|Michigan volunteers plan more rescues of Katrina petsCFP Livonia
Scarlett searches for a home after her rescue
Abused terrier needs leg surgery
March 9, 2006
BY MARY LENDZION COMMUNITY FREE PRESS
Every morning, just after waking, Matt Schaecher of Plymouth tends to his dogs: three he owns, and more that he fosters.
He feeds them, gives them medicine if they need it and plays with them — all before he has taken a first bite of breakfast.
And when the 27-year-old Detroit firefighter leaves for his long work shifts, his girlfriend, Christina Olszowy, picks up right where he left off.
Schaecher’s own dogs are Angel, who was rescued after someone tried to hang and burn her; Frank, who was found abandoned and starving behind a warehouse when Schaecher was checking fire hydrants, and Gilbert, whose family was never found after Hurricane Katrina.
One of his current foster dogs, Scarlett, a terrier only 8 months old, already has a tough past behind her. Before being rescued from a home in Livonia, she was kicked — over and over — in her back left leg.
Scarlett needs surgery to repair the damage to her leg. It will cost about $1,000.
Schaecher is working with the Michigan Animal Adoption Network — which will find a permanent home for Scarlett when she is well — to raise money for the surgery.
“When you are standing behind Scarlett, you can see that the muscle in her right leg is 2 1/2 inches wide, while it’s only an inch wide in her left leg,” said Schaecher.
“She won’t walk on it because of the pain, so the muscle is not as big. It’s obvious that she’s had this break for quite some time, but she won’t have any lameness after surgery.
“Scarlett is a great dog,” he added, “but sadly, she was left outdoors all of the time. The longer dogs are left outdoors on their own, the less social they are with people. But this isn’t the case with Scarlett. All she wants is human contact.”
Scarlett — now spayed and current on vaccines — gets along well with the other dogs in Schaecher’s home, as well as with his young son, Aydan, 2.
“I know that whoever adopts Scarlett will love her,” said Schaecher. “She’s one of my best fosters ever, and it’s going to be hard to say good-bye to her.
“Some people question why I would spend so much time on these animals, but I see so many that are put to sleep for no other reason than there is no room for them anywhere,” added Schaecher.
“You’ve got to help the ones you can, and there is such a need for foster families.”
To report an animal in need of immediate attention, call Schaecher at 313-433-6657 anytime. Donations may be mailed to the Michigan Animal Adoption Network, P.O. Box 20523, Ferndale 48220. For more information on Scarlett or other adoptable pets, call 248-545-5055 or visit www.mi-aan.org. Contact MARY LENDZION at firstname.lastname@example.org or 248-351-3290.
Matt Schaecher holds Scarlett, an 8-month-old terrier he is fostering. Schaecher is helping the Michigan Animal Adoption Network raise $1,000 for surgery for Scarlett’s injured leg. (Michigan Animal Adoption Network)