CARE Network volunteers evacuated this young terrier from a near-death situation in December. (CARE - Photo)

Puppy rescued on West Coast receives SPCA courage award

BC SPCA recommending charges of animal cruelty.

A brave baby terrier, that nearly starved to death after allegedly being abandoned in a West Coast community, is happy, healthy and living with the veterinarian who helped him fight for his life.

Five-month-old Jimmy Bean recently received the BC SPCA’s Animal Courage Award in recognition of the tenacity and courage he displayed in the immediate aftermath of his rescue.

He was located and evacuated in December by local Coastal Animal Rescue and Education Network volunteers who had received a phoned-in tip regarding the dire situation the young animal was in.

“His guardian surrendered the emaciated pup to the SPCA, claiming he had left him with his grandfather, who put him in a storage chamber under his house and forgot about him for more than a week,” according to an SPCA media release announcing the Courage Award.

“Jimmy Bean was barely alive, weighing only one kilogram and suffering from dehydration, hair loss and two dislocated shoulders when he was rushed by the SPCA to veterinarian Dr. Holly Tillotson.”

Tillotson repaired the little animal’s shoulders, but did not have high hopes for Jimmy Bean’’s survival because of the dramatic weight and muscle loss he had endured.

“He showed his fighting spirit, gaining strength quickly after being given small amounts of food every few hours to gradually reintroduce nutrition back into his system,” according to the release.

Jimmy Bean received round-the-clock care and Tillotson was so taken with the puppy’s fighting spirit that she quickly fell in love and adopted him herself.

“Tillotson says Jimmy Bean bonded immediately with his new family and the couple’s two other dogs,” the release states.

“While Jimmy Bean enjoys his forever home, the BC SPCA is compiling evidence against the individual responsible for his abuse and will be recommending charges of animal cruelty in the case.”

Coastal Animal Rescue and Education Network coordinator Lee-Ann Unger told the Westerly News she was proud to see her team’s commitment to the local pet population turn a likely tragedy into a heartwarming happy ending.

“The situation with Jimmy Bean highlights the incredible dedication of the CARE team to help animals in need, especially when they most need it,” she said. “CARE Network led the rescue effort. We received a call about the five-month-old puppy in distress and a member of the CARE Network’s emergency response responded immediately.”

CARE volunteers collaborated with the Port Alberni SPCA branch and delivered Jimmy Bean to a waiting medical team. The puppy’s survival was one of several harrowing success stories celebrated by CARE in 2016. The Network works with hundreds of animals each year, often in emergency situations, and also offers low-cost spay and neutering opportunities throughout the West Coast as well as an AniMeals program to help keep local pets well-nourished.

“The CARE Network is dedicated to working with communities within the region to increase the standard of care and welfare for resident companion animals, building happier, healthier, safer communities for all, whether two or four legged,” Unger said. “The organization is also working in partnership with some communities and their leadership to develop bylaws, regulations and follow-up protocols to improve overall animal care and control.”

She added CARE’s work is dependent on the West Coast’s support.

“Funding is tight,” she said. “Our big push right now is to encourage donations and to build a broad base of donors to help sustain this work.”

Anyone willing to donate to, or volunteer with, the the life-saving organization is encouraged to visit www.coastalanimalrescue.ca, message CARE through Facebook or call 250-266-9663.

“We’re always keen to for more people to volunteer with us,” Unger said. “The more volunteers and funding, the more we can accomplish.”