pounds.
Thompson credits the community outpouring for saving Dragger and Dixie. Dixie is in foster care.
About $10,000 poured in from businesses and individuals who read about the abused animals, she said.
She described the response as “overwhelming.”
“We’re so pleased to see that there are people who care for these dogs who lived in the most inhumane conditions,” Thompson said.
Pittsburgh resident David Meade and his family have been caring for Dragger since he was found.
They plan to keep him.
“He’s just a super dog,” Meade said. “I think he realizes he was given a second chance.”
Caring for the canine hasn’t been easy.
“The care that’s required to rehabilitate a dog that has been neglected to this degree is something that requires so much time,” Thompson said. “Dave and his family (wife and daughter) graciously offered to help.”
Dragger’s recovery included a rigid feeding schedule, several medications and four types of eye drops, she said.
“They’ve done a wonderful job,” Thompson said.
Meade said his family once had a bulldog named JoJo but needed to have her put down at age 12. Now Dragger fills the void.
“He’s given us much more than we’ve given him,” Meade said. “Just the love and companionship.
“He’ll put his head on you and you can tell that he’s content.”
Dragger is one lucky dog.
- Local News
Game officials: Bald eagle killed in Cambria County
The Pennsylvania Game Commission is trying to determine who fatally shot a bald eagle in western Pennsylvania earlier this month.
Independents, minor-party members locked out of primary election
More than 1 million registered voters in Pennsylvania will be barred from casting a ballot today because the state only allows registered Democrats and Republicans to participate in the primary election.
Permit path cleared: Construction soon on Rt. 219 project
The final permit is on the way for a Somerset-to-Meyersdale Route 219 improvement project to begin.
It’s a years-in-the-making step that will allow the estimated $300 million plan to be advertised for bids in the coming weeks – and if all goes well, move it to construction this fall, U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster said Monday.
Emergency response team hones skills at training camp
Almost certainly, no Cambria County Special Emergency Response Team members will ever be called upon to create a small bridge out of two pieces of wood and rope, use the newfangled walkway to get a group of individuals from one point to another, pick up an object at the end of the course and then figure out a way back to the starting point.
But the skills SERT officers gain by participating in drills like those – leadership, teamwork, trust and creativity – can be invaluable when they are serving and protecting the community.
Fun Day event to spotlight YMCA expansion
The Y logo may be seen from the sky June 15 when Greater Johnstown YMCA community members get together to form a logo comprised of people at a Community Fun Day.
Agency will provide produce vouchers to eligible seniors
Income-eligible residents ages 60 and older will have a chance to stock up a bit on locally grown produce through a voucher program offered in Cambria and Somerset counties this year.
Poverty simulation slated for today
Annamarie Pihs experienced firsthand the kind of harsh economic times she will be helping educate Johnstown community leaders about during today’s Walk a Day in My Shoes: Understanding Poverty event at Greater Johnstown High School.
In Brief | 27 students escape injury in bus crash
State police in Ebensburg are investigating a school bus crash that happened Monday on Route 36 in Clearfield Township.
State police investigating school bus crash
State police in Ebensburg are investigating a school bus crash that happened Monday on Route 36 in Clearfield Township. The Cambria Heights school bus was carrying 27 students when the driver apparently blacked out and sheared off a pine tree between the Chest Spring and Patton areas, schools superintendent Michael Strasser said. None of the high school or elementary students was hurt, he said. The students were triaged at the scene and released to their parents, Strasser said.
The driver was taken to Altoona Regional Hospital, he said.
Study: Hospitals’ finances are healthy
Hospitals across the region maintained financial health last year, a new state report shows.
But leaders say the continued strength required constant scrutiny and creative programming to identify new opportunities in a dynamic industry.
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