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Lac La Biche humane society and foster parent save Samson’s life

A passing motorist who recently stopped to rescue a small puppy being mauled by two other dogs has been given a new lease on life.

LAC LA BICHE - A passing motorist who recently stopped to rescue a small puppy being mauled by two other dogs on the side of the highway is one part of a chain of support that has given the dog a new lease on life, says Melinda Sorenson with the Lac La Biche Regional Humane Society. 

The four-month old puppy, named Samson by humane society staff, was brought to the animal shelter suffering from bite wounds. The little dog was clearly in shock and needed urgent medical attention. 

“A gentleman actually brought him in unannounced… When he brought Samson in, I thought he was paralyzed because he wouldn’t move, his legs were straight out and his head was tilted up. I rushed him to the vet clinic and they concluded he was just in shock. He had two good bite wounds about four inches deep on his neck. You could see his muscles inside his neck, he was in rough shape,” said Sorenson.

Foster friends 

He was also at the beginning of a care-system that the local humane society takes great pride in. From the society’s close relationship with the local veterinary office to a growing community support system of local households ready to take in ‘foster pets’ until a formal adoptive family is found, the little dog was on the right path. 

In the days following his surgery, Samson was taken in by Jodymae Brown, a vet clinic employee and a former humane society member. Brown admits the moment she saw how much medical attention and love the little puppy would need, she simply had to take him home. 

“We are seasoned foster pet parents, I can’t even count how many dogs we’ve fostered. With Samson, I wanted to take him in because of his medical needs,” said Brown. “I work at the vet clinic so with Samson's medical needs I knew he needed some extra care and I could make sure he got what he needed.” 

The role of foster parents when it comes to the local animal shelter is vital, says Sorenson, explaining that while Samson’s case is a tough one, and most animal adoptees only need social support, care and attention, there are still demands placed on the foster families.  

“We do get medical cases like Samson. It’s not super common, but it's frequent enough. Most animals need vaccines, have ear mites or minor infections to look after, but at least once a month we get an animal that needs severe care,” she said. She explains that the foster program not only give the animals individual attention from their foster caregivers, but it also frees up much-needed space at the local animals shelter. 

The humane society covers all the costs for families to foster the animals, including food, collars, supplies and medical needs. 

The only requirement is that you give them a loving home. The Brown family is good at that. 

“All you have to do is provide a safe, warm place for animals to recover and hang out until they get their real home,” Brown said. 

Samson on the mend 

Samson has been in his new temporary home for two weeks now, adjusting quite well with three dogs, three cats and the Brown family. And while the physical injuries of the little puppy are healing, Brown knows there’s other damage that is going to take more time to heal.  

The little dog has had a rough start to life. 

“When we first brought him he didn’t want to come out of the kennel. He was shaking. It took a lot of work.” 

"Since I have had him for two weeks, he’s come a long way. I use to look at him and he would pee, but now he’s running around my living room, playing with his toys, jumping on my bed, he’s amazing.” 

Adoption 

Samson is only going to be with the Brown family until he finds a permanent home. It will be difficult to part ways, admits Brown, but says that whoever becomes his new family will be very lucky.  

“He’s a delight. He’s going to light up anyone's world, I will miss him.” 

Brown and Sorenson credit the passer-by who picked up Samson and brought him to the shelter for saving the little dog’s life.  

“Whoever brought him in gave him another chance at life,” Brown said.  

At the shelter, Sorenson says Samson’s story is one of the good ones, and a big part of why staff and volunteers work for the humane society.  

“It makes us happy that we do this job. The days are tough, and it’s hard to see animals come in like that, but knowing we can help them recover, knowing that no one else would have if we didn’t, is why we do it.” 

Samson is one of several animals currently on the adoption list at the regional humane society.  

For more information on how to adopt, donate to the society or become foster a pet family, visit www.llbrhs.com

With Files from Rob McKinley