Tue, Aug 11, 2009 - Page 4 News List

Traumatized dog to receive psychotherapy in US

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Despite disruptions to transportation caused by Typhoon Morakot, an abused dog was put on a US-bound flight at the last minute to receive psychotherapy and find a new home there, animal rescue volunteers said on Sunday.

“Mico is scheduled to arrive in San Francisco this evening,” said Chang Ya-hui (張雅惠), a volunteer with the Animal Rescue Team Taiwan, a Kaohsiung-based animal protection group.

When he was spotted near an industrial park in Gangshan Township (岡山) in Kaohsiung County in April, Mico had a rubber cord around his neck that was strangling him, Chang said.

His trachea was broken, his neck was as thin as a chicken’s and his head was swollen like a pig’s, Chang said.

Although his life was saved by emergency surgery after the cord was removed, he is still psychologically scarred, Chang said.

“It seemed that he could not overcome the mental trauma. Whether he was in the animal hospital or being taken by our volunteers from the shelter for a walk outdoors, all he would do is curl up in a corner and tremble incessantly,” Chang said.

Although Mico was traumatized, he was not aggressive, Chang said, adding that after months of attentive care by the rescue team, it seemed that Mico has regained some trust in humans.

The Animal Rescue Team sought the help of an animal protection group in San Francisco to arrange for Mico to receive professional psychotherapy.

“Mico will stay at an American volunteer’s home while he is undergoing therapy,” Chang said, adding that the volunteer will later find a new home for the dog.

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