A Long Island dog is up for adoption after he was surrendered by a Mastic family that kept him outdoors for most of his life, a local rescue group said.
The dog, a black chow-lab named Bear, had been living in a deteriorating doghouse in the family’s backyard. The owners considered Bear an outside dog, meant to protect the property, rain or shine, summer or winter, according to the Guardians of Rescue, based in Smithtown.
The rescue group said the owners told them the 15-year-old dog had been chained in the backyard for most its life. They had owned Bear since he was a puppy.
“We received a call about a dog in need of a doghouse,” said Robert Misseri, founder and president of the Guardians of Rescue. “But when we got there, it was even worse than that. That’s when we discovered the poor dog had spent his whole life attached to a heavy chain.”
He talked to the owners about finding proper care for the dog. The owners, who told Misseri they had inside dogs in addition to Bear, agreed Sunday to have the chow-lab spend the rest of its life with another family.
Misseri said the dog had been well-fed by its former owners, and is healthy and outgoing.
A few days earlier, the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had received a call from Suffolk County Legis. Kate Browning (WF-Shirley) about the dog.
Keeping a dog tethered for more than two hours is illegal and punishable by fine. The SPCA sent an officer to Mastic, and the owners brought Bear into the house immediately, the SPCA said. The SPCA had been in the process of providing the family with a new doghouse until the Guardians stepped in.
“The best thing was to get it out of that environment,” SPCA Chief Roy Gross said.
The Guardians brought the chow-lab to the Save-A-Pet Animal Rescue and Adoption Center in Port Jefferson. Bear was bathed, groomed and fed veggie burgers, and will be kept in a warm environment.
Prospective owners should be home regularly to provide Bear with proper attention, Save-A-Pet said.