|Monday, 06 June 2011 00:00|
Animal Services Seeks Owners of Two Different Pugs
"Harley" is From Cherry Valley/Beaumont; "Hogie" Lived in Desert Hot Springs
June 3, 2011 – It's a tale of two pugs.
One pug survived a serious accident while riding in a truck in the Cherry Valley/Beaumont area. The other pug, recovered from Desert Hot Springs, was likely abandoned, left behind at yet another empty home in Riverside County. Here are the stories:
The story of "Harley"
A Riverside County Animal Services officer responded to a call from a good Samaritan who discovered a stray pug in Cherry Valley area on (May 10). Sgt. Lesley Huennekens retrieved the pug. Animal Services officials said they believe the pug may have been missing from a family for about four months.
The male dog was apparently riding in a truck driven by Darrin James Hammer, 44, on May 9. Mr. Hammer was arrested that night after he was suspected of causing a major accident on Bellflower Avenue in Cherry Valley. Mr. Hammer is now in Riverside County sheriff's custody facing allegations that he was driving under the influence.
Mr. Hammer is suspected of running a stop sign and causing another driver in a truck to crash and flip. When the accident happened, the pug likely bolted from Mr. Hammer's truck.
A family member tried to retrieve the pug on behalf of Mr. Hammer. But Animal Services officials have reason to suspect that Mr. Hammer may have found the pug as a stray in the Cherry Valley-Beaumont area and might have ignored "Lost Pug" signs in the neighborhood. The dog answers to "Harley." Anyone who finds a stray dog should take the pet to their nearest animal shelter – the location where a family would likely search for their lost pet.
Animal Services is appealing to the news media to put the word out about this pug, approximately 2 years old, so the dog can be reunited with his original family. It is very likely that Harley's true family gave up hope – and would not expect him to be in Riverside. The family will need to show some proof of ownership.
Betsey Webster, a deputy director with Riverside County Animal Services, is currently fostering Harley at her home. She said he is doing very well and is a very friendly little guy.
The Story of "Hogie"
Late Saturday night (May 28), a resident on Flora Avenue in Desert Hot Springs called Riverside County Animal Services to pick up what appeared to be an injured pug.
Officer James Huffman retrieved the pug and immediately knew the little guy needed to be taken to Valley Animal Hospital in Indio. The dog's right eye appeared injured and his body had what appeared to be bite wounds. Riverside County Animal Services contracts with the Indio-based emergency clinic to care for strays that need urgent care.
Staff members at Valley Animal Hospital stabilized the pug and kept him under observation. Animal Services Officer Hector Palafox retrieved him on Wednesday after getting the green light that it was safe to transport him to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms.
But the pug's right eye remained a concern and would likely need to be removed. Riverside County Chief Veterinarian Dr. Allan Drusys reached out to Animal Samaritans' Executive Director Fred Saunders and asked if the nonprofit organization would be willing to perform the surgery at no cost. Saunders agreed and the surgery was performed Thursday afternoon by Dr. Rolland Regnery.
"He's healing just fine," said Mr. Saunders, who is going to pay part of the surgery cost himself. "He's comfortable. It was a successful surgery. He's resting very nicely and is in good health."
The pug, about 8 years old, has a microchip. But multiple calls to the phone number connected to the chip have resulted in a dead end. Later last Saturday night, Officer Huffman returned to Desert Hot Springs. He knocked on the door of the last-known address of the pug's owner, but no one was home. Officer Huffman went back during the day and the home on Beech Avenue appears to be abandoned.
"There was nothing inside," Huffman said. "From what I could see, the place didn't have any furniture."
The pug, whose name according to the microchip information is "Hogie," headed back to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus on this morning (Friday, June 3). "The surgeon did a great job," Veterinary Technician Jo Marie Upegui said. "And he's such a wonderful dog. Very sweet! All he needs now is love – and we're giving him lots of that."
Nonetheless, a letter was sent to the home in the event the previous resident is having his mail forwarded to a new address. Since the pug has a known owner, Riverside County Animal Services must keep the pug for an extended hold period. It is not available for adoption until June 14.
UPDATE: Riverside County Animal Services is reuniting Harley the pug (Harley is the tan pug) with a Beaumont family this afternoon at about 3:40 p.m. today (Wednesday, July 8).