Helping Harriet

4 mins read
Harriet at the Franklin County Animal Shelter, her home for the last four weeks.

FARMINGTON – Early one December morning, Franklin County Animal Shelter staff discovered a dog on their front porch, tied to one of the support beams with a leash and only a blanket to keep her warm. Kalista Werner, social media manager, volunteer coordinator, and kennel technician at the shelter found her outside and hurried to get her examined and treated in the back of the shelter.

The dog quickly grew on the employees, who named her Harriet.

Werner said that animals are randomly dropped off more often than ideal, but typically they see cats. Harriet is a rare case.

It was soon discovered that Harriet had mange, a parasitic skin disease which is caused by microscopic mites. These mites are found in hair follicles, causing severe itching and hair loss. Mange mites are non-contagious but will affect her long term, especially if she were to go untreated.

Werner, along with other employees and Catherine Chapman, supervisor of Franklin County Animal Shelter, have been caring for her for the last four weeks now. The treatment includes medicated baths and lots of love.

Werner said, “Gonna be a long process before she is fully healed.”

Due to the hair loss Harriet had barely any hair to protect her from the cold of early morning winter, but thankfully no frostbite had occurred on her skin. Harriet had also developed sores on herself from chewing on her skin to soothe the itching. She was given a cone around her head to prevent any more welts from developing. She could still reach with her leg to itch herself so she was given a coat to cover her skin, and she is now on the path to recovery.

Harriet’s side, affected by mange. The redness and irritation appears to have gone down compared to the first photos released by the shelter.

The shelter has had a lot of interest in her from potential adopters, but Werner said due to policy they are not taking any applications until Harriet is fully recovered.

She is described by employees as very sweet and excitable. They are unsure how she is around other animals as she has been separated from them due to her condition, but they had stated that her excitability is due to her new surroundings and she is adjusting well to her new environment.

“She is a very good girl,” Werner said.

he Franklin County Animal Shelter employees expressed that recovery from mange is a long process, where good progress is made and then two steps backwards are taken. Due to this, the process for Harriet’s full recovery is a long procedure that will take months to be fully achieved.

“[It will be] a long road before she can be adopted out,” Chapman stated.

Despite her being withheld from any adoption applications due to medical reasons, Werner stated that she seems well house trained. Not only that but she is very compliant for her bloodwork, and she loves bath time.

For more information on the Franklin County Animal Shelter, visit their website.


Early morning in front of the Franklin County Animal Shelter.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email