Neglected dog finds new home

Courtesy photo Brandee Houseman holds Chevy while standing next to her friend Maleyna Nelson after adopting the dog at the Delta Animal Shelter in December. Houseman said Nelson convinced her to go to the shelter to look at Chevy.

ESCANABA — Delta Animal Shelter saved 1,371 animals in 2018, one of which was little Chevy, a Jack Russell terrier mix, who rallied the community with her story and stole the hearts of her new family.

Chevy was adopted from Delta Animal Shelter and brought to her new home just in time for Christmas by Brandee Houseman of Perkins.

Houseman said she first heard about Chevy when her daughter, Izzy Houseman, showed her the first story about Chevy the Daily Press published.

“She was in tears,” said Houseman about her daughter after reading Chevy’s story.

Chevy was found in August by Escanaba Public Safety officers with multiple injuries, including a fractured skull, broken jaw, fractured eye socket, loss of vision in one eye, broken teeth and many deep lacerations all over her body, but mostly on her head. The injuries were caused by another dog, however, Chevy had suffered for 10 days without medical treatment before Escanaba Public Safety found her.

Chevy had a total of three surgeries after she was brought to the animal shelter. To help with the dog’s medical expenses, community members had donated $7,730 to the Delta Animal Shelter back in November.

The previous owner, Mark Thomas Blake, 52, of Escanaba, was arraigned on Oct. 3, 2018 and had a pre-trial on Nov. 20 where

he pleaded guilty to animals abandoning and cruelty to one animal, a 93-day misdemeanor. He is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 29.

All of Chevy’s injuries have healed, but she is permanently blind in one eye and has to eat soft food as a main food source because she had lost many of her teeth.

Houseman said she hadn’t planned on following Chevy’s story so closely, but her friend Maleyna Nelson contacted her when Chevy was up for adoption and convinced her to go check Chevy out.

After the lose of her Chihuahua, who was also a dog with special needs, last fall, Houseman said her friend thought Chevy would be good for her.

“We fell in love immediately,” Houseman said.

She explained the day she adopted Chevy, her daughter had a swim meet so she had placed Chevy in front of their Christmas tree to surprise her daughter when she arrived home.

“She broke out in tears when she saw her,” Houseman said.

Working with abused and neglected dogs is nothing new to Houseman — it is something she does quite often. She said she helps dogs learn to trust humans again.

Besides a new family, Chevy also has a new buddy. Houseman’s mini Schnauzer Daisy and Chevy are dog best friends, but Houseman said this took weeks to occur.

“(Chevy) developed the habit to go after other dogs before they go after her,” she said. “But now it is all good and she likes to play with Daisy.”

Delta Animal Shelter Director Sue Gartland said she is happy Chevy is physically and mentally healed from all of her trauma.

“(Chevy) is a good reminder for the public to be the eyes and ears for animals,” she said.

Gartland also thanked the community in giving Chevy this opportunity at a second chance of living the rest of her life happy with the new family.