OSWEGO, NY – He started as a sickly dog wandering in a muck and now has attained rock star status.
Kevin was found in a muck field by a local dog control officer on Sept. 11, 2015, according to Margie Wentworth, the press secretary for Paws Across Oswego County.
The small group is a non-profit animal rescue, established in 2001, that’s based out of Oswego. PAOC fosters and adopts animals as well as working with local shelters to provide spay and neuter services; it also supports the community with low-cost vet care, when possible.
PAOC is housed at Paws & Effect, 2035 County Route 1, Oswego.
“Because Kevin was in need of much medical care, Paws Across Oswego County was asked to help. He was taken to a local veterinarian and he stayed there a couple of days,” Wentworth said.
The name “Kevin” just seemed to fit him, she added.
He was very thin and lacking most of his fur. Part of his tail was missing and it had healed up, but was broken and bent.
“His tail had been cut off and broken in two or three places. Now he doesn’t sit ‘normal.’ He kind of sits off to the side to compensate,” Wentworth said.
“We (PAOC) picked him up from the vet a few days later and began his healing process,” Wentworth told Oswego County Today. “He had many small meals a day, medicated baths and high quality foods.”
They began taking daily pictures to show his healing process.
“One day, we put a hat on him, he gave the biggest silly smile. And at that point, we realized he loved to dress up and loved the camera,” Wentworth said. “Every day we would post a Kevin picture and people just loved him!”
However, because of Kevin’s skin condition and “over excitement” with other dogs, PAOC found it very hard to find him a perfect forever home.
“We think it’s just part of his makeup. He’s had the skin infection for so long; it was so bad that he didn’t have any hair, it was just about gone when he came here,” she explained. “He gets too excited and ‘overly friendly’ around other dogs.”
As the days passed, they realized that he was urinating more and drinking a lot. So they did a urinalysis and found a bladder infection.
“After two full treatments it was not getting better. So we had our vet do blood work and found an issue with his kidneys,” Wentworth said. “After a sonogram, it was confirmed that Kevin was in the beginning stages of kidney failure.”
“At that point, we decided that we would no longer look for a home for Kevin. We realized he is home, here with us,” she added.
He is on medication for the skin infection and on April 7 just started new medications for the kidney failure.
“We caught it so early. It’s early kidney failure. So it’s like anything else, how long will they last with a disease? Everybody’s different. This medication that the vet put him on is not only supposed to give him a longer life but also a better quality of life,” she said. “That’s what we want. Our goal is for him to have long life, full of good quality of life and a lot of happiness – that’s the main thing.”
Kevin has become a spokesdog.
“Even though he’s an old guy, he gives a lot of love to a lot of people. He was estimated to be about 9 or 10 when we got him in (September) 2015. So he’s probably 12-ish. He became very popular very quickly. We had started taking pictures because we were trying to show his health progress,” Wentworth said. “We’d put pictures of him on the page and every day people would be ‘where is Kevin’s picture?’ So now we have a page dedicated to him. “
He will be traveling around doing some fun things to help raise funds and awareness to help other rescue dogs.
He gained notoriety just recently when Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow presented Kevin with a proclamation dedicating the fire hydrant at City Hall in his honor.
“The mayor was the one who came up with the idea for the fire hydrant dedication,” Wentworth said. “We thought that was very nice of him to do that for Kevin.”
Kevin is just happy to be alive. Every day is fun for him. While he does go out to help raise funds for other rescues, most of his days are spent lounging behind the counter at Paws & Effect greeting customers – and posing for photos.
“Kevin is always happy. He takes each day with so much excitement and love for life and it always shows in his pictures,” Wentworth said. “We all should be like Kevin and enjoy each day for what it brings.”
PAOC is supported by a group of dedicated volunteers who donate their time to socialize and train fosters. Due to the generosity of Paws & Effect for housing and caring for the foster animals free of charge, 100% of all donations made to the rescue, go to the vet care of the animals preparing them for adoption.
Recently, Kevin set a record for his raffle ticket sales at Paws & Effect. He raised $600 during his day while all of his friends visited him. He attempted to do it again Saturday (April 8)
All the funds he raises will be used to support his foster friends. Anyone who purchased tickets or makes a contribution to PAOC’s fosters’ care has their name entered into a bonus Kisses for Kevin raffle for a beautiful diamond necklace, generously donated by Theresa Penfield.
All drawings take place at Paws & Effect’s annual open house on April 30.
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