Olive, who arrived in the shelter weighing 35 pounds, is now 52 pounds and on the mend.
Olive, who arrived in the shelter weighing 35 pounds, is now 52 pounds and on the mend. Submitted | The Outlook

Archived Story

Two shelter dogs thankful to be alive

Published 6:00am Friday, November 29, 2013

Two shelter dogs that have come into the spotlight in the past several months are continuing their roads to recovery, according to Mia Chandler, manager of Lake Martin Animal Shelter.

A golden retriever mix named Highway, whose story first appeared in The Outlook in late August, has had a rocky road since his initial surgeries to repair a severe break to his back leg, which appeared to be the result of being struck by a vehicle.

Dr. Angie Gavin Smith was able to repair the leg initially, but Chandler reported Highway rebroke the leg shortly after the pins were removed.

“Unfortunately, we had to amputate the leg,” Chandler said. “After the pin removal … he shattered (his leg) to where we couldn’t repair it again. But he’s great with his three limbs.”

Chandler jokingly described Highway as “a mess” and “happy-go-lucky,” and shelter workers are in the process of training him to follow commands such as “sit.”

“If anybody spends a couple of minutes with him, they will absolutely fall in love with him,” Chandler said.

The shelter has also nursed the mixed-breed dog Olive back to health after she was brought to the shelter severely malnourished and emaciated – Olive weighed only 35 pounds initially for a dog whose healthy weight should have been closer to 60 pounds.

Olive now weighs 52 pounds, and Chandler said Olive’s “personality is completely different” after spending several weeks in a loving environment.

“She was such a passive creature when she arrived, and she’s very animated now, as well as very vocal,” Chandler said.

Olive is still fighting what Chandler described as a “strong heartworm positive” condition and is in pre-treatment to get the condition under control.

“She does do leash walks … but she goes on restricted walks,” Chandler said. “We don’t want her heart rate to get elevated and create an even worse problem. She gets to have grass in her paws and stretch her legs out, but she doesn’t get to do a half-hour walk or a full-on sprint.”

Olive is also receiving basic obedience training.

Chandler said when Olive’s story was initially publicized at the end of October, she received “an immense outpouring of financial support and prayers as well as well-wishes for Olive.”

Though their plan is to get Olive’s heartworm condition under control before she is eligible for adoption, Chandler said she hoped those looking to give a dog a forever home will stop by the shelter to check out Highway, Olive and the other dogs available there.

“I’ve discovered sometimes you have to wait – but it’s worth it because then you see the homes (those adopted animals) go into. It gives you peace of mind to know they’re going to have the most amazing remainder of their lives,” Chandler said. “I want them to have an extra spoiled life.”

To stop by and meet Olive, Highway, or any of the other potential pets, visit the shelter at 2502 Sugar Creek Road in Alexander City, near T.C. Russell Airport. Shelter hours are Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-4:30 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-noon.

You can also contact the shelter through their Facebook page (Lake Martin Animal Shelter) or by calling (256) 234-5533.

You can also check out photo’s from the shelter on its Instagram page (instagram.com/lakemartinanimalshelter).