This dog’s a survivor!

By on August 12, 2020 with 14 Comments

Riptide the dog is a survivor. His story speaks of the worst of humanity, and the best. And his resilience says volumes about the animals we have sworn to help, protect and defend, wherever and however they may be suffering. Whatever we can do for them, it’s worth it.

At the Humane Society of the United States, it’s true that we promise to fight the big fights for animals. That’s been fundamental to our mission for as long as we’ve been around, and when we win big for animals the impact is widespread and lasting. But that’s not to say that we don’t recognize and appreciate the small everyday successes achieved by staff members, partner organizations and supporters. That’s the case with Riptide, the subject of a cruelty investigation in Minnesota.

An official from St. Paul Animal Control first responded to the report of a dog, abandoned, malnourished and covered in maggots, roped to a tree with a ziptie embedded to the bone in his mouth. He had been there for who knows how long, but this little guy had survived a lot of suffering.

We stepped in with a reward offer that we sponsor in dozens of cases nationwide every year. We fund anti-cruelty rewards because they give a boost to local animal care and service agencies and societies, they gain the attention of a concerned public, and they produce results and convictions. We’re hopeful that the reward will generate some leads that help to identify the perpetrator responsible for Riptide’s suffering. If apprehended and convicted, the individual(s) who hurt Riptide could face felony level penalties of up to two years in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.

Minnesota animal advocates Jim and Mary Schwebel read about our reward posting and pledged to increase the reward amount to $10,000. We were gratified by the Schwebels’ decision, not least because one of the reasons we make such public commitments is our faith that supporters will recognize the value of our approach, and the resulting outcomes, and contribute the funds that sustain our work to help animals.

Of course, Riptide needed immediate help and attention, and he got it. The veterinarians who treated him found it necessary to amputate one of his rear legs, but the good news is that Riptide is expected to make a full recovery and eventually find placement with a loving home.

The organization taking care of Riptide raised more than $20,000 for his continued care. Left for dead by someone, he’s now got a shot at a real dog’s life. Our hats are off to St. Paul Animal Control, for its great response work, the Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota, which provided veterinary care and treatment for Riptide, and the foster group Rescued Pets Are Wonderful, which is looking after him. Here’s a video featuring Riptide; he’s a little shy, but as you can see, he’s eating well!

In the course of our work, we hear about and report many great animal rescue outcomes in which we and/or partners in the field have played a part. Riptide’s story, and his rescue, stood out for me as a sterling example of the kind of cooperation we should strive for—and celebrate—in humane work. I’m grateful to the animal care and service agency personnel, the veterinarians, the rescue group and the donors who came together to make the biggest possible difference in this dog’s life.

P.S. Happy World Elephant Day, everyone. We’re very involved in the campaign to promote peaceful coexistence with this imperiled species, especially through our work on immunocontraception for elephant herds in Africa. We’re also investing in advocacy, education, policy and regulatory reforms, and ivory-demand reduction programs to help elephants. Catch up with our ongoing work here.

Animal Rescue and Care, Companion Animals

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  1. Pamela lunsford says:

    I work for a rescue in Arkansas, it’s a state I’ve come to find people care less about their animals then anywhere else I’ve seen..
    I’ve also come to just despise humans. I pray you find and convict the person who could do such an evil horrible thing to this precious dog. It sickens my heart that such demons exist in this world. I will never understand.. as far as I’m concerned anyone who can do something like this should get the death penalty.

    • Cheryl says:

      I agree

    • CAROL PAQUETTE says:

      Agree with you 100%. All of my animal rescue friends agree, as well.

    • Nancy L. Liefer says:

      To Pamela Lunsford in Arkansas, I could not have said it better. I whole-heartedly agree with your comment. You expressed your opinion beautifully. I hope these abusers get what they dished-out. They deserve the death penalty.

    • Dawn says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more. Humans sicken me the way they use and abuse animals.

    • Andrea says:

      I also agree. Humans can be so selfish and disrespectful, and just downright mean and abusive. We take and destroy and just don’t care the hurt and damage we are doing to the animals, environment, and the planet.

  2. Milagros Pérez says:

    Gracias por salvarlo.

  3. annah says:

    Gut-wrenching, being an animal lover myself reading about how much this poor being suffered at an human’s hands is unimaginable, some humans are evil vile parasites who lack any sort of kindness towards the non-human beings, I find many who actually don’t want the dog anymore, yet they are sadistic arrogant will not let the dog go because they are seen as property, these human parasites need a lesson in humanity, I detest the horrible society we live in where these helpless souls are constantly been targeted, where these vulnerable souls like Riptide endure immense suffering, thank you very much for saving Riptide.

  4. Sherri says:

    The punishment needs to match the crime. Only then perhaps we’d see less abuse.

    • Karen Kenngott says:

      AGREED!!! If it were human children that suffered like this, you bet your sweet bottom there’d be a swift and deliberate consequence that merited the gravity of the offense! Domesticated animals are known to have the intellect of young children. Is their suffering (physical, emotional, psychological)any different?!!! Dogs are known to risk their lives in coming to the rescue of humans. Where was it ever sanctioned that they should be considered as disposable as a soda bottle, let alone cause them deliberate and unconscionable harm??? Unless and until the laws change to reflect modern scientific knowledge and basic moral decency, this will unfortunately continue…to my heartfelt sorrow and disgust.

  5. Patricia Cachopo says:

    I am glad there are others out there who care about animals as must as I do. I do everything in my power to help all that I can. It hurts so much to learn of the animal abuse that is so common here and in the world. I love to hear Riptide stories and realize that there is a lot of love out there as well.

  6. Sally V says:

    IT broke my heart to read about the cruelty riptide endured.I would like to give him a loving home If he doesn’t already have someone to take him in please let me know.

  7. Carla Sofia Salas says:

    Saving an animal it’s an intigrity act and compassion atitude who desrerves all my admiration and respect! THANK YOU for all you do for animals.
    I have 2dogs and one of then was victim of cruelty too. By her hunter’s owner. In a trap for wild animals. As consequence She lost one front leg and a teeth! Now she is loved and happy!Now she has the life she deserves! And it’s all that matters to me!
    All my animals are rescued!

  8. Shirali says:

    Humans are a curse to animals !!!!!

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