UPDATE: Happy ending for famous pound pooch
A Maremma Sheepdog, who became the subject of a viral social media campaign, is now in the hands of the rescue organisation which first flagged concerns.
Fresh Start Rescue’s President Liz Miller had penned an open letter to the mayor asking him to address claims Boss wasn’t receiving adequate care at the council pound and calling for him to be sent to her organisation.
This is after Boss was surrendered to the council earlier this month amid multiple barking complaints.
The council didn’t accept the version being shared on social media however, CEO Ken Diehm said the council’s primary concern always remaining for Boss’ welfare.
“Boss was desexed while in Council’s care … Unfortunately, Boss developed complications after castration which required further surgery,” Mr Diehm said.
The council had previously planned to send Boss to the RSPCA but in line with the will of the people he was released to his original owner who handed him on to Fresh Start.
“The owner will be responsible for the post-operative care of Boss and our Community Rangers will continue to work with the owner to provide advice and guidance on managing Boss’ excessive barking,” Mr Diehm said.
Fresh Start Rescue posted a progress report on their furry friend, which explained he would need time to heal but was on his way to full recovery.
A dog at the centre of a viral social media campaign, sparked by an animal welfare group‘s claims of neglect at the council pound, has undergone surgery.
Boss the Maremma Sheepdog, 2, quickly became the most talked about pooch on the Fraser Coast after concern about his care was raised by Animal Shelter Fresh Start Rescue Incorporated.
The rescue group’s president Liz Miller, told the Chronicle she felt she had no other option but to put her concerns in an open letter to Mayor George Seymour, asking him to intervene.
She claimed she had believed Boss would come into her care after receiving a request from a Fraser Coast Adoption Centre volunteer on March 18.
She told the Chronicle she “knew he had been deemed suitable for rehoming,” as Boss had just been desexed at the pound.
“They’re not going to spend money on a dog they’re going to euthanise down the track,” she said.
Located in Brisbane, Liz had sourced adequate transport for Boss.
When it came time for the volunteer to pick up boss however, they were shocked by what they saw.
Liz claimed when a cone, which had been around Boss’ neck for nine days, was taken off, it revealed something was wrong.
“The pound officer took the cone off and (Boss) just went frantic, he was really aggravated, chewing and licking at the scrotum area,” Liz said
“The Pound guy tried to have a look and Boss, very gently, the volunteer saw it all happen, put his mouth on the guy’s hand just like ‘Don’t touch me there’, he was in incredible pain.
“Eventually, they’ve got another pound officer out and they’ve gotten (Boss) down on his side to have a look and his scrotum was black, it was jet black from the bruising and the haemorrhage bleeding … his whole abdomen was black.”
Boss’ condition raised concerns he had not received adequate monitoring while at the pound and Liz claimed she was told the dog, which was scheduled for emergency surgery, could be put down.
She called on the mayor to step in as Boss had already been deemed suitable for rehoming and was unlikely to respond well while in pain.
She asked that the adoption centre hand Boss over to her and she would take care of his needs.
“(The Adoption Centre) could sign him over to us now under an MOU, a memorandum of understanding, and we would happily sign an indemnity waiver, and we‘ve done that with many councils in the past before,” Liz told the Chronicle.
Fraser Coast council CEO Ken Diehm said the council’s “sole and immediate concern is for the welfare of Boss and he is receiving the best veterinary care possible”.
“Since receiving Boss there have been two incidents of aggressive behaviour towards animal facilities staff, however this may be due to his current medical condition,” he said
“Boss developed complications from castration surgery while in our care and is having further surgery today (scrotal ablation) and will be provided every care and attention to allow him to recover and heal as quickly as possible.
“We are in communication with the RSPCA who have offered to take Boss into their care.
“We believe, given the incidents of aggression shown by Boss, that the RSPCA is the best placed organisation to undertake an independent assessment of Boss and to be able to find him the best possible home through their extensive network.
“Rehoming safe dogs within the community is always our primary objective and I am hopeful that, once he has fully recovered, Boss’s temperament will improve to allow this to happen.”
Fraser Coast councillor Jade Wellings told the Chronicle she and councillor Paul Truscott had personally flagged their concerns with the appropriate staff as soon as they became aware of the post.
She said she had put a set of “very detailed‘ questions to the council and was awaiting a response.
On Tuesday afternoon, Cr Wellings visited Boss as he was recovering from his surgery.
She told the Chronicle Boss’ former owner was able to visit with her and give his former pet and “cuddle and kiss and see how he was doing”.
She said she had spoken to the vet and Boss was doing well and expected to make a full recovery.