Fire pup's treatment depends on donors

Fire pup's treatment depends on donors

Shadrach, a smoochable pooch blinded in the Blackwell Hill wildfire, will have no trouble finding a new home, officials say.

But the medical fund that saved this pup — or the next dog or cat to suffer an unfortunate plight — depends upon the kindness of community members, says Colleen Macuk, director of Jackson County Animal Care and Control Center.

"We've had so many people offering homes for Shadrach," said Macuk. "But nobody is offering to replenish the medical (expenses.)"

Like his biblical namesake, the 20-pound pup survived a fiery death. But not without injuries. The story of the four-legged Shadrach, featured Saturday on the cover of the Mail Tribune, has wrung the hearts of many possible seeing-eye families, she said.

"We've had so many calls, and we're still taking applications," Macuk said.

But it was only because of a fund filled through community donations that veterinarians at Best Friends Animal Hospital (note: this name has been corrected) in Talent were able to begin emergency treatment on the seriously injured chocolate-colored, mixed-breed pup, Macuk said.

"He is just one of many animals who come to us, one way or another," she said. "The fund helps so many. But that's only possible through donations."

Shadrach arrived at the clinic on Sept. 14, two days after the fire erupted, frightened, in pain and with a high fever. It was quickly evident the most serious injuries were to his eyes. He suffered corneal lesions and is blind.

Ten days in the clinic produced huge improvements in the undernourished and foxtail-ridden puppy. The physical injuries to his eyes are healing. Shadrach's opaque-colored eyes now seem to be able to distinguish between light and dark, said Dr. Margarita Garcia. But whether Shadrach will regain his vision is unknown.

Shadrach also suffered burns to his nose and stomach area in the fast-moving wildfire. However, his feet were not burned, nor were any other areas of his body — causing vets to speculate the pup may have been burned by proximity to intense heat or blowing ash, rather than direct contact with flames.

Friday afternoon he was well enough to be placed in a foster home through the county shelter. Shadrach continues to receive his medications and heal while Macuk and crew continue to review applicants.

"We'll be screening the applications so that we make sure we get the right home for him," Macuk said.

Anyone considering adopting Shadrach should not fear they'll be stuck with a large medical bill for his 10 days of care. His new family will pay the normal adoption rate to the shelter.

But the vets and shelter employees are hoping people touched by Shadrach's story will help support the standing order the county shelter has with Best Friends to provide help to animals like him who arrive at the clinic in dire need of emergency care.

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 541-776-4497 or e-mail

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