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Help Fund Walt Whitman the Senior Foster Hound's Recovery from Abuse + Neglect!
$2,441 raised
81% of $3k goal
37 contributors
0 days left
Ended Feb 1, 2019


We are Kelly and Noah, two people who appreciate how profoundly life-changing the bond between humans and canine companion animals can be. A few weeks ago, we saw a photo of a senior hound that tugged at our heartstrings. His owner-- apparently a hunter who'd tied his dog out and starved him-- decided he was tired of looking at the poor animal he'd neglected and abused for so many years. So he dumped him over the fence into the exercise yard at a totally full high-kill shelter. The dog reminded us of our 16-year-old hound who had passed away in September; out of all the sad stories of discarded animals we hear every day-- we couldn't stop thinking about this one.

When we heard his day to be put down was fast approaching, we drove 5 hours round trip to pick him up. As he had not been vetted, we did not know what to expect but prepared ourselves for the worst. The animal control staff did not neuter or even vaccinate him because they saw it as a waste of time; they were going to euthanize him without a second thought. So he got his rabies shot as he was headed out the door!



We contacted over two dozen rescues from Florida to New York (and even Minnesota!), posted multiple listings on various rescue sites, and attempted to find a more suitable foster, forever home, or sponsorship through a rescue agency. This time of year is horrible for homeless animals-- and everyone is at capacity. UPDATE: we are thrilled that Independent Animal Rescue of Durham has sponsored Walt and approved us as his fosters!

Walt's poor treatment by his previous owner left him with the temporary discomforts you'd expect from neglect: a faint heartworm positive diagnosis, intestinal parasites, fleas and ticks, severe dehydration, emaciation, painfully overgrown nails, a bad ear infection, a mouth full of rotten teeth-- one of which is falling out by the root, and a long overdue neutering surgery. UPDATE: All of these issues have been treated and resolved. He tested heartworm negative by both 4-way SNAP and x-ray as of 1/3/19. His remaining health issues are kidney stones and Ehrlichia and Lyme Disease.

In terms of abuse, he has rope burns around his neck, and his canine teeth have been cut cleanly down to half their length. He was not housetrained or leash-trained, but is now mostly housebroken and loves to go on walks every day. Although he was completely deaf when he first arrived at our house, his hearing is slowly improving!

Anything you can give to support Walt on his road to health will help! We want him to find his happiest forever home-- and know that a clean bill of health will open those doors in a way that nothing else can.



Your donation help with:

$2000 of paid expenses:

  • $520 for Vet Visit #1: cytology, fecal testing, much-needed nail trim, heartworm test, Ketoseb and Posatex for a very bad ear infection, doxycycline, flea and tick treatment, Drontal, Panacur, heartworm preventive, and bloodwork.
  • $700 for ER visit to treat extreme dehydration and dangerously high blood pressure. He received fluids overnight, an extensive bloodwork panel (unremarkable), blood pressure and heart monitoring, anti-nausea injection, and anti-nausea meds to take home.
  • $100 Food
  • $80 for Weekly Baths to treat fleas and ticks, dry itchy skin, yeast. We tried bathing him at home and he was extremely nervous. He does better (and is safer) at the groomer. 
  • $130 Bedding and Crate
  • $115 Housebreaking and Cleaning Supplies
  • $80 Medical/Supplies
  • $60 Anti-Anxiety
    • $20 Pheromone Diffuser
    • $40 Anti-Anxiety Heartbeat snuggle puppy (This is his favorite thing. We think, being deaf, he really likes the heartbeat vibration. He even carries it with him when he moves from his crate to his cot).
  • $45 Leash, collar, jacket (he wears this all the time because he is skin and bones and therefore gets cold very easily)
  • $100 Shelter
    • $30 for one month of electricity for the space heater. Because we have to keep him separate from our other dog, and he is out in the insulated shed, we have a space heater running 24/7 for him.
    • $70 Home Depot (lumber, gravel, screws to build a ramp and create an easily walkable surface for him, staples, plastic sheeting to increase heat efficiency in his "apartment")

Continued expenses not covered by IAR



Even on the day we first met him, when he was bedraggled, bewildered, and defeated, Walt's tail was gently wagging. As we've gotten to know him better we see that, like his namesake, Walt Whitman contains multitudes. All of them are equally endearing. He is content with-- and seems to be in awe of-- the simple pleasures of life: a good sun-soaking session on the porch, a clean bowl of water, a safe crate with a soft bed to call his own, a place to curl up next to you for head rubs on the sofa… He hops the sweetest little hop when the cupboard opens for mealtime or the leash comes off the hook for his afternoon walk. We’ve never once heard him bark or whine. The loudest noise he makes is a barely audible, totally charming grumble that comes out when he’s tolerating baths and nail trims like the resilient champ he is. Walt’s energy is low-to-medium, topping out in short bursts of senior play, on brisk walks, or exploring our fenced-in yard with his impressive coonhound nose. Walt offers all-embracing love and friendship to everyone who crosses his path-- from humans young and old to other dogs.  Walt isn't just a dog; he's a golden ray of light who we think would agree with the poet Walt Whitman’s advice to “Keep your face always toward the sunshine.” 


With your help, we are optimistic that Walt Whitman can get a new leash on life! Thanks for seeing the same remarkable depth of soul in him that we do. Each day, Walt finds a little more pep in his step, which is very heartening. He's such a sweet, loving, and special guy.   It's something of a miracle really, and a reminder that we have so much to learn from and give back to special dogs like Walt Whitman.

If you can't donate money, please share this fundraiser with your network of animal lovers-- and spread the word that Walt Whitman is looking for his forever home. More photos and the link for prospective adopters will be available shortly. Stay tuned!

Thank you,

Kelly and Noah on behalf of Walt Whitman

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