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Bulldog mix rescued after being frozen to N.D. road

JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- As freezing rain and snow came down and road conditions became worse by the hour, Shelby, a 6-year-old bulldog mix, lay frozen to a road near Pipestem Reservoir.

Levi Harrington and his friend, Jordan Stutsman, were alerted to the dog after Levi's father, a blade operator, spotted it on the same road for two days.

The minimum-maintenance road is rarely traveled. Harrington said it is the same road where he runs with his 2-year-old German shorthair, D.J.

'Clump of snow'

After circling the road Jan. 22, searching with his truck's headlights, Harrington spotted "a clump of snow," and found Shelby covered with ice and stuck to the gravel, lying on her left hind leg.

Harrington and Stutsman warmed the dog's icy underbelly with their hands until Harrington was able to lift the 87-pound canine into his truck.

"I just have a big heart for dogs," he said.

Prairie Paws

Once back at his shop, he started to phone friends until he reached Whitney John, daughter of Prairie Paws Rescue co-founder Kaye John.

Prairie Paws helps animals in need by providing them with care, food and temporary foster homes until they can find permanent owners. John and fellow Prairie Paws co-founder Becky Johnson found a foster home for Shelby.

"All of her energy was used to keep herself alive," John said.

Frostbite treated

Shelby was treated for frostbite this week but the extent of her injuries were not yet fully known, Johnson said. "There's going to be some long-term medical treatments for the frostbite," she said.

Shelby's treatment in Jamestown included scrubbing the exposed areas of her belly, antibiotics to prevent infection and a cooling spray to provide comfort, Johnson said.

By looking at Shelby's right rear leg, Johnson was able to see that the dog recently had surgery. After checking with area veterinarians, she found an ID for the dog and an old owner who had to give her away when she moved to California, Johnson said.

The old owner also gave the name of the person to whom she gave Shelby. Johnson would not provide the person's name.

Harrington said he believes Shelby was intentionally left outside because the road she was found on is so remote and unused. Johnson said there is no proof the dog was abandoned.

"You want to give them (animals) the same respect you'd give a person because they bring comfort in so many ways," Johnson said.

The old owner was moved to tears about the status of her dog and sent someone to pick Shelby up and bring her to California, Johnson said.

"She hopefully won't have to worry about frostbite again," John said.

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