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  • Writer's pictureDotty Ann Harding

In A Moment, My Life Changed….The Story Of Brindle.

I wish I could have told you my name, but it has been so very long since someone called me to them that now I have forgotten.

No one thought so much for me as to buy me a collar or walk beside them on a leash. So I was, abandoned, unwanted, and left to suffer the weather without shelter, warmth, love, or food. For being barely over twelve months old, I rarely felt the human touch of love, a whole bowl of food, or a place I could call home with those who loved me.

An unmonitored metal trap left out for animals to happen upon is genuinely an act of cruelty. I was running with my brother and mother in the woods of Jacksonville when the cold hard snap of the trap crushed my foot, and the prongs cut deep into my bones. Screaming and crying out with no one to hear or help, I was left to whimper in pain for days, dragging the trap with me, exposed to the cold wind and rain without protection.

I somehow found my way into Susan's yard, where her brother-in-law could remove the trap, but my foot was seriously infected after five days had lapsed without treatment. Susan, desperate to find help, called several places, but no support, only referrals to call someone else.

She finally sat in her car outside the Onslow Shelter, crying and knowing this would be the only humane option since no other help was available. She then called OCPAW (Onslow County Partners for Animal Welfare), who contacted the office manager of Onslow Animal Hospital on Doris Ave. She asked Dr. Sheegog if he could help us. They then told Susan to bring Brindle in; by 3 pm, she was in surgery on a Friday afternoon. Again, this Jacksonville veterinarian and staff gave tremendous compassion and assistance to a complex and emotional situation.

However, a week later, Brindle passed away on the operating table during her second surgery when attempts to resuscitate her failed. There were many tears shed for this sweet pup whose life was cut short, but we were grateful to be able to help her with comfort, love, and pain relief during her short time with us.

Two hours after her death, I received a call from a woman in Wilmington who heard Brindle's story and wanted to adopt her. Everyone in contact with Brindle commented on what a sweet, gentle dog she was. So Brindle briefly found her loving home, but perhaps her tragic death will increase awareness of responsible dog ownership and the needed care to provide our companion animals with health and safety.

So what contributed to Brindle's death?

· No collar or microchip to contact the owner.

· Permitted to roam free without restraint or supervision.

· Someone decided to take measures into their own hands by setting an unlawful, unmonitored, unidentified trap on public lands. Who was the trap intended for? We live in an area filled with various wildlife that we can cohabitate with if we remain mindful and understand some of the species surrounding us and the various laws protecting them.

Brindle was, unfortunately, the one who stepped on the trap, but it could have also been a child running through that field.

Thank you, Susan, for being her foster mom, who still has Brindle's footprints on her heart. Dr. Sheegog of Onslow Animal Hospital in Jacksonville and supporters of OCPAW (Onslow County Partners for Animal Welfare)

If you are concerned about coyotes on or near your property, contact a Wildlife Damage Control Agent.

Harris, Michael-Onslow-Sneads Ferry 910 265 0918

Helms, Kelly-Onslow-Sneads Ferry 9105810213

Several Coyote Sightings in our Neighborhood

Notice from our local HOA Please follow the guidelines below from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission to help keep our community safe.

· Secure garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids and take them out in the morning of pick up, not the night before. Coyotes and other wildlife will scavenge trash when it is available to them.

· Don't feed or try to pet coyotes. Feeding a coyote rewards that animal for coming in close proximity to people. Once a coyote becomes habituated, it loses its natural wariness of people and may become bold or aggressive.

· Protect your pets by keeping them inside, leashed or inside a fenced area.

· Install coyote-proof fencing around your home to protect unsupervised pets. Fencing should be at least 6 feet tall and provide a full barrier along the ground that prevents animals from digging under.

· Feed pets indoors or remove uneaten food and bowls when your pet is finished eating. Coyotes and other wildlife are attracted to pet food left outdoors.

· Keep bird-feeder areas clean. Use bird feeders that keep seeds off the ground. Coyotes are attracted to the small animals that congregate to eat seed and will sometimes eat the bird seed directly. If coyotes are frequently seen in the area, remove all feeders.

· Close off crawl spaces under sheds and porches. Coyotes and other wildlife may use these spaces for resting and raising young.

· Cut back brushy edges in your yard, which provide cover for coyotes.

· Don't be intimidated by a coyote. Maintain the natural wariness of people by throwing a small object, such as a tennis ball, toward it, making loud noises, or spraying it with a water hose. Let coyotes know they are unwelcome near your home.

· Clear fallen fruit from around fruit trees. Coyotes are omnivorous and regularly consume fruit as part of their diet.

· Work with your neighbors to co-exist with coyotes together. Your efforts to prevent coyote conflicts will be less effective if neighbors still provide coyotes with food and shelter.

If you are concerned about coyotes on or near your property, contact a Wildlife Damage Control Agent.

Harris, Michael-Onslow-Sneads Ferry 910 265 0918

Helms, Kelly-Onslow-Sneads Ferry 9105810213


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