Donations sought for abandoned dog’s surgery

SOUTHWICK-Animal control officer Liz Bennett said it breaks her heart when she sees cases like “Blizzard” arrive on her doorstep at the Southwick Animal Shelter.

“I named him Blizzard because he reminds me of a DQ Blizzard,” said Bennett, noting the Dairy Queen signature ice cream treat.

Bennett said Blizzard, a male pit bull mix approximately two to three years of age, was found about two weeks ago in a local park.

A campaign is underway by the Southwick Animal Shelter to raise money for “Blizzard.” He is in need of knee surgery – and a new loving home. (SOUTHWICK ANIMAL SHELTER PHOTO)

“I can only imagine what Blizzard thought as his owners drove away,” said Bennett in a Facebook post, adding, “You left me, knowing I was injured and deaf, to fend for myself in the cold. Why? Why did you leave me? I loved you.”

Bennett said when Blizzard arrived in her care she was hoping that the family would return.

“Nobody claimed him,” she said. “We noticed he had a bad back leg – a grade 3 luxating patella.”

Bennett said Blizzard essentially has a “blown knee” and can’t bear weight on it.

“He’s such a goober, so very sweet, he’s a doll,” said Bennett. “It breaks our hearts every time we see an animal in pain.”

What makes Blizzard unique is his one blue and one brown eye. Bennett also expects he is deaf because he wasn’t responding to their commands.

“He can hear certain pitches, like whistles,” said Bennett.

Bennett and her team have set up an account with the Riverbend Animal Hospital, 43 Russell St., Hadley, MA 01035, to pay for his surgery which is estimated to cost $3,360. Area residents who would like to contribute to this account can mail a personal check or a cashier’s check to the hospital, attention Sharon, office manager, and put in the subject line “Blizzard Surgery.”

Bennett said if persons would prefer to leave a check with the Southwick Animal Shelter office, she will ensure that those checks are brought to Riverbend.

“If you know this dog let us know,” said Bennett, adding, “if you want to help this dog, let us know.”

While Blizzard’s first consult appointment isn’t until Jan. 4, area residents who would like to consider adopting him can start the application process now. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all application information is processed online.

“Blizzard is adoptable and we are taking applications for him,” said Bennett, noting he wouldn’t be released into someone’s care until the surgery is done. “We always try to match each animal with someone or a family who would help that animal.”

Bennett noted that no drop-ins are allowed at this time due to the pandemic.

“Blizzard is safe with us now and will be cared for until we find him a loving, permanent home,” she said. 

For more information on donating to help Blizzard make a speedy recovery, Bennett can be reached by calling (413) 569-5348, ext. 649, or by email at [email protected].

“There are certain dogs that are outstanding and if we get injured dogs, we’ll find the best families,” said Bennett. “As for Blizzard, he has touched everyone’s heart here with his big waggly tail.”

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