Sign In

Shelter Dog Becomes ESA

August 31, 2020

After being left tied to a post in the Hawkins County Humane Society parking lot overnight last week through a torrential downpour, a Labrador mix that was later named Oakley should be the one in need of emotional support.

Oakley literally ran his paws bloody during the 12-hour ordeal.

Instead, it’s Oakley who will be providing comfort for his new owner as a newly registered emotional support animal.

HCHS video surveillance shows a man stopping at the Rogersville shelter on July 28 at 9:22 p.m. and tying Oakley to a clothesline post next to the parking lot.

Oakley had no shelter when a thunderstorm hit later that night, and he wasn’t discovered until staff arrived at the shelter the next morning.

HCHS Manager Sandy Behnke is hoping someone will recognize the person who abandoned Oakley from a still photo captured from the video. She hopes to identify the person and prosecute him for animal neglect.

“When we came into work on July 29, (Oakley) was wet and his paws were bloody from trying to get out of the rain all night and possibly to go find his owners who dropped him off,” Behnke said. “After viewing the video, we noticed the man took (Oakley) out of the car and tied him to a pole and drove off. You can see the dog try to chase him, only to be yanked back from the rope.”

Behnke added, “Also in viewing the video, we noticed the hard rain that fell that night. It would not have bothered us if he would have tied him where there was shelter, like by the back or front door, but there was nowhere for this baby to get out of the weather.”

Vickie Kiker read about Oakley on the HCHS Facebook page and contacted the HCHS about her daughter, Chloe Quann, who needed an emotional support animal (ESA). Vickie and Chloe then went to the shelter to meet Oakley, and it was love at first sight.

Chloe told the Times News on Tuesday she suffers from anxiety and depression and because she is pregnant she had to stop taking her medication.

She also wanted a large dog that would not only be there for her, but to grow up with her child as well.

Since being adopted last week, Oakley has already become a registered ESA.

When she saw Oakley’s photo on Facebook, the first thing she noticed was he looked exactly like her dog that passed away two years ago.

“After I seen him, my mom’s like, ‘I’m not trying to push a dog on you, but I think you need to go look at this dog,’ ” Chloe said. “I went and looked at him that day, and then I fell in love with him. He was extremely friendly. Where I’m pregnant, I need a dog that’s good with kids. I need one that’s extremely friendly.”

She added, “I’m not on my medication where I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. He is a Lab mix, and labs are best for emotional support dogs. After I met him and he and I clicked right off the bat, I figured he would be perfect for my emotional support dog. I got him registered as my emotional support dog already, and we’re just waiting for the tag to arrive in the mail.”

Shelter staff believe Oakley is between 1-3 years of age, and undoubtedly the experience of being left at the shelter overnight was traumatic. Chloe said he’s doing very well and adapting to his new home.

His paws are healing with the help of Chloe, who bought ointment and some little paw booties to keep him from rubbing off the medicine

“He was timid at first until he realized I wasn’t going to take him somewhere and leave him again,” Chloe said. “I took him for a ride to get a pup cup (dog ice cream), and he was terrified to get into the car. Now he realizes he’s coming back home with me again, and he’s fine.”

Chloe added, “I can’t see why anyone would leave something this precious out in the open like that. He’s good with other dogs. He’s good with kids. He played with my nephew the other day. He doesn’t bark. He eats a lot, and he’s spoiled. He’s precious. I love him.”

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Big Dogs Need Owners

    When the shutdown orders took full effect, it became nearly impossible to find a small dog available for adoption as Southlanders sought furry companions. In many Southland shelters, only larger breeds remained available for adoption. Now Los Angeles Animal Service is touting the joys of big dogs while offering discounted adoption fees for larger breeds […]

    Read more

    Service Dog Walkathon

    On Saturday, October 3, hundreds of walkers from across 15 states joined the path to bettering the world for children with autism and their families as part of BluePath Service Dogs’ fourth annual walkathon. The family-friendly fundraiser – this year held virtually – raised more than $120,000 to further BluePath’s mission of providing autism service […]

    Read more

    Service Dog In The Marching Band

    In a year that is anything but normal, the Jones College Maroon Typhoon Marching Band has welcomed its first known service dog member this fall. Laurie, a 3-year-old golden retriever, is baritone saxophone player Sara-Beth McKellar’s service dog. The Vicksburg native was diagnosed with epilepsy as a sophomore in high school after her first seizure. […]

    Read more

    Church Blesses Animals

    St. Mary’s Church of the Immaculate Conception in Port Jervis hosted a special outdoor service last Sunday afternoon to bless the community’s pets, animals and other living creatures. In keeping with current pandemic rules, pet owners wore masks, remained distant, and took part in praying for dogs, cats, turtles, and other pets and animals around […]

    Read more

    Police Welcome New Canine

    After the unexpected passing of longtime Police Service Dog Zeus earlier this week, Kingston Police are welcoming a new member to the Canine Unit. Police Service Dog Bask, also known as K9-8, is a Dutch Shepherd and Belgium Malinois mix, and will be patrolling the streets of Kingston with his handler Constable Jeff Dickson. Bask […]

    Read more

    Dog Park For Travelers

    St. Petersburg is widely recognized as a dog-friendly city, and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport is making sure its four-legged visitors and their humans feel welcome by rolling out the artificial turf carpet. With the completion of the airport’s parking and roadway project – part of a series of multi-million dollar improvements at the airport over the […]

    Read more