A dog that police originally thought was abandoned by its Wyandotte owner has a new lease on life, doing what she was meant to do by nature.
The dog came to police attention on May 24 when officers went to the 400 block of Chestnut to respond to a barking dog complaint.
“They soon discovered that the dog had been tied up to a tether and left in the abandoned backyard,” Wyandotte police posted on their Facebook page. “We believe the owner(s) just left the dog there when they moved out. The dog was very thin and looked malnourished.”
Police officers removed the dog from the yard and placed it in the animal shelter until things could be sorted out.
As it turned out, the dog wasn’t actually abandoned. No one was home at the time and officers said it looked like no one was living there, but animal control officers discovered that it wasn’t the case.
Paige Wallace, an ACO with Downriver Central Animal Control, said the dog’s ownership was a bit complicated. It was learned that the person who owns the dog had been in Alabama for an extended period of time, and the dog was left in the care of her husband.
Wallace spoke with the owner’s daughter, who explained the situation. She also later spoke with the owner, who was still in Alabama.
Because animals are considered to be property in the state of Michigan, Downriver Central Animal Control legally had to give the owner a chance to claim the dog, which was returned the following day.
Wyandotte police were correct in their assessment of the dog’s condition. The English setter, named Dottie, was too thin and malnourished. She was told that the reason the dog is so thin is that she constantly ran in the backyard.
Wallace explained to the owners that sporting breeds typically require more food than other types of canines, in large part because they’re so active.
“They have extremely high protein demand,” Wallace said.
She offered suggestions as to how much food they should feed Dottie and stipulated that the dog must be examined by a veterinarian by June 10.
However, things never got to that point.
On May 26, just a couple of days after the dog first came to the attention of police and animal control officers, they were sent to the location for another well being check. A report came in that a dog was running at large.
As she feared, the dog was Dottie.
“I watched the dog almost get hit twice,” Wallace said. “My partner, Brian (Fivecoat) took the dog to the pound. I told the homeowner that this was unacceptable. They would be getting citations for letting the dog out of the yard and for not being carefully watched.”
Wallace said they were told that if they wished to pick up the dog at the pound ends it would be doubled, or else they could choose to surrender it.
“They didn’t want to do this because they were afraid we might put it down,” Wallace said.
She explained to the owners that Downriver Central Animal Control rarely euthanizes any dogs or cats, especially young, healthy ones like Dottie, referred to by Wallace as “the friendliest and sweetest dog I ever met.”
Once the owners learned the dog would not be euthanized, they agreed to give her up.
The 2-year-old dog was expected to be taken to The PAWS Clinic in Taylor to be vaccinated and spayed, then taken to the agency’s adoption center in Wyandotte.
While English setters can be great family dogs, some have a stronger instinct than others to hunt. That appears to be the case with Dottie.
“This dog needs to be a hunter,” Wallace said. “Ella She is fixated on birds.”
With that assessment, plans changed. Instead of making the dog available to a local family through the regular adoption process, Dottie has gone to a bird hunting rescue group.
“They take English setters, Brittany spaniels, beagles and all types of hound breeds,” Wallace said. “They adopt them out to hunters or people willing to hunt. If they are not good hunters, they will find a good home for them.”