From the Mason Valley News, Friday January 29, 1999
Government trapper rescues injured dog and her pups
By Kay Jenney
A government trapper saved the life of a dog and her seven puppies after the mother dog had chewed off her foot to get out of a trap near Bishop, CA.
Wildlife Service Specialist Frank Homan was on the job near the Fish Lake area between Bishop and Tonopah when he discovered the injured animal. He spent three days winning her trust, feeding and giving her water.
“l came back home to Yerington and just got to feeling sorry for her, so I went back and got her,’ said Homan.
The crippled dog was starving and a half-mile from water, Homan said. But even though she was in such a bad condition, she was still nursing and caring for her seven puppies, he said.
“This was in November when it was really cold,” Homan added.
Shelly Dillwith, owner of Mrs. Pickles’ Home Pet Care Service, took the dogs in almost a month ago and has been caring for the mother and pups since then.
The adult dog is a mix of Aussie and McNab. The pups also are mixed with Border Collie. Dillwith suggested the injured dog was a cow dog, possibly lost by cattle herders passing through the area.
And she said the-real heroes of this story are Homan and veterinarian Lisa Infantino.
“It’s Homan’s job to keep the ecosystem in check by trapping coyotes, but he has a heart”, Dillwith said.
“He drove many hours on a Sunday, hauling a horse trailer, to bring the canine family back to Yerington. Then, Infantino opened her clinic and treated the injured mother dog, on Sunday. without charge,” said Dillwith.
The dog has been named ,”Amazing Grace” by Dillwith. The courage of this dog to survive was just amazing, Dillwith said enthusiastically.
Infantino provided a timeline of the dog’s suffering to Dillwith from examining her injuries and condition.
Apparently, she was first caught in the trap; chewed her foot off; gave birth; then suffered hunger, thirst and medical complications. The dog was crippled and stranded with her litter. Homan said the area
is the most desolate country you can find.
Dillwith said Amazing Grace also suffered from internal problems; and Infantino clarified the dog’s internal complications as a severe uterine infection, probably resulting from her state of malnutrition.
Moreover, her foot injury would best be described as missing fingers up to the knuckle, with the bone of one index exposed.
“She is such a brave dog to have taken care of her puppies so well. The puppies looked so good and beautiful, ” said Infantino.
“She was only 10 months old, probably impregnated during her first heat. She was just a baby herself while delivering and mothering these pups. People don’t think about what they are doing (the consequences for the animals) when they don’t spay or neuter their animals,” said Dillwith.
Infantino performed additional surgery on the dog’s foot and performed a complete ovarian hysterectomy to spay her and treat her complications.
Dillwith said the dog understands when humans are helping her and is very cooperative when the bandages need changing. The dog is healing well.and may be adopted by “a very special person,” said Dillwith.
Two of the puppies have been adopted, and the other five are ready for new homes. [How ironic that the government trapper goes to great lengths to save a dog and pups, while earning a living killing coyotes. Some canids are more equal than others.]