April 10, 2013 - Brutally beaten and buried alive.
China says, “Will you please take me home with you?” How can you resist this face? Photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
That's how China's previous owner left her.
But fortunately, the German Shepherd mix was found by some kindhearted folks, nursed back to health and is now waiting patiently at the Oxford-based K-9 Stray Rescue League's kennel for someone to adopt her.
"She absolutely adores everybody," said Lori Stevenson, president of the K-9 Stray Rescue League and medical coordinator for the group. "Considering what this poor dog has been through, I don't know how she could ever trust anybody. But she bonds with people really quick. It's amazing."
Prior to coming to Oxford, China, who Stevenson estimated to be 1-2 years old, lived in a trailer park in Bay City.
Her previous owner beat her "severely" with a hammer, according to Stevenson.
"He thought she was dead, so he took her out behind his shed, covered her up with just a little bit of dirt and a piece of plywood, put stuff on top of the plywood and left her there," she said. "It's really sad. I can't believe somebody did that."
A few days later, an injured China was spotted roaming the trailer park. Some neighbors immediately called animal control and police.
China received $800 in veterinarian care and has been with the K-9 Stray Rescue League since March 28.
"She's started to heal now," Stevenson said. "It's been like four weeks, so the hair's growing back, but you can still see all the scabs and the indents on her skull."
Stevenson indicated China appears to have some neurological damage. "When she first stands up (after sleeping or laying down), she wobbles. It's like she's slightly drunk," she said. "But then she straightens out. Once she gets up and starts moving, she's okay. She runs and jumps."
"We hope that (the neurological issue will) straighten itself out in time, but we can't say for sure," Stevenson added. "Her brain was swollen. She was in bad shape."
It appears the beating did not at all affect China's personality. She's not scared or shy around people. In fact, she's very affectionate and loves to lick faces, nuzzle and play with toys. China seems to be a good listener and a quick learner – especially when treats are used as a motivator.
"She's absolutely wonderful," said Stevenson, who noted she's the "current favorite" at the 2120 Metamora Rd. kennel. "All of us love her. We've all just fallen for this dog."
China's previous owner will not be facing any criminal charges for his alleged actions.
"Nobody witnessed this guy doing this, so there's absolutely nothing they can do," Stevenson said.
When police questioned the former owner about his dog's condition, he told them that China was gone when he arrived home. He thought somebody had broken in and stolen her.
When asked why he didn't file a police report, Stevenson said the former owner told them nothing was missing, except for the dog, so he didn't see a need to contact authorities.
China has been spayed, vaccinated for rabies and tested for heartworm disease. All she needs now is a loving place to call home.
"She's just a really great dog," Stevenson said.
Adopting a dog from the K-9 Stray Rescue League costs $200. That fee is designed to help offset the group's costs.
For more information about the K-9 Stray Rescue League or how to adopt China, please visit www.dogsaver.org/k9srl or call (248) 628-0435.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.