Saturday, September 26, 2020

Badly wounded dog loses gallant fight for life

Staff Writer | May 22, 2020 12:20 AM

MOSES LAKE — In the end, Chester couldn’t overcome the injuries.

He didn’t have a name when he was found at a residence in the Mattawa area May 13. All that’s known is that he was a Chesapeake retriever, which prompted the name bestowed by Bonnie Helvey, president of the Animal Rescue Friends Society (ARFS) of Grant County.

Chester was put to sleep May 18. His injuries indicated a fight with a pack of coyotes, said Tom Short, director of the animal rescue organization OkanDogs. Chester was treated at the Pioneer Vet Clinic in Moses Lake.

OkanDogs is based in Cashmere and focuses on dogs in Okanogan County, because there are few options there for abandoned or orphaned dogs. But “if there’s a dog emergency, we kind of throw away the map. And that was the case with poor old Chester,” Short said.

Short said he is looking for people in the Mattawa area who would be willing to contact his organization when they find an abandoned dog.

OkanDogs paid for Chester’s care. The organization is accepting donations to help pay the bill.

Chester probably had been attacked about five days before he was found, and no one knows how far he walked.

“It’s hard to know how long he wandered around with those injuries,” Helvey said.

“He’d been out there for a while,” Short said. The fact he survived that long showed what a strong dog he was, he added.

“He got to the yard, a grassy area under a shaded bush, and just laid down,” Helvey said.

Chester appeared to be getting a little better and was able to drink water on Sunday night. But the extent of the injuries became evident over the weekend, Short said, and the damage was too severe to heal.

The ARFS group is pretty new and still building up its indigent fund, Helvey said. In the end, OkanDogs agreed to help Chester out.

He didn’t have a collar or microchip. Since he was found, he was the subject of intense interest on social media, but no one came forward to claim him, Helvey said.

Helvey and her husband, Dave, were at the clinic when Chester was put to sleep.

People who want to donate to OkanDogs can do so at Checks can be mailed to OkanDogs, 6820 Osprey Lane, Cashmere, WA, 98815.