A New Van to Rescue Cruelty Victims in Detroit

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Edgar was left in a garbage can to die. MHS cruelty investigators saved his life.

One sad result of Detroit’s bankruptcy has been that animal cruelty victims are more vulnerable than ever. With massive cuts to Animal Control, the city agency is unable to respond to many of the calls it receives, and animal shelters and rescue groups are scrambling to fill in the gaps.

As part of our SNAP-X program to help Detroit’s pets, the Petfinder Foundation has given a cash grant of $40,000 to the Michigan Humane Society to purchase a second animal-rescue vehicle, meaning MHS will be able to help more pets like Edgar, who was left in a garbage can after prolonged and severe neglect.

On March 9, a passerby walking his dog heard whimpering coming from a trash can and discovered the dog. The man called MHS, and when its cruelty investigators arrived on the scene they found the 4-year-old Maltese mix in the garbage can, the handle of a plastic bag twisted around his neck.

Rescuers rushed the dog to MHS’s Detroit Center for Animal Care, where vets saw that he was covered with severe urine burns — meaning he’d probably been confined in a small space for a long time before he was finally discarded like trash.

Today, the dog, who has been named Edgar, is in a loving foster home and improving every day. The MHS Cruelty Investigation Department is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for his deplorable treatment.

Helping More Pets Like Edgar
Our $40,000 grant funds a fully-equipped animal-rescue vehicle that will enable MHS workers to get even more pets like Edgar out of abusive situations. The organization’s Marta Diffen explains why it’s so desperately needed:

“With Detroit Animal Control hobbled by a variety of factors, our cruelty calls have increased by 26% since 2011 and our rescue calls are up nearly 30%. Our miles driven are up 12%. We expect this trend to continue while the city goes through bankruptcy.

“A new van is paramount to meeting this increasing demand. With Detroit Animal Control not responding to calls regarding stray animals, we are dispatching drivers and rescuing animals from the streets multiple times a day. The wear and tear on the rescue vans is where we are seeing the biggest challenge. Increased miles and carrying more animals is resulting in significant wear to the vehicles and the kenneling equipment.”

Edgar4UPDATE – April 9, 2014: Today, exactly one month after Edgar’s rescue, the Michigan Humane Society posted the photo of him at right on its Facebook page and reported, “Edgar, the Maltese mix who was found in a trash can, is recovering well in foster with MHS cruelty investigator Mark Ramos. Look how cozy he looks on his bed!” We love Edgar’s adorable underbite.

UPDATE – April 16, 2014: Edgar went to his forever home today! Adopter Cindy Nelson-Pouget told MHS, “Something was just pulling at my heart, saying, ‘You need to go get this dog.'” Check out Edgar and his new mom in the video below. Congratulations, Edgar and Cindy!

Read more about how we’re helping pets in Detroit.

Donate now to help more pets like Edgar.