VICTORVILLE, CALIFORNIA – Victorville is a city located in the High Desert at the southwestern edge of the Mojave Desert. Unfortunately, the desert area surrounding Victorville has become the dumping grounds for many unwanted pets. The desert is an unforgiving environment for any animal. Without intervention, it is an agonizing death sentence for a domesticated animal.
A dog - since been named Gentle Ben by his rescuers - has become one of its latest victims. As it turns out, it was a family's little Chihuahua who became Gentle Ben's savior. The fiercely protective Chihuahua was “throwing a fit” along the fence-line of his family’s property. The Chihuahua’s guardians went to investigate what was upsetting their little Chihuahua. What they discovered was heart-wrenching. They saw Gentle Ben lying in the dirt and unable to get up because he was so weak from hunger and thirst.
When the family opened the gate to their fence, the sweetest thing happened. Their Chihuahua ran to Gentle Ben and the teeny-tiny Chi and the much larger Gentle Ben started kissing each other.
Well known in this neck of the woods as a person with a big heart for abandoned animals, the family called on Sherree Lutter with Helping Paws for help. Upon arrival, Lutter saw a pathetic-looking, nonambulatory, large dog, with pleading eyes. It was clear that Gentle Ben’s “spirit was broken and fading.” Having rescued animals for several years, Lutter knew Gentle Ben needed to see a vet immediately. In fact, Lutter didn’t know at that point if Gentle Ben would even make it. She called the Ark Animal Hospital and the vet agreed to stay open to tend to Gentle Ben.
The vet believes Gentle Ben is a Great Dane or Mastiff mix. Either breed is large – both of which typically weigh well over 100 pounds. Gentle Ben weighed in at less than 50 pounds. In addition to being starved and dehydrated, Gentle Ben was found to be suffering from other ailments. The vet found a mass in his stomach, which could be a tumor or some other obstruction, such as rocks that he may have eaten because he was so hungry. More testing is needed to make a more definitive diagnosis. In addition, Gentle Ben’s white blood cell count is so high he will need a blood transfusion. In short, Gentle Ben’s vet expenses will be high.
After Lutter brought Gentle Ben to Ark Animal Hospital, Lutter reached out to Patricia Bonham – another angel who rescues and networks pets who have been dumped in the High Desert – to help network and secure donations to be applied toward Gentle Ben’s vet bill.
Gentle Ben is deserving of a chance to survive and have a family that will provide him with much needed TLC. However, it does literally take a village to help make that happen. The first order of business is to get Gentle Ben healthy. Funds are desperately needed for his vet care. If you have any spare change lying around, please consider donating it towards Gentle Ben’s medical expenses. You can donate in following ways:
- By PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org
- By donating directly to Ark Animal Hospital http://www.arkanimalhospital.ws/ at (760) 245-7300 (please make sure you tell the vet that your donation is for Gentle Ben)
Despite being very weak and sick, the staff at Ark Animal Hospital has fallen in love with Gentle Ben. They report that he is the “sweetest dog” and wags his tail whenever anyone approaches him. Maybe he somehow knows they are trying to help him. Maybe he has an inherently sweet disposition. Whatever the case, Gentle Ben is a dog who was probably neglected by his previous owners, whose total disregard for the living being they had a duty to provide with the most basic of needs was clearly shown when they dumped him in the desert. He suffered greatly as a result of their cold-hearted behavior.
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