Dog gone, taken in by local rescue

Cris Ritchie — Editor

September 23, 2013

HAZARD – A dog that for weeks roamed the parking lot in front of the Hazard Food City was finally captured this past weekend and taken in by a local rescue.

The dog was emaciated when it turned up near the business several weeks ago, noted Dr. William Hagans, a veterinarian with the nearby Appalachian Animal Hospital on Morton Blvd. That’s when several people apparently became enamoured with the animal, and it gradually began to gain weight over the course of a few weeks as people began leaving food in the parking lot. Despite the attention, it remained wary and attempts to capture the dog failed.

That luck turned this past weekend, Hagans noted, as the dog was finally coaxed into a kennel set up onsite. It was captured without injury on Saturday.

“It’s very skittish and smart and hesitant to do anything,” Hagans said. “Whenever we actually started trying to catch it, we were using live taps, which are very small. It would never go in and it would walk around it. We fed it within the kennel and eventually it started eating out of it, and we were able close the gate.”

Hagans said dozens of people over the past several weeks had voiced interest in adopting the dog if it were captured. He estimates it to be two years old and in decent health, but said he would have a better idea once he examines it.

The dog is currently under the care of the local rescue, which in turn will provide the necessary veterinary care along with some training to acclimate it with people before it can be put up for adoption.

“Right now it’s totally anti-social,” Hagans explained. “It will come up to you, but it will not let you handle it. At that point, it does get aggressive. I think with some training and everything, that this dog will be able to pull out. It’s just scared.”

The dog had been labeled by some as a nuisance, and the Hazard Police Department did receive a complaint a couple of days before it was captured that the animal had become aggressive toward a child, prompting officers to respond to the scene.