Two lost dogs suffer attacks by porcupines at Minnewaska
KINGSTON - Two German shepherd mix dogs tangled with a porcupine and ended up covered in quills and lost in the woods at Minnewaska State Park this week, according to a dog control officer.
The two dogs, a male and female, were found by hikers deep in the woods off a trail lying in a pile of leaves early Tuesday morning, according to Jill Shufeldt, the dog control officer for the towns of Rochester, Rosendale, New Paltz and Esopus. She said rangers at the park brought the dogs out of the woods and she brought them to the Kingston Animal Hospital for treatment.
Shufeldt said the two dogs were exhausted when they were found and did not want to be separated from one another. They were both wearing collars but neither had tags identifying them or their owners.
"It amazes me that people aren't going crazy looking for their dogs," Shufeldt said. She added that it is dangerous to allow dogs to run loose because it is currently hunting season and wildlife such as bears, porcupines and skunks can cause harm to canines. She added that traffic and roads are dangerous for dogs on the loose.
Shufeldt said she will pick the dogs up from the veterinarian today and then quarantine them for 10 days to determine whether the dogs contracted rabies from the porcupine. She added that if the owners come forward it can be determined whether the dogs have up-to-date rabies vaccines or the owners can quarantine the dogs themselves. She said if no owner comes forward and the dogs are rabies-free they will be put up for adoption.
According to the Kingston Animal Hospital the two dogs weigh about 80 pounds each. The male is black and tan while the female is mostly tan in color.
It took approximately 45 minutes to get all the quills out of the male and about 30 minutes for the female, according to the veterinarian's office. The veterinarian's office added that the male also had bite marks around his eyes and the female had a cut on her leg. Both are on antibiotics.
Pictures of the dogs when they were brought to the hospital showed them with quills in their paws and on their muzzles and backs.
Shufeldt said the dogs got "so embedded with quills they couldn't go anywhere." (Freeman 10/29/04)
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