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May 24, 2012 2:11 PM

"Cholla" the puppy up for adoption after encounter with cactus

FLORENCE - A very kind man from the Hidden Valley area south of Maricopa called Animal Care & Control after he found a stray dog covered in cactus needles. An Animal Care & Control officer responded, rescued the brown and white boxer mix puppy and took him immediately to Maricopa Animal Hospital. The Animal Control staff thinks the puppy was so hungry and dehydrated that it attempted to eat a cholla cactus.

"He was covered in cactus spines - they were in his mouth and tongue, all over his face, on his belly, in his paws and everywhere in between," said J.J. Johnson, the responding Animal Care & Control field officer. "He was a pathetic sight. Fortunately, the people at Maricopa Animal Hospital were able to render immediate assistance to the dog we now call Cholla."

Dr. Lora Schelle and her hospital manager, Sharon, sedated the puppy and spent the next two hours carefully extracting hundreds of embedded cactus needles.

Cholla pronounced "choy-yah" like the cactus he encountered, is a brown and white dog, about four months old. It is unknown how big he will grow to be. He is a typical, active puppy who will benefit from some training and guidance as he grows up.

Cholla has bounced back from his adversity and subsequent neuter surgery. He will be up for public adoption at Pinal County Animal Care & Control on Friday morning at 10:00 AM. If more than one potential adopter is present at Animal Control at 10 AM when he goes up for adoption, there will be a drawing or coin flip for the adoption.

It would be best for Cholla to be adopted by a person or family with a cactus-free yard. His adoption fee is $140.

"We genuinely appreciate our veterinary partners like Maricopa Animal Hospital," Animal Care & Control Director Kaye Dickson said. "They make it possible for us to give an injured dog like Cholla a second chance."

Animal Care & Control is located at 1150 South Eleven Mile Corner Road in Casa Grande. The shelter is open from 8:00 to 5:00 Monday through Friday and from 10:00 to 2:00 on Saturday. There are other dogs and cats needing good homes. If you can't adopt Cholla, please consider other animals. Available animals are listed on PetHarbor.com.

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