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Saturday, February 18, 2006

Humane Society Dog Saves Cat from Freezing to Death

By: Matt Goerzen, http://www.brandonsun.com

Not all heroic souls fight fires or arrest crooks. Some don’t even wear pants.

Cleo, the furry black and white canine who greets visitors at the Brandon Humane Society, is being hailed as a hero after finding a freezing cat that was dumped at the shelter’s doorstep.

One of the shelter’s new volunteers was out walking Cleo Wednesday afternoon when the dog started barking and ran up to a little lump curled up by a fence.

“She went right up to it,” said shelter manager Tracy Munn. There’s no way (the volunteer) would have seen the cat.”

Cleo, Hero Border Collie

When it was found, the black and brown tabby had a frozen back leg and parts of its ears were freezing off.

“You could see the blood at the edge of both of them, poor little thing. It wouldn’t have lasted out in the cold. It was already curling itself up.

“He was crying, so we wrapped him in a blanket and waited for animal control to come.”

The cat was rushed to the Brandon Veterinary Clinic, and will be staying there for the next few days for treatment.

Munn said a lot of people drop off animals at the shelter in the middle of the cold weather, expecting the shelter to take care of them.

Some of them simply dump the animals off in a box on the doorstep — something that makes Munn absolutely furious, especially when the weather is below zero.

“People are idiots,” Munn said. “It’s very common to see frostbitten animals. It bothered me horribly when I saw the cat.”

With 270 animals on a waiting list to get into the shelter, dropping animals off on the doorstep won’t help an animal jump the queue.

Luckily for the nearly frozen feline, the new volunteer, who was in tears after the incident, is interested in adopting the animal when it leaves the vet.

Cleo, who received a nice piece of salmon for her heroics, has become a permanent fixture of the shelter.

The Border Collie-Blue Healer cross has lived in the shelter for seven years, and Munn says Cleo considers it her job to protect all the animals in it — even the cats.

“This is her shelter. She knows we’re full. But she doesn’t care. She still wants to save another.

“I love that dog.”


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