Harley has recovered his health and spirit, thanks to the care and love given to him by the Kitsap Humane Society staff. He is now available for adoption. Photo: Kitsap Humane Society

Harley has recovered his health and spirit, thanks to the care and love given to him by the Kitsap Humane Society staff. He is now available for adoption. Photo: Kitsap Humane Society

Harley’s redemption: finding a loving home

By BOB SMITH

Kitsap News Group

SILVERDALE — Harley, a pit bull-boxer mix dog, has a tale that only he could describe. In a sense, it’s a blessing he can’t verbalize the abuse he has suffered most of his life.

But the Kitsap Humane Society, with the help of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, has been able to piece together the sad facts that make up his story.

On Jan. 24, sheriff’s office deputies checked on an abandoned, derelict trailer home in Port Orchard and discovered deplorable conditions inside. They also found Harley inside, who by that time was clearly in distress.

Kitsap Animal Control was called in to assist rescuing the dog. Rescuers had to don gas masks before setting foot inside the structure.

Inside, the home was filled with feces and garbage, which emitted a high level of ammonia, according to Chase Connolly, a Kitsap Animal Control field manager.

“It is always a shock to find cases of neglect like this in our own community,” Connolly said.

“This poor dog had suffered through cruel conditions, but was still so happy and excited to meet the deputies and officers that came to his rescue.”

It was apparent to investigators that the dwelling’s owner had moved away months before and stopped coming to check on the property — and to feed Harley.

The dog’s neglect showed in his haggard appearance. Harley was severely underweight, his ribs were clearly visible and his eyes were infected.

Harley was impounded by Humane Society staffers and examined by the agency’s lead veterinarian, Dr. Jennifer Stonequist. She determined that the dog was likely 8 to 10 years old and suffering from emaciation. He clearly hadn’t received veterinary care for his chronic conditions.

To get Harley on the road to recovery, Stonequist placed him on a refeeding diet to safely help the dog gain weight. He received blood work and was given much-needed medication.

In the 11 weeks he has been in the caring hands of the Humane Society, Harley has made a startling recovery. When originally rescued, the dog weighed just 35 pounds.

Now, he’s added 15 pounds to his once-gaunt frame. His eyes, once sealed shut with green discharge, are now clear thanks to daily eye drops.

Denise Caruso of Kitsap Humane Society said Harley has been transformed into a healthier being who shows clear signs that he feels better. She said volunteers and staff members report that he loves to play ball, chew on toys and cuddle.

“He is such a staff favorite that he spends his days up at the customer service desk ‘assisting’ staff and greeting customers,” Caruso said.

She added that he can often be found lounging on his big dog bed behind the desk — usually on his back with his feet in the air, snoring away.

Harley does have some lameness in one of his hind legs, Caruso said, due to an old injury and arthritis, but it doesn’t appear to slow him down. Despite his limp, she said Harley loves to head out on short walks in the woods surrounding the shelter.

Caruso said the dog’s big reward for having survived his deplorable ordeal would be to find a loving home.

“Thanks to a generous donor, Harley’s adoption fee has been sponsored,” she said.

For more information on Harley and what home would best suit him, visit the Humane Society’s website at www.kitsap-humane.org.

Harley, a pit bull-boxer mix, was found emaciated and living in a filthy, abandoned trailer home in Port Orchard. Photo: Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office

Harley, a pit bull-boxer mix, was found emaciated and living in a filthy, abandoned trailer home in Port Orchard. Photo: Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office

More in News

A little parade watcher exchanges a wave with a princess on a float. (Bob Smith | Kitsap News Group)
Summer weather returns just in time for Fathoms parade

Absent for two straight summers, parade watchers soak in the fun and sun

.
Toddler survives fentanyl overdose; mom arrested

Poulsbo child, 2, is alert; long-term effects unknown

The Planned Parenthood clinic in Bremerton. Courtesy Photo
Bremerton Planned Parenthood vows to provide access

Roe v. Wade overturned by US Supreme Court

The Timber Run sign inside the apartment property. Elisha Meyer/Port Orchard Independent Photos
Rent hike could leave some homeless

Some residents at a Port Orchard apartment complex are scrambling to find… Continue reading

.
All events back on for Kingston 4th of July

Parade at noon; fireworks at 10 p.m.

A map of the North Kitsap region where many trail segments are being considered for the North Sound to Olympics Trail. Courtesy Graphic
Planning discussed for North Sound to Olympics Trail

Kitsap County Public Works held an open house Wednesday at the Village… Continue reading

.
Turning 105 is no big deal for Mary DeLaGrange

Port Orchard birthday girl just wants her family to enjoy some cake

Animal Emergency & Specialty Center has expanded its services and is now located at College Marketplace in Poulsbo. Courtesy Photo
Poulsbo animal hospital moves, expands services

Animal Emergency & Specialty Center, formerly known as Animal Emergency & Trauma… Continue reading

The donated concrete floats were towed to the Port of Poulsbo for complete refurbishment and reuse in the new floating breakwater. Courtesy Photo
Construction of new Poulsbo breakwater begins

Will be ready for public by next year

Most Read