“Dasher” is one lucky dog

Veterinary technician Ashley Champagne took Dasher into her home when he was brought to the St. Charles Parish Animal Shelter with a fractured leg and crushed hip. Now she’s trying to find him a new “forever” home.

1-year-old lab is alive, walking after hit and run thanks to shelter worker

It was late December 2009 when St. Charles Parish Animal Control got the call that an 8-month-old Labrador puppy had been hit by a car on Hwy. 90 in Paradis.

When the dog arrived at the animal shelter, the workers stabilized him over the weekend and tried to find his owner.

Once the owner was located, he couldn’t afford the surgery it would take to fix the dog’s fractured leg and crushed hip bones and he had to sign the dog over to the shelter.

Luckily for the dog, Ashley Champagne was working at the animal shelter that day.

Champagne took the dog, now called Dasher in honor of the Christmas holidays, into her home and cared for him as he went through extensive surgery.

“I love all animals, but I’m very partial to labs and he was just definitely one I knew had to be saved,” said Champagne, a veterinary technician at the shelter.

Champagne said that despite her many pets at home, she always tries to keep a spot open in her house for special cases like Dasher.

Veterinarian Jena Troxler with the St. Charles Humane Society was at the shelter on the day that Dasher was brought in.

“When he came in he had a lot of head trauma and he was critical. He had a severely broken leg and hip and he couldn’t even stand up to go potty,” Troxler said.

The shelter took Dasher to an orthopedic surgeon for x-rays and specialized care.

“(The surgeon) even said that Dasher was one of the most difficult surgeries he’s had to do,” Troxler said.

The Humane Society and the animal shelter decided to pay for the $5,000 surgery to allow Dasher to walk again, but they still haven’t been able to pay it off and now Dasher needs another surgery.

“We haven’t finished paying off the first surgery and he also needs a second surgery because some of the pins in his legs and hip are backing out and they’re making him uncomfortable,” Champagne said. “There’s one you can actually see starting to back out; it’s like a little bump on his skin. He really needs the surgery, but we need to finish paying off the first one so that we can do this second one.”

Even though the shelter is still looking for donations to pay for the surgeries, Troxler said that this is much more than what they are usually able to do for a dog.

“We don’t usually go to the extent that we did for Dasher simply because we don’t have the equipment here…that an intensive care unit would have. This really is the exception,” Troxler said. “But the Humane Society gets donations from some people and we choose to go above and beyond for some animals.”

Once the second surgery is finished, Champagne said that Dasher will be ready for a “forever” home with someone who is ready to give and receive a lot of puppy love.

“Dasher’s full of energy, but he can’t play like he used to. He is kind of special needs. He can’t play as much as a normal puppy could play – he gets tired. And he can’t extend his legs all the way,” Champagne said. “His new home would have to be someone who just wants a companion, not a hunter. He will just have to be a house dog, but he walks very well.”

She added that an adopter could have a regular job because Dasher is fully kennel trained.

“He is so sweet. He’s a great dog and he loves to be around people,” she said.

Donations for Dasher’s surgeries can be taken or mailed to the St. Charles Animal Shelter at 13875 Frere St., Luling LA 70070. A note should be included stating that the donation is specifically for Dasher and the shelter will in turn send a receipt for tax purposes.

Anyone interested in finding more information on donating to Dasher’s surgeries or adopting him can call Ashley Champagne at (504)275-5932.


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