'Cruelty calls' triple during cold months, shelter says
His ribs bulged, clearly outlined beneath the skin of the chocolate-colored Great Dane named Dade.
Abandoned and tied up to a pole not far from the Multnomah County Animal Shelter in Troutdale, the dog would need weeks of treatment before he could be considered ready for adoption.
Cold and weighing just 50 pounds, the 6-year-old dog was clearly neglected — but he wasn't starving for love. Dade was rescued alongside his white-furred companion, an 8-year-old Chihuahua and Dachshund mix dubbed Phillip.
They stayed nose to nose as they were treated by local veterinarians.
"The two dogs were joined at the hip, and Dade would jump up to make sure his pal Phillip was OK while his matted coat was removed," the Animal Shelter wrote in a Facebook post late last year.
While it's unclear why Dade and Phillip were abandoned, Multnomah County says "cruelty calls" can triple or even quadruple during the winter months, when neighbors are more likely to report an animal left out in the cold.
That's a serious uptick for the county's Investigations and Field Services Division, which nets more than 9,000 calls and reports annually and fields more than 1,300 investigations into potential abuse and neglect. The department only has 14 workers, including seven field officers, two dispatchers, an administrative specialist and two field aides who round up strays or injured critters.
In this case, Field Services Officer Sophia Condon found the two dogs and rushed them to DoveLewis, a nonprofit animal emergency room in Northwest Portland that operates 24 hours a day.
"They both looked so uncomfortable and defeated," Condon told The Dodo, an animal rights website. "Once everyone was done with exams and shaved, they got to just take a breather and hang out together before we loaded up and headed back to our shelter."
It took more than an hour to completely shave Phillip's tangled coat, and the pooch was also diagnosed with dental disease and a dislocated knee joint. Dade stayed with his friend the whole time, propped up on an exam table.
"They were so attached. You can tell that they were meant to be together," gushed technician assistant Lorri Schinderle in a news release, noting that the pair couldn't stop "kissing" and loving each other.
"They were just so worried about each other," added Dr. Becca Falender, "even when we separated them across the room."
And while it's relatively uncommon for two dogs of different sizes to be adopted together, Phillip and Dade found one person to take them in — forever.
Dade and Phillip even got new names — Biggie and Smalls, respectively — a reference to the popular rapper also known as The Notorious B.I.G.
"They're doing really well," owner Jennifer E. told The Dodo. "They usually sleep together in the same bed every night, even though there's another bed right next to it."
To report an animal-related emergency, call 503-988-7387. For more information, visit www.multcopets.org or adopt a pet in person by heading to the animal shelter at 1700 W. Historic Columbia River Highway. The adoption desk relocated in January, and can be found by turning right at the main outdoor awning and following the sidewalk path.