Once lost, Bubba is now home

‘It was meant to be’ a match for abandoned pit bull, Rockingham couple

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

Amy Brown came upon Bubba in February 2013. His owners had moved three weeks prior and left him to fend for himself.

Bubba, a pit bull, was found in an outbuilding eating garbage. He had a flea-infested hole in one leg and injuries from a pellet gun “all in his face,” said Allison Sweatt, of Richmond County Animal Advocates.

Submitted photo Nikki and Ray Ellerbe meet Bubba, a pit bull found in February 2013. He had been abandoned, was grossly underweight and was found eating garbage.

Submitted photo
Nikki and Ray Ellerbe meet Bubba, a pit bull found in February 2013. He had been abandoned, was grossly underweight and was found eating garbage.

Brown and Sweatt worked to get Bubba to Academy Animal Hospital in Laurinburg. He tested positive for heart worm. After heart worm treatment, and being neutered, a pellet stuck in Bubba’s left eye caused an infection. Dr. Brian Schillig removed the eye. Physically, then, Bubba was fine. But there was nowhere for him, weighing only 40 pounds a  malnourished pit bull, to go.

“We had no plan for this dog,” Sweatt said. “We just knew we couldn’t leave him there.”

Sweatt said that no matter how bad life had gotten for the dog, “he just wanted attention.”

The vet bills piled up. Sweatt and other Richmond County Animal Advocates volunteers took Bubba to adoption events around the area. He received attention, but only from “the wrong crowd.” Other applications came in for other RCAA-assisted animals, but not for Bubba.

“A lot of people don’t want a pit bull, “Sweatt said. “A lot of people that want pit bulls don’t want a neutered, one-eyed pit bull. We just kept holding out (for the right home). I don’t ever give up on a dog if I know he can find a home.”

Sweatt said Bubba’s sweet disposition never let her anything but just that was possible.

Meanwhile, the boarding bill at Sandy Crest Kennel in Chesterfield, S.C., increased daily. One recent day, Brown walked into Rocking Trends Consignment and Boutique in downtown Rockingham. She began talked with store employee Nikki Ellerbe. Ellerbe wanted a dog.

“A cuddlebug,” Ellerbe described as the ideal housemate for her and her husband, Ray. A dog, she said, that “looks like he’s a protector.”

Bubba now weighs 70 pounds, but Sweatt said he acts as if he’s the size of a three-week-old kitten.

Nikki and Ray went to meet Bubba for the first time. It was a match made in heaven, right here on earth.

Submitted photo Ray Ellerbe with Bubba.

Submitted photo
Ray Ellerbe with Bubba.

“He went right to them,” Sweatt said. “It was … meant to be.”

Now that Bubba has a home, it’s up to Sweatt and the rest of her dedicated RCAA volunteers to help finish paying off the bills. There’s the $4,312.99 owed to the Laurinburg vet and $1,343 to Sandy Crest.

Sweatt, though, is optimistic those bills will be paid in full by the end of the week thanks in large part to proceeds of the kick-a-thon by local Tae Kwon Do students, Arts Abuzz, a Dairy Queen fundraiser and regular monthly donations.

But Bubba shouldn’t get too comfortable. While he has his forever home, he could be put to work. Sweatt said the Ellerbes could work with him and have him become a certified therapy dog. Bubba could then make appearances at support groups, like the one for amputees that Nikki Ellerbe hosts. Along with providing therapy, Sweatt said Bubba could play the real-life message of pit bull awareness.

One eye or not, “just because he’s different doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with him,” Sweatt said.

Nikki Ellerbe, an amputee profiled on PeeDeePost.com on Sept. 20, said Brown told her about Bubba a week ago. Bubba met his new companions on Thursday.

Ellerbe called it “a perfect match” in that “he’s missing a left eye, I’m missing a left leg. (Amy) just laughed about it.”

As the initial meeting, “he jumped straight up to Ray.”

On Friday, Nikki and Bubba enjoyed a morning jog — their first of many.

* * * 

Operation Fix is on. Sweatt and the Richmond County Animal Advocates, in partnership with Richmond County government and the Richmond County Animal Shelter, is spearheading an effort to have 100 area cats spayed or neutered — at no cost to the pet owners.

s3433nzgm8bersb5Whether tame or feral, Sweatt said the idea is to prevent the birth of more, unwanted kittens. A feral cat can have some two dozen kittens in a year’s time. There are 100 slots available and 70 have already been claimed.

If interested, contact Sweatt by email at allisonsweatt85@yahoo.com.

Filed in: Featured News, Latest Headlines, News

You might like:

GAP program fills a hole for ‘hands-on’ experience GAP program fills a hole for ‘hands-on’ experience
Sit back for an ‘interesting story’ Sit back for an ‘interesting story’
Cash available for crime-solving tips Cash available for crime-solving tips
Rotruck sues Town of Summerfield Rotruck sues Town of Summerfield
© 1415 The Pee Dee Post. All rights reserved. XHTML / CSS Valid.