Portsmouth Patrol Officer Caleb McQuaide talked about his recent experience rescuing a pair of abandoned puppies for his first animal neglect call.
McQuaide responded to a call about two female puppies that were apparently abandoned on the side of the road on Thanksgiving Day.
In an email to the Newport Daily News, McQuaide said that he found the two dogs huddled together emaciated and “lethargic,” and in very poor condition.
When he reached his hand out, their tails began to faintly wag. The two dogs, which McQuaide named Turkey and Gravy, began to liven up when they were transported in the officer’s warm patrol cruiser.
“Once (Turkey) and (Gravy) entered my patrol vehicle, and felt the heat from the vehicle they quickly became more active and attempted to become playful,” McQuaide wrote.
The puppies were immediately transported to Mass-RI Veterinary ER in Swansea, Massachusetts. Unfortunately, due to severe medical problems, Turkey had to be euthanized.
Gravy is on the mend, and is getting stronger under the care and support of the Middletown nonprofit organization the Potter League for Animals.
According to the nonprofit’s marketing director Kara Montalbano, Gravy is on a special diet and is steadily gaining weight.
Montalbano said that Gravy, described as a mixed breed by the nonprofit’s veterinarian and estimated to be around 1 year old, “is on a special diet to help her gain weight safely and slowly as to not overwhelm her tiny body. When she arrived at the emergency veterinary hospital she was 16 pounds She is up to 19.8 pounds.”
The Potter League hopes that they will be able to put Gravy up for adoption in a matter of weeks.
In the meantime, the nonprofit issued a $5,000 reward – which has since increased to $15,500 from multiple anonymous donors – for information that will lead to the identification and arrest of those responsible for neglecting and abandoning the dogs.
McQuaide said that the call was his first encounter with animal neglect in his career.
“This was personally my first animal neglect call in my career. It was the most rewarding feeling seeing the way the pups reacted to some belly rubs and some heat and getting the care they needed,” the officer said.