At first, there didn’t appear to be anything unusual about the call made to the animal control center: apparently, it was just another case of a persistently barking dog. However, the last thing the call turned out to be was routine. That’s because when an officer arrived at the scene, he was presented with a desperate creature clinging on for dear life.
That call came in on a very wet July day in Georgia, where a noisy dog was adding to the misery of the bad weather. The animal had been making a horrific din for hours without any sign of letting up, in fact. And it appeared that one individual in Stone Mountain had had enough of the racket, as they subsequently telephoned Gwinnett County Animal Control.
Consequently, Officer Hunter Barnett from the unit made his way to the complainant’s property on Hodges Way in the city. And once there, Barnett could certainly hear why he had been called out. Furthermore, the perturbed resident would explain that the barking sounded as though it was coming from some nearby woods. So, braving the wet weather, the officer duly went to investigate on foot.
However, after much searching of the wooded area, Barnett was unable to locate the troublesome dog’s whereabouts. Strangely, even though the officer could still hear the barking, he could not see any sign of the animal anywhere. It wasn’t until Barnett stumbled upon a small creek among the trees, in fact, that the officer felt like he was making any kind of progress.
From this new location, Barnett could hear a whimpering noise that sounded like it was coming from nearby. But although the animal controller subsequently scanned the banks of the waterway for any visual clues, he could see neither hide nor hair of the hound. Then Barnett’s eyes were drawn down to the filthy water of the creek below.
That is when Barnett was confronted with a sight that may haunt him for a long time. There, below him in the creek, was the head of a dog, submerged right up to his neck in water. In addition, the mud of the creek was so thick that the animal was stuck fast, completely unable to move. And the hound would look up at Barnett with beseeching eyes.
It was plain for the officer to see, then, that the dog was in dire straits. After what must have been hours of struggling, the animal only had so much fight left in him – and the relentless rain was making his struggle in the mire even harder. As a result, there can be little doubt that had no call been made and Barnett not attended the scene, the creature would have perished.
Yet while Barnett was keen to help the desperate dog, the officer found the canine to be extremely anxious. As a result, the animal growled at Barnett every time that the man came near. But, in the end, the dog had no choice but to put his trust in the stranger if he wanted to escape with his life.
Consequently, the sodden animal finally relented to Barnett’s advances and let the officer stroke him. And after Barnett had petted the poor pooch for a while, he felt confident that the hound would now allow him to help him out of his sticky situation. So, the officer started to dig the dog out. Fortunately, before too long, Barnett had rescued the mutt from his muddy fate, scooped the dirty dog up in his arms and carried him to safety.
And after saving the dog, Barnett named the animal Moses – presumably because he was found in the rushes. Back at the Gwinnett County Animal Control shelter, meanwhile, vets discovered that the dog was an 18-month-old Labrador-pit bull mix. Furthermore, while it was not clear how Moses had gotten into his predicament, it was not thought that he had been abandoned. It was clear, however, that the poor dog had been dreadfully neglected before his time in the water.
There are theories as to how Moses was where he was, though; Officer Barnett, for example, believes that the hapless hound got stuck in the muddy creek by accident. Meanwhile, Carolyn O’Brien, an animal rescue worker based in Georgia, thinks that the wet weather could have been a factor in Moses’ mishap. O’Brien spoke to the local TV channel Fox 5 in July 2017, explaining, “He was submerged neck-deep in the muddy water.”
And O’Brien continued, “The weather was bad – so we’ve been told – the side of the creek gave out and he fell in. As it continued to rain, he kept getting stuck and couldn’t get out.” She also praised Barnett, saying, “The officer that came out saved Moses’ life. If he hadn’t come at that time, Moses wouldn’t be alive.”
And, as it happens, O’Brien is the founder of animal sanctuary Two Tailz Rescue in Roswell – the charitable organization that ended up taking Moses in. When Moses arrived at the shelter, though, staff found him to be in a bad way due to long-term neglect. He had a severe case of the itchy skin infection demodox mange, for instance, as well as being extremely malnourished and suffering from worms.
Furthermore, vets believed that Moses was also suffering from an eye infection caused by the murky water in the creek. However, Two Tailz staff later discovered that his ailment was, in fact, entropion. This uncomfortable condition leads the eyelashes to curl inwards causing scratching and severe irritation to the surface of the eye. It was another sign of the neglect shown to Moses.
Unfortunately, though, the only treatment for entropion is surgery. And, alas, Two Tailz simply did not have the money to pay for an operation for Moses. So the animal welfare charity launched a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe. The aim was to raise $1,300 to pay to fix the problem that affected both of Moses’ eyes.
In the meantime, however, the most immediately important thing was to find Moses a roof over his head. So, Two Tailz posted a plea to potential doggie foster families on its Facebook page. According to the update, made in late July 2017, Moses would need a safe environment where he could get plenty of rest, his meds administered and lots of TLC.
“None of Moses’ medical issues are contagious,” the Two Tailz Facebook appeal reassured potential foster families. “He is not a large dog – only [approximately] 60 pounds. He is an absolute sweetheart who is very friendly and amazingly trusting of humans.”
And, thankfully, someone must have stepped forward and volunteered to give Moses temporary shelter, as in October 2017 Two Tailz announced that the dog was thriving in his foster home. The animal welfare organization did not reveal if Moses had received his eye surgery yet, but the update said that the hound was well all the same.
Now, the staff at Two Tailz needed to find someone who could care for Moses on a long-term basis. And everyone at the organization was convinced that he would make the perfect pet for one lucky family. A spokesperson from Two Tailz even said of the dog, “This one-year-old boy is very full of love and ready for an amazing family.”
So hopefully it shouldn’t be too long before Moses finds his furever home. And once he does, the canine can put the misery of his previous neglect and his near-death experience behind him. After all, every dog should have a safe, dry and loving home to call their own.