Stray dog ‘Spudley’ rescued with community support

CLIFFORD – On Feb. 7, Sean LeMay, owner of Clifford Takeout, went to his backyard to let his two golden retrievers out of their kennel for the day, only to realize a third furry friend was with them.

“[The dogs] come running out of the shed to greet me – and there’s three dogs,” LeMay explained to the Advertiser.

“What I thought was another dog, disappeared back into the shed.”

Looking at the matted, tall creature curled up in a ball in his dog kennel, LeMay obviously wanted to know where the dog came from. 

To search for the dog’s owner, or for someone to come rescue it, LeMay took to his business’ Facebook page to ask the public for help.

“What’s also going through my mind is, he’s been living in the wild for however long, and you don’t know if he’s injured,” he said.

“And I didn’t want to call the dog catcher.”

His Facebook post soon reached over 25,000 views, 228 shares and 102 comments with concern for the dog, soon to be named “Spudley.”

After receiving phone calls, LeMay got in contact with Tailor Farrell, one of three directors for Halfway Home K9 Rescue, a non-profit organization based out of Cambridge.

Farrell lives with her husband in Fredericton, but is originally from Palmerston, where her family still resides.

Knowing she is involved at the rescue, Farrell’s mom, Shelley Campbell, tagged her in the original post from LeMay on Facebook.

“We’re like huge animal lovers, especially dogs,” said Farrell.

She soon called LeMay to explain what she does at the rescue, and they organized for her mom and brother to pick up Spudley, who was named by Campbell.

“I don’t really know why he was a Spudley, he just looked like a Spudley… because usually I like people’s names for dogs,” she said with a laugh.

Road trip

When Campbell and her son Tucker went to pick up the stray dog, “he had put himself in a corner, which is typical” of rescue dogs.

“They’ll often find a corner to feel safe in, and [Spudley] obviously wasn’t very excited to get up and move around,” said Campbell.

She said she sat in the back of the car with the dog and “he lifted his head, which was great to see and I was able to fully check him over and see if there were any injuries that you could see with the eye.”

Spudley was then taken to a temporary foster home in Erin.

The following morning, Spudley went on another road trip to South Tower Animal Hospital in Fergus.

“They did a medical shave down, so he’s pretty naked now,” Farrell explained.

When Spudley was first found, he was severely matted. The shave resulted in the dog losing five pounds in fur.

“When they shaved him down, they did find what is called walking dandruff. So, it’s a pretty contagious mite.”

LeMay was contacted to ensure  his two golden retrievers would be treated for it as well.

Spudley is now on “prevention” for a month, and receives one pill every week to help terminate the walking dandruff. He also needs to be isolated from other animals.

“It made it really hard to find a foster for us because one, we’re just really limited on fosters, but two, we don’t have a history of inoculation. We don’t obviously know Spudley’s background,” said Farrell.

A foster home was, however, found for the pup, which is estimated to be around a year old.

“We actually had a lovely couple near Woodstock step up, and they decided to take Spudley in,” Farrell said.

Rescues at high demand

Once isolation for Spudley is over, he will be taken for inoculations and to be neutered.

“Because you don’t want to further contribute to any kind of puppy mills or breeding backyard or anything like that,” said Farrell.

Though it can’t be confirmed Spudley came from a puppy mill, LeMay, Campbell and Farrell say that is most likely the case. 

Farrell explained there is high demand for dog rescues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, when puppy sales were higher.

“There was obviously a high demand because a lot of people got into it thinking they could make a quick buck, and now it’s significantly decreasing,” she said.

“There’s a lot of dogs that are being, we call it destroyed, but essentially they’ll be shot and killed if they’re not doing their job on a farm.”

Halfway Home K9 Rescue works “hand-in-hand” with other local partners to save puppies from these mills.

One of the local partners often gets contacted and has a “no judgments, no questions asked policy.”

Halfway Home K9 Rescue then gets contacted and told what is coming.

Halfway Home does things a little differently as well. It will specifically contact dog sellers, gather information and tell the seller they are interested, Farrell explained.

“We go to the puppy mill and we either take the dogs out ourselves or they do require us to pay a small fee,” she said.

“Although we don’t want to contribute to that financially, it’s between that or a puppy being killed.”

Rescue dog Spudley lost five pounds of fur after a medical shave.

Adopt, don’t buy

“I would highly suggest that people look at adopting instead of buying from a breeder,” said Farrell.

“And if you are going to buy from a breeder for a purebred dog, make sure you do your research.”

Farrell suggests looking into the breeder to see if they do ethical practices.

“There [are] people that do buy from these puppy mills and they don’t realize that’s what they’re supporting.”

She adds that even though the cost of the puppy may be low or free at the time, the costs “are going to add up.”

Make a donation

Spudley’s recovery, and all other care for rescue dogs, is covered by Halfway Home, and the organization heavily relies on donations to keep running.

The organization accepts monetary donations and also donated food, toys, etc. They also take open-bag donations of food and treats. 

If you would like to make a donation to Halfway Home K9 Rescue, send an e-transfer to 

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