A ten-year-old chihuahua, now named Mr. Jenkins by his rescuer, owes his miraculous rescue to a young woman on Facebook, hundreds of animal lovers, and a wildlife rescuer who climbed into a cockroach infested, filthy sewer in Lakeland, Fla. to save the tiny pooch on Saturday.
Early Saturday morning, Alina Berry Clark was told about a dog heard crying from a sewer located at 206 Veteran Ave. South. On her Facebook page, a frustrated Alina posted that authorities would not come out to the area to help save the dog in distress. She posted:
"Animal control stated it would take too much of their time and money to save the dog. That they would leave it !!!! A statement was made it would drown or starve eventually!!! Are you kidding me!!! I have the address.. My van is screwed up!! I need help.. Anyone please!!!!"
Alina shared the news with 25 friends on Facebook, and before long hundreds of people were trying to help. According to an earlier report, Animal Control stated they had been out to the location, but did not hear or see any dog in danger. Still Alina knew better, and insisted the dog was there; reliable sources had heard him crying below the sewer surface.
To the rescue came Dusty Showers, a Tampa area wildlife rescuer, who responded on Facebook as humane advocates pushed on. By 5:00, Showers had responded with the words, "Mission Accomplished" on his Facebook page.
According to wtsp.com, Showers climbed down a drain eight to ten feet deep, full of insects and broken glass. Dusty posted the following about the tiny ten-year-old pooch:
"He is very dehydrated; we got him some water and we're going to take him to an emergency vet. I want to point out that the Polk County Sheriffs Department told us with two other witnesses that there was no dog down there and that their animal control officer crawled throughout the sewer. Then told us that someone must have been lying on Facebook about the dog."
Dusty's update on Mr. Jenkins is that he is quite old, has a hard time getting around, and is blind. Someone most likely dumped the little guy in the sewer. There have been multiple offers to adopt him, so Mr. Jenkins will be promised a safe retirement.
Many thanks to the persistence of Alina, the bravery of Dusty, and the sharing about this emergency by animal lovers everywhere. Job well done!
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