December 9, 2008
'Frozen' dog making a recovery
Pet's status on hold; owner faces ordinance violation
By JOSH LINTEREUR
Gannett Wisconsin Media
SHEBOYGAN — The future home of an elderly dog found frozen to the sidewalk last week after its owner left it outside overnight won't be determined until late December when the owner appears in court, Humane Society officials said Monday.
The dog, a male 11- to 12-year-old border collie mix named Jiffy, doesn't appear to have suffered any lasting injuries from the incident and is recovering at the Sheboygan County Humane Society shelter.
The owner was issued an ordinance violation for animal neglect, and is scheduled for a Dec. 22 court appearance, according to the Sheboygan County District Attorney's Office. A criminal charge of misdemeanor animal neglect may be filed at that time.
The owner is accused of leaving the dog outside as temperatures plunged to the single digits Wednesday night into Thursday morning. She told police she tried to get the dog inside but was unable to, and instead checked on the dog every few hours, police said. The temperature dipped to 6 degrees overnight, according to the National Weather Service.
The woman would have to voluntarily surrender custody of the dog, or be ordered to do so by a judge in order for it to be put up for adoption, Shelter Manager Carey Payne said. Jiffy will remain with the Humane Society until a decision is made.
Payne said the dog can barely walk and is unable to stand up unassisted, but a veterinarian has concluded that the "morbidly obese" dog's mobility issues are a result of its weight, rather than prolonged exposure to extreme cold.
Officials have said that few dogs could survive a night outdoors at single-digit temperatures. However, the dog weighs 116 pounds — or roughly three times what it should — and it likely stayed alive due to layers of fat.
The dog has no signs of frostbite.
Jiffy was hardly able to move at all when first brought to the shelter on Thursday morning.
The dog was freed by Payne and two other Humane Society employees, who poured warm water over his back end.
"We're trying to get him up and walking a bit," Payne said. "But other than that, he's still the same."
The humane society has received more than 100 e-mails and phone calls from people as far away as Spain, who've offered to adopt Jiffy, according to Payne.
Payne said the shelter has incurred a high amount of medical costs in caring for the dog, and she's encouraging people who want to help to make a donation to the Sheboygan County Humane Society.
Despite everything that Jiffy has been through, the dog remains charming as can be, according to Payne.
"He is so sweet," Payne said. "There's not a mean bone in this dog's body."
Consider writing a letter or making a call on behalf of this dog. He absolutely should not be returned to this owner.
Sheboygan County District Attorney
Courthouse - 1st Floor - North
615 N 6th ST
Sheboygan, WI 53081
PHONE: (920) 459-3040
FAX:: (920) 459-4383
Sheboygan County Humane Society
3107 North 20th Street
Sheboygan, WI 53083
Phone: (920) 458-2012