Hundreds offer to adopt Trooper
Published Thursday, March 11, 2010 6:22PM PST
Members of the Maple Ridge SPCA say they are touched by the massive outpouring of support for Trooper, the emaciated golden retriever that came into their care last month, but say families interested in adopting him should not get their hopes up yet.
"We really want to give a huge thank you from Trooper and the SPCA for everyone that's come forward, the public have been fantastic," branch manager Mark Vosper told ctvbc.ca. "We've had calls from Ontario, from all over Canada really."
Hundreds of people have phoned and emailed offers to care for Trooper, but the dog still has months of recovery left before veterinarians will feel comfortable adopting him out, Vosper said.
When he regains his weight, the SPCA will determine whether the dog suffered long-term damage to his digestive system, liver or kidneys. If so, the shelter will have to adopt him out to a family willing to bear continuing health costs.
"We also need somebody who can put time into training a young dog. He's still a puppy and he hasn't had, by the look of it, any basic training at all."
In the mean time, Trooper is recovering with a foster family that says he is doing incredibly well.
"Since he's been putting on weight, his eyes are brighter, he's been jumping on people, he runs around with his toy. We kind of have to try and relax him in his bed so he can recuperate properly," Vosper said.
The dog was originally named Buddy, Vosper said, but the SPCA chose to rename him.
"I think he needs a fresh start in life, so a new name is part of that process," he said.
The two-year-old retriever was turned in to the shelter on February 28 by a man claiming to have found him by the side of the road. The SPCA later determined he was the animal's owner, and is seeking charges against both him and his female partner.
CTV News conducted an exclusive interview with the owner, who asked to be identified only as Mike. He said he couldn't take the dog to the veterinarian earlier because he lost his job, and was not aware of how thin Trooper was until he saw the animal without his fur.
"I didn't want him to die. I care about animals," Mike said.
When the dog was taken to the shelter on February 28, staff members on hand were shaken by his appearance, describing Trooper as a "walking skeleton."
The dog weighed only 10.5 kilograms, roughly a third the weight of an average golden retriever, but Vosper said Trooper has already grown to 14.4 kilograms.