N  I  A  G  A  R  A       G  A  Z  E  T  T  E       niagara-gazette.com

Published: August 26, 2009 03:11 pm

SPCA: Dragged dog may lead parade

By Bill Wolcott
Niagara Gazette

Walker, the dragged dog which was rescued on Niagara Avenue, will lead the annual Paws in the Park Walk sponsored by the Erie County SPCA on Sept. 12 — health permitting.

Linda Tilton, who took the 6-month old cocker spaniel to the on Aug. 8, accepted the challenge and hopes Walker will be up to it. It’s a 2-mile walk through Beaver Island State Park on Grand Island.

“We have to watch every day,” said Gina Browning, a spokesman for the SPCA. “As long as walker is okay we would like him at the start of it. We would at least like to have him there.”

Walker has become somewhat of a celebrity since his ordeal on a Saturday afternoon and he has a Web site through the SPCA — www.yourspca.org/site/TR/Walk/General.

Tilton brought the puppy to her home on South Street for the weekend to see how it would adjust. The dog has not been officially adopted.

“The vets say it’s not good for him to go back and forth,” Browning said. “Once he is adopted, all the vet care is her responsibility.”

Paws in the Park is an annual fundraising effort to benefit the services of the SPCA. The event raises money for yearlong support of the SPCA’s cruelty prevention, education, adoption and animal programs.

Emergency care for Walker cost $3,776 which has been covered by donations. Tilton hopes for continued support and wrote: “I am asking you to help by supporting my fund-raising efforts with a donation. Your tax-deductible gift will make a difference in the lives of many. It is faster and easier than ever to support this great cause - you can make your donation online by simply clicking on the Web site.”

Donations may be mailed to SPCA Serving Erie County, Paws in the Park, 205 Ensminger Road, Tonawanda, NY 14150. Make checks payable to: Erie County SPCA.

“We’ve been able to afford things we’ve never been able to afford before, top level,” Browning said. Walker will receive laser therapy. The Yelp for Help is for dogs in general that need emergency care.

Walker, barely escaped death while being dragged behind a car for almost a mile and left for dead at the K & K Food Mart.

“For a while we were not sure Walker would survive,” according to Tilton. “This pup has a zest for life that is incredible. He has suffered an unbelievable act of cruelty. He has suffered a great deal of pain and has endured. He is happy and friendly to all. He trusts people. He has a second chance at life and in turn has given a second chance.”