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Wyandotte Resident Gives Dog a Fresh Start

Pixie, a 4-year-old 5.5-pound toy poodle, was relinquished to the Wyandotte Animal Shelter on March 19 by her owner, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War. Regrettably, she was surrendered due to her owner’s health issues, which made it challenging for him to provide care for her.

This scenario exemplifies one of the primary reasons why pets end up in shelters.

Thomas Abraham, the director of Pound Pals Downriver, mentioned that Pixie’s previous owner ultimately made the difficult decision to surrender her.

“The owner appeared to be struggling to take care of himself. He recognized that Pixie’s condition was deteriorating. Feeling ashamed, he hesitated to take her to a groomer. Through a trusted acquaintance, he contacted the shelter and was convinced that surrendering her was the best course of action,” he explained. “Right from the beginning, Pixie displayed a friendly and loving demeanor.”

Pixie’s fur was severely tangled and excessively long, leading to discomfort when touched.

“Her nails had pierced through the tangled fur, obstructing her vision due to the excess fur around her face,” Abraham elaborated.

Thanks to a collaboration between Downriver Grooming Co. and Pound Pals Downriver, volunteers were able to groom Pixie on the same day and have her examined by a veterinarian within three days. She was diagnosed with a UTI infection, which was promptly treated with antibiotics.

“After she was freed from the tangles,” Abraham remarked, “she still exhibited a reflexive flinch when hands approached her face, anticipating the pain caused by the fur pulling on her skin.”

Within a week of her arrival, Pixie found a new loving home. She was taken in by a family with experience in caring for neglected pets. Severe matting like Pixie’s can be quite painful to the touch. Therefore, the shelter ensured that her new family understood how to show her the affection she craved, despite the discomfort she had endured.

Abraham shared positive news about Pixie’s current well-being, stating, “She is now an affectionate and cuddly companion.”

Pound Pals Downriver, a nonprofit organization closely affiliated with the Wyandotte Animal Shelter and Downriver Central Animal Control, focuses on aiding animals in finding homes by providing necessary medical attention.

While acknowledging the increasing costs associated with pet care, Abraham emphasized the availability of assistance. Local food pantries may offer support for both individuals and their pets.

There is a common misconception that seeking help may lead to surrendering one’s pet, which is not always the case.

“Most rescue organizations strive to keep pets with their owners,” he clarified.

For basic needs such as food or grooming, rescues can often provide assistance without necessitating the rehoming of a pet. However, Abraham noted that in cases requiring substantial medical care like surgery, the owner might need to surrender the pet.

He encouraged individuals not to hesitate to reach out to their local shelter, as they can connect them with rescues willing to collaborate in ensuring optimal care for their pets.

Despite efforts to reduce euthanasia rates in animal shelters, high euthanasia rates persist due to limited resources and overcrowding. From 2016 to 2021, the percentage of no-kill shelters in the U.S. doubled from 24% to 52%. Additionally, the percentage of animals euthanized in shelters has decreased by 77% since 2016, largely due to the availability of no-kill shelters, according to

While donations to shelters can help prevent unnecessary euthanasia, Abraham suggested alternative ways to support animal welfare. These include attending fundraisers, assisting neighbors who may be struggling to care for their pets, volunteering at local shelters, and fostering animals for rescue organizations.