A dog nicknamed Cheeto because he recently got his head stuck in a plastic container of cheese balls who was rescued this weekend after being deprived of water and food for at least three days is now recovering at a nonprofit rescue in Carleton.
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“This pup’s been out on the run — we don’t know how long — but we know he’s had the jug on his head for three days,” Tom Walsh, who owns the rescue with his wife, said on a Facebook video posted just after the animal was found and brought to the shelter. “He was probably right down to the wire.”
The Walshes are now asking for the public’s help to return the dog to its owner. Cheeto is probably underweight at 60-70 pounds, appears to be young — 18 months to two years old — and seems a little scared. It’s probably a mix of Great Pyrenees and German shepherd.
A good Samaritan trapped and brought the pup — which does not have ID or a microchip — to the rescue, Last Stop Animal Rescue & Sanctuary. It’s a 12-acre farm, halfway between Romulus and Monroe, that Walsh and his wife, Sue, have been running for about eight years.
The rescue is aptly named because it often is the last stop — and hope — for dogs, cats, cows, horses, donkeys, pigs, ducks, and any kind of animal that needs a home. The dogs and cats sometimes get adopted out, but the farm animals live out their days there.
At first, the photos of Cheeto might seem comical, as if he were wearing an astronaut suit.
The Walshes recorded their efforts to free Cheeto from the container and care for it and posted them on Facebook. Their daughter-in-law, Alexa Walsh, 30, of Maybee, emailed the story to the Free Press. She loves dogs, too, and has her own business training them.
Tom, 67, and Sue, 62, are retired — semiretired if you ask their 35-year-old son Kyle who took over their trucking business — and seem to be enjoying spending their time caring for the 75 or so animals that have ended up on their farm.
“If you see the animals, it just breaks your heart,” Tom Walsh told the Free Press on Monday. “We both grew up in the country around animals, and it just comes naturally that you want to see them treated right. It’s not like we don’t have stuff in our life.”
But, he added, they have a passion for animals.
They’re holding a fundraiser for the rescue at Sneaky’s Sports Bar & Grill from 5-9 p.m., Oct. 24, at 23301 Allen Road, in Woodhaven. Proceeds will go to the rescue to cover animal food, shots, and vet bills. They also sell fundraising T-shirts.
They get about $20,000 a year in donations, but food costs have gone up.
Sunday, the Walshes gingerly clipped the plastic jug off the dog’s head, and Cheeto headed for water and food. Another voice on the video points out that, as soon as the container is snipped off, the dog can smell — and breathe — again.
“He seems to be OK, now,” Tom Walsh said later. “You can see his ribs, but he’s a great pup.”
Since the dog didn’t have a name, the Walshes picked one. Cheeto seemed to fit his personality more than the first name they gave him, Jughead. Cheeto is livelier — like the pup — and fun, whereas Jughead, seemed to imply that the dog was slow.
It turns out, Alexa Walsh said Monday, that Cheeto knows some commands: Sit, shake. Cheeto seems to be in good spirits, although it’s clear he faced quite an ordeal. The fur was stripped off his back. He’s malnourished, has fleas, probably has worms, and may have some carbon monoxide poisoning.
The Walshes are having Cheeto checked out by a vet, and they’d love it if they could find his family, but if not, or if, for some reason, someone intended to send him “to the farm,” they said Cheeto is welcome to live his days with them on their farm.
Contact Frank Witsil: 313-222-5022 or [email protected].