In the heat of the day, a German Shepherd was found abandoned on the side of Interstate 25, immobile, starved, weak and ridden with maggots.
If it had not been for one compassionate passerby, the dog, now called “Major,” would have never survived.
Major was taken to the Valencia County Animal Control center, where animal rescue volunteers were that day. The volunteers recognized the severity of the dog’s condition, but they also recognized the dog’s strong will to live.
Valencia County Animal Control Director Linda Cisneros said the dog was lucky that the animal rescue people were there. “Unfortunately, this happens a lot,” Cisneros said. “But, that day, we were lucky to have the people and resources we needed.”
Too often the animal shelter doesn’t have the resources and cannot always save the animals brought to them, Cisneros said.
After seeing Major’s injuries, the animal rescue volunteers took Major to Sun Ranch Pet Hospital in Los Lunas — where he has been ever since.
There, he was treated for dehydration, given antibiotics and underwent numerous tests. Veternarian Rikia Park found that Major had suffered severe organ damage.
Though still very weak, Major is able to stand up on his own — something he was unable to do for the first week at the hospital.
“We still don’t know if there is an underlying disease, like cancer,” Judy Babcock, of Quixote Humane, Inc., and chair of the Valencia County Animal Control Advisory committee, said.
However, she said, Major’s health has improved.
Babcock said it was apparent that Major was abandoned in poor condition, because his toe nails were long, indicating that he hadn’t just been wandering in the desert and collapsed.
“Someone placed him there to die,” she said, “There is no excuse on earth to dump him on the side of the road like that. If he was sick and there was a problem with money, they could have taken him to the shelter.”
Cisneros said situations like Major’s occur all the time in Valencia County. “It’s criminal what happens to these animals,” she said.
Cisneros said the problem could be helped by minimizing the amount of illegal animal breeding in the county.
“The animals end up with people who don’t care about them, and then things like this happen,” she said.
The proposed animal ordinance for Valencia County would include measures to help solve the problem, Cisneros said. She also said most breeders in the county are in violation of the current ordinance.
Major will stay at the pet hospital for about another week and then will go to a foster home with Marion Frazier and Pat Ross of Peralta until a permanent home is found for him.
Frazier and Ross are offering a $100 reward for any information leading to the conviction and arrest of the person(s) responsible for Major’s condition and abandonment.
Any donations to help with the dog’s care may be sent to “Major Abuse” in care of Quixote Humane, Inc., P.O. Box 1285, Peralta, NM, 87042, or may be deposited into the Quixote Humane, Inc., account at Wells Fargo Bank in Bosque Farms. Donations are tax deductible.