The Sweetest Dog
Named Sugar & Her Story
We (my neighbors and I) met Sugar on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at about 11 p.m. when she wandered up as we were relaxing on my outside patio. Upon inspecting her, we realized that she was in horrible condition. Her eyes and ears were infected. Her body had multiple old and recent wounds. Fleas infested her beige fur. And her collar wrapped around her neck so tightly that I couldn’t even fit one of my small fingers between it and her neck.
Based on her wounds and her collar’s label, we identified Sugar as a “hog-dog” (a dog who is pitted against wild boar either in a ring or in the wild for “entertainment/sport”). We immediately took off her collar, went to the store, and bought dog food, treats, and shampoo. We stayed up with Sugar well past 4 a.m., feeding and watching over her. We all cried, and I hugged Sugar and said to her, “You’re safe now, baby.” As weak as she was, Sugar still managed to lick me and wag her tail. Despite her condition, she was the sweetest dog.
One of us planned to keep Sugar, and care for her. On Monday morning, we made an appointment with the Brevard Humane Society, so that Sugar could get an examination. Her appointment was scheduled for that upcoming Wednesday. In the meantime, Sugar spent all of Monday in a privacy-fenced back yard, with a large soft bed, a fan in the shade, and a tarp to prevent her from getting wet in the rain. We babied her with baths, cleaned her ears and eyes as best we could, and fed her.
Story continues below pictures…
On Tuesday morning, shortly after checking on Sugar, she went missing. We believe that someone let her out from the backyard. We learned from our neighborhood office that Sugar’s owner was searching for her. We had already reported Sugar’s situation to the Brevard County Animal Services. But I called them again, offered them Sugar’s current home information, and requested a wellness check.
We learned that Sugar was not registered to her current owner’s address and that she lives outside in a high box kennel with three other hog-hunting dogs. The kennel has a plywood floor, but no bedding. The officer who conducted the wellness check confirmed that Sugar had an eye infection, but was not concerned about Sugar’s wounds, because this is just “what happens with hog-dogs kept in high box kennels.” Sugar’s owner received fines and was instructed to take his four hog-dogs to the vet and to obtain registrations by a certain date. Ultimately, Sugar’s owner was allowed to keep her, because owning hog-dogs and hunting wild boar is legal in Florida, and in several other southern states.
We have learned that Sugar is 9/10 years old. She has obviously lived a horrible life of neglect. Like all hog-dogs, Sugar has been trained to taunt, terrorize, and attack wild hogs. And she is forced to participate in a hunting practice that is essentially animal fighting, but without an audience and a performance ring. Despite this, the Sugar we met is as sweet as can be.
We want Sugar to be free from her current situation of neglect. We want her to live out her golden years peacefully. And we want to help the countless other Sugars by advocating new laws that ban the use of dogs from hog-hunting practices.