3 rescued dogs wagging to recovery

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

They once were in desperate situations, but three dogs rescued in Metro Detroit last month are on the mend.

Bentley, a St. Bernard found trapped in Detroit last week and treated by Detroit Dog Rescue, was reunited with his family on Monday.

Perhaps the happiest is “Bentley,” the St. Bernard found trapped in an abandoned Detroit house last week.

Detroit Dog Rescue officials rushed to treat the dog, who was underweight and showing signs of organ failure. As word spread about his case, supporters alerted the pup’s original owners, who told volunteers he was stolen from their home on Easter Sunday, said Executive Director Kristina Rinaldi.

After connecting with the group and presenting paperwork proving ownership, the family reunited Monday evening, she said. “It was so emotional. We were so happy we were able to close this chapter for them.”

The person who mistreated 5-year-old Bentley has not yet been found, Rinaldi said. Meanwhile, the St. Bernard, who had been on a slow-feed schedule, continues to recuperate. “We’re going to follow up to make sure he’s OK.”

Recovery is also key for Mackinac, a black Labrador Retriever whose right rear leg Michigan Humane Society officials said was amputated using garden shears and a kitchen knife.

Investigators have been working with authorities to determine charges against the owner, who told a TV station he could not afford treatment for gangrene that set in following a fight with other dogs.

Mackinac, the dog whose leg was partly amputated in Hamtramck last month

Veterinarians further amputated Mackinac’s right-rear leg approximately mid-femur on Thursday and must wait 10-14 days to remove his skin sutures, humane society spokesman Shaun Bailey said.

“Since then they have also evaluated Mackinac and, among other things, found him to be a ‘sweet and friendly dog,’ ” he said Tuesday.

A positive disposition also has aided Phoenix, a pooch police found burned in Dearborn.

Officers sent the female to Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit. Shelter leaders and others believe the mixed-breed had been burned multiple times.

“This was a deliberate act based on the separation of the burns from the shoulder, neck, head and legs and the linear aspects of many of the burns,” said Dr. Melinda Merck of Veterinary Forensics Consulting, who reviewed the wounds, in a recent statement.

Named after the mythical creature that emerged from ashes, Phoenix underwent treatment and remained “in good spirits,” said Elaine Greene, executive director at Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit.

She is “doing much better,” has been adopted and was expected to head home with her new owners as early as this week, said Colleen Robar, a spokeswoman for the shelter.

Meanwhile, the shelter has been offering a $4,000 reward for tips to find a suspect.

“The outpouring of concern and support for Phoenix has been amazing and is truly appreciated,” Greene said.