The following story was posted to Examiner.com by Denise Carey-Costa and is reposted here with the author’s permission.
Melanie Helton founded Ruff Times Rescue in Clermont, Florida in 2010. Their mission is to rescue and shelter the community’s forgotten and abandoned animals in order to prevent cruelty and neglect. They strongly believe cruelty to animals can be obliterated through education and financial assistance.
Beside rescuing and housing strays and death row dogs, Ruff Time Rescue also has a community outreach program known as the Keep Your Pet Project (KYPP). KYPP works with families in danger of losing their pets due to financial hardships such as foreclosure, sickness and other family issues. They want to keep as many pets as possible in the home instead of allowing them to enter a system already inundated with abandoned animals. They offer financial assistance and other forms of support to qualifying families on the condition they will get all of the pets in the household spayed or neutered. They strive to keep as many animals as possible out of Animal Controls and other county facilities.
Recently a volunteer for Orange County Florida’s Animal Services fell in love with a particular dog at the shelter. He was in danger of being euthanized. The volunteer begged Melanie to pull him from the shelter and agreed to foster him until Ruff Time Rescue could place him. The dog, named Pharaoh, was a 75 lb Pit/Hound mix, approximately 1 1/2 years old.
Although the volunteer had a good heart and some knowledge of the dog, her good intentions met with disaster. Melanie did the typical home check on the family beforehand and saw that they also owned a Great Dane and another small dog as well as numerous exotic birds. One week into fostering Pharaoh went after the male Great Dane. The family decided to give Pharaoh another chance and were willing to continue fostering him for another week. Unfortunately, he continued to attack the Great Dane. The family insisted that Melanie take him back and find other placement for him.
Pharaoh went ON to a second foster home and got into a scuffle with a Chow that was also living there. However, for all of his faults sweet Pharaoh adores people and they love him. His only issue is extreme dog aggression.
Since then Pharaoh has been boarded at Pat the Dog Boarding facility and the staff have grown to love him. But Pharaoh, being a young dog suffered from boredom being kept in a cage and started jumping so high that the staff had to go in and place chain link panels over the top of his kennel to keep him from getting out. The facility has given Melanie until the end of this month to find another facility to take him.
This whole situation has put Melanie in a serious quandary. She did a good deed and helped a complete stranger by trusting her that she knew Pharaoh’s personality and his dog aggression issues and would actually keep him in her home until placement could be found She is desperate to save Pharaoh and has even solicited the help of an area dog trainer to work with Pharaoh at her own personal expense. She is willing to have Pharaoh fully evaluated and an intensive training program implemented to help him overcome his aggression.
However, this will not happen overnight. At this time Melanie is pleading for any person or boarding facility that can take Pharaoh in either as a foster (he has to be an only dog) or any group that is equipped to handle him and his special needs. Melanie will not give up on Pharaoh and refuses to return him back to the Orange County Animal Services as it will surely be a death sentence for him. She is willing to pay all boarding expenses for Pharaoh as well as for his training.
Pharaoh is a loving dog and deserves a chance. He is definitely a diamond in the “ruff” right now but will surely make a splendid, loyal and loving pet with the right person and proper training.
Watch a recent video of Pharaoh and see the loving, affectionate dog he truly is.
If you can help Melanie and Pharaoh, please contact her via email at email@example.com.
To view Ruff Time Rescue’s homepage to see their success stories please visit rufftimesrescue.org.