VENICE, LA – When swamp dogs Boots and Hardhead Catfish were unintentionally abandoned because their owner developed a medical issue, locals and frequent visitors at the fishing camp where they lived banded together to feed them until a permanent solution for their care could be established.
“This camp is very remote and doesn’t provide many options for these dogs,” said Jill Jensen, a long-time Plaquemines Parish animal rescue volunteer. “They’ve been on their own since early June, their health was at risk, their skin was raw from horsefly bites and they were running out of time,” added Jensen. With a sense of urgency, Jensen reached out to PAWS to provide new options.
The biggest challenge to getting them the care they needed was a list of firsts and how they would respond to them. With the camp a few miles from Venice and only accessible by boat, the list of every day things these dogs had never encountered was long and included leashes, travel kennels and a car ride. Under the stress of the adventure, how they would respond to these new experiences was anyone’s guess.
After weeks of getting them used to being on a leash and going into a kennel, the next step was getting them to PAWS. With the help of a camp resident, Boots and Hardhead boarded a small boat for the 30-minute ride to Cypress Cove Marina in Venice, LA. “When the boat pulled into the cove, I was overjoyed to see them standing, like figureheads, on the front,” said Jensen. “This first leg of their journey up river was uneventful and a sign of things to come,” Jensen added.
These big, friendly boys handled the kennels, the car ride, the clinic and the rest of their adventure that day like old pros. “Their exceptional behavior under stress to new experiences creates tremendous opportunities for these dogs,” says Thaddeus Sunmoni, PAWS Executive Director. “They are young, friendly and adapt to new environments extremely well. The next step is finding them new homes.”
The two-year old Lab/Shar Pei/Mastiff mix brothers have been together since birth. They are housebroken and will likely need some training to acclimate them to new surroundings. Boots is brindle with white socks and recently tested heartworm negative. Hardhead is tan; heartworm positive and PAWS will cover his treatment. Both are fixed, up-to-date on vaccinations and available for adoption.
For more information about fostering or adopting the swamp dogs, Boots and Hardhead, please contact PAWS at 504-392-1601 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.