Update: Shortly after Red passed away, Ziggy was adopted by a wonderful woman who loved the Ziggy comics and knew all about Ziggy, his doggy family and his humans! Ziggy fit into her home as if he’s been there forever. Though it’s sad that Ziggy lost his girl, it’s wonderful that he’d found his final, furever home. All pets should be that lucky.
In January 2015, South Florida rescues were desperate to find a home for a pair of dogs, Red and Ziggy, who had been left behind when their caretaker, a long-time animal advocate, passed away. While they were waiting for their furever home to appear, this past August, the Miami Pet Assistance Coalition (MPAC), who had taken the dogs under their wing, recruited the pair to be local canine ambassadors, bringing awareness of the availability of low cost vet services, and the value of spay and neutering pets, to the residents of Little Haiti, their Miami, Florida neighborhood. They loved interacting with the children in the neighborhood, thrilled with every cuddle they received.
Red and Ziggy were able to remain living together in an area workshop, which was taken over by new renters after Larry, their human, passed away in December, 2014. Though their current living condition was not ideal, the new renters knew Larry and really liked dogs, so they provided basic care for Red and Ziggy. Food, water and companionship was available to the pair during the day. However, at night the dogs were all alone. Over the past 10 months, MPAC members Jamie and Alyson never forgot about Red and Ziggy, would visit the workshop, take them for long walks three to four times a month, and check on their well-being. They also made sure the two were always up-to-date on their vaccinations, had regular medical checkups, and kept them on flea and heartworm preventative. Alyson even took them to her home a number of times for a good bath. Sadly, their furever home never appeared.
Today, October 16, Examiner received some very sad news from MPAC. Earlier this year, Red was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor growing in her jaw. That tumor is now the size of a baseball, and she has lost a great deal of weight. Her window of time to find that furever home has almost closed. Once she passes, Ziggy will be all alone, which devastates the people at MPAC. Red, a ten-year-old, still beautiful red-gold Rhodesian Ridgeback-Lab mix, who is quiet and walks well on a leash, may have lost her chance to snuggle up on a couch with her human. The vets have determined the best course of action is to keep her as comfortable as possible. Potential treatment would have required the removal of half of her bottom jaw and aggressive chemotherapy, options that her doctors believe have a dim prospect of working. They, and MPAC, agree surgery and chemo would be cruel, especially for a dog in the twilight of her life.
Says Alyson, “We’re heartbroken that no one ever wanted to adopt this sweet pair, which is why we did our best to ensure that they had some kind of quality of life, despite living at a workshop. But they always seemed content because they had each other.” MPAC is concerned that Ziggy will lose his will to live, once he loses his last long-time companion, and will die from a broken heart, left alone at night in the workshop without his Red. Ziggy, a small, neutered Australian Shepherd-Lab mix, is about eight-years-old. He’s friendly, healthy, and a bit shy, though he did open up to children when taken on his neighborhood ambassadorial trips. A mid-size dog at about 35 lbs., he could easily make an apartment-dweller happy. Ziggy’s Adopt-a-pet link can be found here.
MPAC would be overjoyed if someone in South Florida would long-term foster both Red and Ziggy now, with the understanding that Red’s days are numbered. Red can no longer be adopted, due to her failing health, but MPAC will be responsible for all her medical bills. Ziggy can be fostered or adopted. If fostered, MPAC will still be responsible for his vet care and preventatives. If adopted, MPAC will always be there to support his family should a problem arise, including any training and discounted vet care if necessary.
They’re hoping that someone will open their heart and home to the pair. Both dogs are housetrained, and prefer not to live with any cats. Red still has a good appetite, but due to her tumor, she can only eat canned food. She’s been given powerful doses of vitamins and antioxidants specially made by a vet, that seem to perk her up. But she will be euthanized when it’s clear she is suffering as the cancer grows. Please help them find Ziggy a home to call his own, when Red has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. This sweet dog has suffered so much heartbreak in his life.
Please contact Alyson Scotti at Miami Pet Assistance Coalition at either firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com, or call (848) 231-MPAC (6722). If you would like to donate towards the care for Red, Ziggy or any of their other pets, donations can be sent to their Paypal address:firstname.lastname@example.org.