Oscar found his new home in Washington, D.C.
by Annette Birch
Oscar Mayer seemed perfectly at home in the two-story apartment in Washington, D.C. The one-year-old black and brown beagle mix wagged his tail and kept his balance with his paws on his owner’s lap.
Just a week earlier, the puppy with the sad black eyes had been shot in the leg and abandoned in a North Carolina cornfield. An animal shelter found him and City Dogs Rescue, a volunteer dog adoption agency, helped place Oscar Mayer in his new home with Megan Howell.
City Dogs Rescue saved Mayer like it has saved more than 150 dogs since September 2011 from being euthanized at a high-kill center. Unfortunately, Mayer’s story is not uncommon. The American Humane Society, a not for profit animal adoption and advocacy organization, stated that 60 percent of dogs in animal shelters nationwide were put down in 2012. Mayer, however, was in luck. Howell, 24, who like Mayer is from North Carolina and already has another rescue dog, asked to foster him and now wants to adopt him before he arrived in Washington, D.C.
“What stood out was his story and that he was still so trusting after all he had been through,” Howell said as she petted Mayer. “He came right up to me and my boyfriend. He wasn’t afraid at all.”
Mayer was shot in the leg and abandoned in Bladen County. Donna Tailor, an animal controller at Bladen County Animal Shelter, found the little beagle mix in a corn field. He walked right up to her, but he would not let her touch him, so she lured him with Oscar Mayer bologna, which is how he got his name.
Tailor could see that Mayer needed medical attention, but the animal shelter cannot afford the treatment required to save wounded animals like Mayer. She called A Shelter Friend, a not for profit organization, which raises money for abandoned animals in need. The organization offered to raise money for Mayer’s medical expenses. Fortunately, the bullet had gone in and out without breaking the bone, but he could have died from secondary infection, if he had not been treated in time.
For the next couple of days, Mayer stayed at the shelter with 37 other dogs and 17 cats, all in individual cages of 4 x 6 feet or 6 x 6 feet. Mayer did not seek company, nor did he bark much, but he would wag his tail when he saw someone he knew or walked past the other dogs at the shelter.
Standing with his paws on Howell’s lap, Mayer did not seem affected by the wound which was now hardly noticeable on his left front-leg. His new sister, Stella, an 18-month-old black Labrador mix with a white chest patch and an adopted rescue dog herself, sat nearby and made sure Mayer did not get all the attention.
“I just cannot imagine him not being here,” Howell said looking at Mayer who wagged his tail and licked her hand.