Slicer's survival: Kennett, Mo., boy rescues puppy with help of community

Thursday, January 10, 2013

KENNETT, Mo.-- Quick thinking by a young boy from Southeast Missouri turned into a second chance for Slicer.

Slicer is a female Great Pyrenees puppy that was rescued by a Kennett boy, Hayden Sando. Sando's actions, along with the efforts of community volunteers and staff of Secondhand Snoots Rescue, an animal rescue group out of Gurnee, Ill., mean the puppy will recover and be placed in a home after being hit by a car and having a dehabilitating condition.

Tena Petix, a humane officer for Kennett, said Sando was on his way to Slicer Street Church of Christ when he noticed a young dog on the side of the road that had been hit by a car. Thinking quickly, Sando went inside the church and informed Officer Marc Blankenship, a member of his church and DARE officer in the city, of the situation. Blankenship contacted Petix regarding the animal.

"We immediately came out," Petix said. "She'd been hit by a car and she had two fractures to the leg which at the time we didn't realize, we thought the problem was just the breaks. She was taken to Dr. [Billy] Embry [veterinarian with Ken-Mo Veterinary Clinic] here in Kennett. You could tell that she was healing from that, [but] we noticed something just wasn't right."

The dog was later determined to have been born with no kneecaps.

A search for a rescue for handicapped dogs was launched. A rescue in Illinois was found through social media and through the efforts of a local volunteer, Kayla Gozzell, while Slicer stayed with a local family for several months. A news story about Slicer weny viral, and donations to help Slicer flowed to the Kennett Humane Department from as far as the Virgin Islands, Canada and Oregon.

President and co-Founder of Secondhand Snoots Rescue, Erica Brown, said efforts from many places contributed to saving Slicer.

"It's been not one person but it's been everybody, starting with Hayden and all of it," she said.

Hayden Sando's family donated money for a health certificate that allowed Slicer to be transported over state lines to the rescue. At the rescue, Slicer will undergo water therapy and other exercises to strengthen her muscles at a facility outfitted for canine rehabilitation. A wheelchair cart may also be fitted to the dog after further evaluation by a veterinarian, according to Brown. Surgery, which can be expensive and would leave the dog unable to walk because of weakness, is not an option, Brown said.

The rescue will look for a permanent home for Slicer as she goes through therapy. If one is found before the therapy is completed, the rescue will continue to support the dog's needs, Brown said.

Sando, his family, the local foster family for Slicer, Jade and George Anderson, and other volunteers who helped save Slicer bid goodbye to her Monday before she was taken to Illinois.

The rescue is still seeking donations for Slicer's benefit. Donations may be sent to P.O. Box 7798, Gurnee, Ill., 60031.

The Kennett Humane Shelter is also seeking donations for support of animal welfare. Donations can be sent to 200 East Second Street, Kennett, Mo., 63857.

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