“He is happy as can be and bouncing around as though nothing ever happened,” said Ivins City Animal Shelter Director and Animal Control Officer Aggie Smith explaining that working with the rescue animal, fondly dubbed Sarge, has been a delight.
She doesn’t typically respond to rescue calls so far outside of their jurisdiction, Smith said, but the Washington County Sheriff’s Department doesn’t have a shelter of their own which makes it difficult for them to manage injured animals.
According to a press release from the Washington County Sheriff’s department, when Sarge was found he was wandering down the center line of the highway and had a visible open wound on the right side of his body near his stomach.
Washington County Sargent Kurt Bowen said that after he observed the injury he called the animal over to inspect the wound and noticed another one on Sarge’s left side near the tail. At first, it appeared as though it was possibly a gunshot wound, but surgery later confirmed the cause was a long, slender object, like an arrow.
Smith said that she prepared for every possible scenario before leaving to pick Sarge up, because she didn’t know what to expect, but when she arrived on the scene she was surprised by what she found.
“I had all of my equipment with me that I’d need for triaging the dog,” she said. “But when I pulled up the Sargent had his vehicle blocking traffic from the road, he had triaged him, and the dog was drinking water out of a bottle and just wagging his tail.”
Smith said that Sarge had lost a lot of blood as a result of “whatever had happened to him,” and she was concerned about the stomach wound that had been bandaged, because at the time they were concerned it may have been his intestines.
Thankfully, Smith said, she was able to gain approval from Friends of Ivins Animal Shelter Director Linda Elwell to rescue Sarge in the first place. Without that permission, she said none of Sarge’s veterinary care costs would have been covered.
Elwell said FOIAS had to guarantee that all of Sarge’s medical expenses would be covered to Red Hills Animal Hospital, 658 S. 1100 East, St. George before they would take the animal. This is sometimes a difficult guarantee to make when there is no way of knowing how much those expenses may be, or if the animal will even make it, but as often as she can, she will make the promise.
“We also know our community very well,” Elwell said. “And we have helped animals in the past so I knew that there was a caring out there, and I knew that I could ask for donations and that caring people would step up to the plate.”
Even with her positive perspective, Elwell said she admits she is a little concerned with the cost of this bill in particular, because it was a big one.
“The total amount came to $1,742,” she said. “But it was extensive surgery, and now he’s doing fine, and he’s just a sweetheart of a dog.”
Elwell said that FOIAS board and volunteers are committed to helping the Ivins City Animal Shelter maintain their status as a no kill shelter, and they do this in a variety of ways. In addition to fund raising, she said FOIAS is responsible for all medical health care, advertising, adoption promotions, and basically anything that would be connected with the no kill requirements for the Ivins City Animal Shelter.
“After a certain amount of days we become totally responsible for the animals,” she said. “But they are housed at The Ivins animal shelter and adoption center.”
The Ivins City Animal Shelter is open Mon. - Sat. from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
More information about the shelter is available at petfinder.com/shelters/UT74.html
Donations are accepted for the Friends of Ivins Animal Shelter at 661 E. 425 South, Ivins, Utah 84738, or can be taken directly to the Ivins City Animal Shelter, 474 N. 200 West, Ivins, Utah.
If donations made were meant to go specifically to Sarge, Elwell said to please specify that when making the donation.