Betty gets a second chance
Abandoned, aging Shitsue gets lots of love from Valerie Shaw and Mitzi
by Heather Killen/Spectator
Valerie Shaw holds Betty, the ailing and aging Shitsue she rescue with the help of the Companion Animal Protection Society. At right is Mitzi who seems to have welcomed the new family member. Heather Killen
Betty, a one-eyed Shitsue, was given a second chance and is now in seventh heaven.
Valerie Shaw had been thinking about getting another dog for about a year and had decided that when the time came, she would adopt a dog from the Companion Animal Protection Society.
Last year she had taken Mitzi, her 11 year-old Pomeranian, to Nahleen Ashton for grooming. Knowing Ashton was a CAPS volunteer, Shaw asked if they had any small dogs that needed homes.
“She said there was one, but that I probably wouldn’t want her,” said Shaw. “The dog was in pretty bad shape and they hadn’t decided what they could do for her.”
Betty, a 10-year-old Shitsue, had been taken into care after being abandoned by her owner. She was deaf, had abscessed teeth and cataracts and had an eye infection that had gone untreated. Her eye was so severely abscessed it would have to be removed.
“She was so matted and dirty, they had to shave her,” said Shaw. “But as soon as I saw her, I fell in love with her.”
Due to the dog’s age and her grave condition, CAPS members debated whether it was humane to put her through surgery, or better to have her put to sleep. They finally decided to give Betty a second chance and Valerie quickly adopted her.
“I think she’s been through enough,” said Shaw. “It’s about time she has enough to eat, and a good home where she can live out the rest of her days.”
Being an only-child-dog, Mitzi’s nose was a bit out of place for the first little while, according to Shaw. But the two little dogs quickly made friends.
She added that these days, Betty loves her walks and looks forward to getting a treat every time she comes back in the house. Even though she probably has limited vision in her remaining eye, Shaw said she doesn’t seem too affected.
“She can find what she wants,” she said. “At Christmas she had a great time under the tree, sniffing out her presents. She knew there were treats in her sock and she could sniff it out every time.”
Anna Clark, CAPS chair, said she wishes that more people would really take a long look at all sides before choosing to bring home a pet. Not everyone is able to provide animals with the time, care, and attention they deserve.
“Too often we see animals that are suffering from simple things that were left unattended and have become terribly serious,” she said. “There’s a lot more to owning a pet than just picking one up at the flea market.”
Clark can list a number of neglected animals that have come through her doors over the years. In each case something simple had been initially left untreated, and the animal was left to suffer with increasingly severe symptoms.
She added that most people don’t realize how much time and work is needed to care for an animal. And many don’t realize how expensive pets are and don’t budget for unforeseen expenses.
“Animals get sick, or they become injured and veterinary bills quickly add up,” she said. “Even if they used the pickle jar routine and set aside spare change. Or maybe don’t rent the movie, or go to dinner one night each week. Instead set the money aside in case something comes up.
”Animals should be spayed or neutered to cut down on the number of unwanted and neglected pets, she said. And if a pet wanders off, the first place to call is the local animal control officer. Radio stations are also good resources as local stations often advertise lost and found animals.
“There are so many beautiful animals that end up in the pound every year,” she said. “You can’t imagine. And nobody seems to look for them. How can anyone not look for a pet? It’s not a bad thing to admit that you don’t have the time or money for an animal, but think about it before you bring one home.
The Companion Animal Protection Society is looking for people willing to volunteer as foster families for the animals taken into care. There is no animal shelter in Annapolis County, and CAPS relies on volunteers.
Volunteers are also needed for the many fundraisers CAPS holds throughout the year, for more information on CAPS visit
Anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis knows what high regard I hold CAPS in. They are living proof of the positive changes that can be made by a really determined group in a really short time.
My very own Henry, who was the subject of such admiration this morning, came from CAPS. In all honesty I didn’t find him on Petfinder but made his acquaintance the day he was brought into CAPS’ care from the pound, when I popped into the vets to pick up cat food. Like all the dogs who come into CAPS care, he was in ‘quarantine’ for ten days. I knew this and still looked for him everyday when I was doing site updates until he popped up on petfinder.
The thing I really liked about CAPS is that they were completely honest about him and didn’t sugar coat anything just to get him adopted. As it happens, any of the odd little bits … like housetraining and resource guarding, were easily handled. I’m not saying I’m a perfect pet owner, but Henry might not have had a chance to show his best self if he had been adopted to an more inexperienced person. I may not be a professional dog trainer but at fifty four I do understand that when it comes to our pets, Love is NOT all they need.
Thats why responsible rescues and shelters have adoption screening. They’re not being mean. They’re not being difficult. They are just making sure that there is a good fit for both the adoptee and the hopeful adopter.
Responsible rescues go the full disclosure route about each and every pet in their care. They know that glossing things over to boost adoptions is never the path to success. That is an unhappy road that can have devasting consequences – the animals lose confidence and someone else will have to pick up the pieces.
So don’t complain about the screening process … appreciate it for the safety net that it is for both adopters and adoptees.
If you ever find yourself in the valley, you should try to plan ahead enough to make arrangements to visit CAPS wonderful cat cottages. They are a shining example of cage free housing and Anna deserves to be very proud of them. They are immaculate …. as a result of the hours of work each day that Anna refers to as their ‘chores’.
Anyone wanting to treat themselves to a visit can make arrangements by contacting CAPS

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