A survivor’s tail

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Dog from Owen shelter bringing home numerous national awards and rankings

By The Staff

Back in August 2007, the future for dogs like Biggie didn’t look bright.
There was no animal shelter in Owen County and the euthanasia rate was high. Several dogs died yearly due to contagious illnesses such as parvo and coccidia. 
 The Owen County Friends of Animals worked diligently to find rescues, fosters or adopters for the dogs taken into the county’s custody.
When Karen Powell agreed to foster two tiny puppies that were in dire need, she had little idea what would be in store for the animals or herself.
At the time they came into Powell’s care, the bigger dog was 2.9 pounds and his smaller brother was only 2.8 pounds.
”I took  Biggie and his brother when they were about eight-weeks old,” Powell said. “I called them Big and Small so I wouldn’t get attached to them. “
Powell said the pair had just been rescued from an abandoned house a day or two before.
With temperatures reaching 100 degrees, the pups were being temporarily housed in an old rabbit hutch at the dog warden’s home.
“They had three more siblings at the dog warden’s, too,” Powell said. “The mother and I think three more siblings got away.
Powell and a friend decided to take four of the puppies and another woman took the last one.
“When I picked them up, they were dehydrated and so tiny,” Powell said. “Biggie had  coccidia and mange, but now is a healthy 42-pound boy.”
 The tiny, sickly pup Powell named Big  is now ranked 13th and 16th in the nation in the United Kennel Club levels two and three rally obedience rankings.  He also has an American Kennel Club Rally Excellent title, and three  AKC Novice Agility titles.
Hilari Gentry, president of Owen County Friends of Animals, said Biggie is a good example of what can come from an adoption.
“Keep Biggie in mind the next time you decide to adopt a dog. Bypass the breeder and save a deserving dog from your local shelter,” Gentry said. “Also, remember breeding only adds to the overpopulation issue. Every shelter receives a large number of pure bred dogs throughout the year. The overwhelming majority of shelter dogs have no flaws that make them  unadoptable. They are simply homeless due to human irresponsibility.”