GOUVERNEUR — Things are looking up for the elderly beagle that was seen being abandoned in LeRay earlier this month.
She has tested positive for Lyme disease and has some issues with her ears, but she’ll likely be in a new home in a week or so.
Also, she has a name.
“Jessie is a very nice dog,” said Clover J. Forsythe, chairwoman of Friends 4 Pounds Paws Inc., a Gouverneur-based nonprofit rescue operation for dogs and cats. “I’m sure she will get an amazing home.”
The beagle, at least eight years old, made its way to Friends 4 Pound Paws on Monday after spending five days at Rossie-Gouverneur Area Dog Pound, which has a contract with the town of LeRay. The dog then spent a few days at Northland Veterinary Clinic in Gouverneur.
On June 4, Kelly Flanagan Hall looked out her window on Route 283 in the town of LeRay, about 2 miles out of Watertown. She saw the beagle being shoved out of a silver truck, traveling away from the city, toward the direction of Fort Drum. She rushed out to rescue the confused animal and called State Police. Jessie was then taken to the dog pound.
After her stint at the pound, Jessie was taken to the veterinary clinic, where it was discovered she had an identification chip embedded under her fur, allowing rescuers to discover her name and her original owner. The information, Ms. Forsythe said, was given to State Police.
But based on her experience, Ms. Forsythe said the name of the owner associated with the chip may not be the last person who had the dog, and in Jessie’s case, who dropped her off.
“Quite often, when people give away dogs and re-home them, they don’t change the chip and don’t transfer it,” Ms. Forsythe said. “We don’t really know what the story is on that yet. We’re just kind of waiting to hear back.”
Discovering the person who dropped the dog off, described as driving a small, silver-colored truck, could be like “looking for a needle in a haystack,” she said.
“The dog could have been given away a few times over the years,” Ms. Forsythe said. “She’s such a nice dog. I don’t know why they would do that.”
Friends 4 Pound Paws technically now owns Jessie, Ms. Forsythe said.
“Legally, once a dog is transferred out of a pound to whoever, whether it’s to a shelter or another rescue organization, that organization owns the dog at that point,” Ms. Forsythe said. “The state of New York law clearly states you have five days to claim your dog if it’s picked up or taken to a pound. “
Whenever Friends 4 Pounds Paws pulls a dog from a dog pound, the first stop is to a veterinarian. That’s where Jessie was found to be fighting Lyme disease and the ear issue. When rescued, Jessie was thought to have a hip issue because of a slight limp.
“That’s probably associated with Lyme disease because it can affect the joints,’ Ms. Forsythe said. “But she doesn’t seem to have any kind of a limp. She’s slow moving. She’s not going to run any races, but she’s a very nice dog. She just wants to be with people.”
Her ear issue, small growths in both organs, is common for beagles, Ms. Forsythe said. Jessie’s surgery for that is tentatively scheduled for next week.
“There’s so many growths in there, there’s no air circulation,” Ms. Forsythe said. “Once they get those out of there, she’ll certainly hear better and it’ll keep the ears from getting infected.”
A few days after her surgery, Jessie will be able to go to her new home.
“I do have a couple of families who would like her,” Ms. Forsythe said. “We do our screenings to see if either one of those homes will be appropriate. Surprisingly, there are people out there who don’t mind giving a senior dog a home and they’d rather have a senior dog.”
When informed of that, Jessie’s rescuer, Ms. Flanagan Hall said, “That’s awesome. I didn’t think it’d turn out that good, honestly. It makes me so happy.”
Friends 4 Pound Paws is an all-volunteer organization that relies on fundraising and donations. Ms. Forsythe, a “founding mother” of the organization founded in 2011, said it’s been a busy spring for them.
“We had 28 dog and puppy adoptions that all came into the shelter the first part of April, which is a lot for us,” she said.
But she added, “Over the past few months, ever since this COVID virus thing came, we’ve had a huge amount of donations from the community. It’s enabled us to do what we do.”