Stranger’s kindness saves injured dog and puppies

By Tsai Chung-hsien and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Thu, Oct 04, 2012 - Page 3

An act of kindness in saving a dog in the Kenting area that had sustained a severe neck wound has gathered widespread support and generated donations for medical treatment for the animal.

A visitor surnamed Tsai (蔡) traveled from Pingtung City to Kenting on Sept. 23 and found a female black dog at Maopitou Park (貓鼻頭公園) with an elastic band around her neck. The elastic band had caused a severe laceration.

The man returned home to write about what he saw, posted the message on a number of Web sites and asked a local civic group, the Hengchun Loving-Heart Mom Network, for help.

Group member Wang Man-ti (王滿地) and friends responded by picking up the female dog and her three puppies on Sept. 26 and taking the canine family to a local veterinary clinic for treatment.

After reports of the act of kindness were posted on Facebook, several thousand Taiwanese clicked the “Like” button to give their endorsement, with some individuals donating money to help the cause.

When she was discovered, the female dog already had serious wounds on her neck, but despite the painful lacerations, she still suckled her pups.

“We have received enough donations for medical treatment. Now we hope someone can adopt them, to give the three puppies a new home,” Wang said.

Similar cases have been reported in other stray dogs and wild animals, with elastic bands choking them and causing terrible injuries. Some injuries were caused on purpose by miscreants, but other injuries were caused by elastic bands from discarded lunchboxes.

As stray animals put their heads into lunchboxes to feed on leftover food, some get corraled by the elastic band, Wang said.

This results in small lacerations, but over time the elastic band gradually digs into the skin and chokes the animal, Wang said.

As elastic bands become more rigid when wet, it does not break off and gradually gets a stronger choking hold, thus leading to a painful death for the animal, Wang said.

Wang said she often sees stray dogs with such wounds, which look like someone slashed their neck with a knife. However, in most cases, the injuries have been caused by elastic bands from discarded lunchboxes.

Wang, an advocate for the humane treatment of stray animals, said that when discarding lunchboxes, one should always bind the box with the elastic band.

“To fasten the lid, people should hitch the elastic band through the two oblique opposite corners of the lunchbox. Do not fasten the band in a straight binding line that secures the lunchbox in the middle. These two ways of using elastic bands can have very different results for animals,” Wang said.

“We urge people to recycle paper lunchboxes and to minimize the use of elastic bands,” she added.