A local scammed when purchasing a new puppy … a dog abandoned and glued to the ground … a dog who fell in the Intracoastal.
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Here are some updates on three Palm Beach pet stories that started out badly and could have been a disaster but ended up happily.
The first victim was — me. I found a precious Shih Tzu on a Facebook page of pups needing homes. My husband and I wanted a second dog — and so, it seemed, did our 4-pound Miki named Piki who spent hours staring out the window and barking at other dogs.
So, I sent money (lots of it) to the owner of the pup he claimed he could no longer care for … and after lots of excuses and a wait of four months, I was heartbroken when the paid-for and promised dog never arrived.
I decided to warn others of this apparently very common pet scam. I wrote an article titled “I Was Puppy Scammed on the Internet” and placed it in Newsweek. And right after it ran, I received an immediate email from Suzi Goldsmith of Tri-County Animal Rescue in Boca.
They had just rescued a few dozen Shih Tzus and Malteses from a puppy mill in Missouri. In less than 12 hours, my husband and I (and Piki) were the happy owners of a 5-pound 5-year-old Maltese/Shih Tzu whom we named Peaches. Poor baby had spent five years as a breeder in a cage, but now she is happily wandering (leashed of course) all over Palm Beach with us. Happy ending: she loves us, we love her, she and Piki are best friends, and she loves Palm Beach. (What’s not to love?)
Dog abandoned, glued to ground finds new home
Here is an update on another local story in which Tri-County was the hero, and which could have ended up quite differently. Sadly, the owners of a dog Tri-County rightly later named “Trooper” decided they didn’t want him anymore (or couldn’t care for him). The 10-year-old had 22 things wrong with him, including heart, prostate, vision problems, worms, maggots, etc.
More:Palm Beach pets: Dog flu is nothing to sneeze at
Instead of doing the right thing and taking him to a shelter, the owner(s) abandoned him. Worse still, they cemented him to the ground and left him to die. He was saved by Tri-County, which raised enough money to care for all his problems. It’s been almost a year, and he now has a happy owner, is much healthier, and surely much happier.
Blind and deaf pup rescued from Intracoastal
Finally, the story of the Palm Beach pup who fell into the Intracoastal. Gigi, a 15-year-old Pug, is blind, and deaf, and when her owner, Gael Hammer, took her out of her carriage for a moment and placed her on the ground to do what dogs do, Gigi instead did what dogs shouldn’t do. She dashed into the nearby Intracoastal at Ibis Isle.
More:Palm Beach Pet Set: What to do to find your lost or stolen pet
Gael jumped into the water to save her, but there was no ladder out. Few people were around to hear Gael’s cry for help for the two of them. Fortunately, someone heard him shouting and called the Palm Beach Fire Rescue Department. They arrived within five minutes, with a ladder, and took a very drenched Gael and Gigi out of the water. Both are doing fine.
Upcoming pet parties
The 13th annual American Humane Hero Dog Awards is 6 p.m. Nov. 10 at The Breakers. This canine “Oscars” recognizes ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things. Tickets available at americanhumane.org/gala or by calling 561-537-5887
The ninth annual Peppermint Bark & Brunch benefiting Tri-County Animal Rescue is 11 a.m. Nov. 19 beginning at Trump International in West Palm Beach. There’s shopping, photos with your pet (yes, bring your dog or cat!), a brunch for you (and a buffet for your dog), and more. Tickets available at tricountyanimalrescue.com/Events