Champ by Fiona Ingram by Fiona Ingram - Read Online

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Champ - Fiona Ingram

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A Prayer for Animals

Hear our humble prayer, O God, for our friends the animals,

especially for animals that are suffering;

for animals that are overworked, underfed and cruelly treated;

for all wistful creatures in captivity that beat their wings against bars;

for any that are hunted or lost or deserted or frightened or hungry;

for all that must be put to death.

We entreat for them all Thy mercy and pity,

and for those who deal with them we ask a heart of compassion

and gentle hands and kindly words.

Make us, ourselves, to be true friends to animals,

and so to share the blessings of the merciful.

—attributed to Albert Schweitzer



On May 11, 2013, a little dog nearly died. He was dumped at the West Valley Animal Shelter, Chatsworth, California. Champsky (that was his given name) was enclosed in two sealed plastic bags, with another one over his head and tied around his neck. This gruesome parcel was left on the clerk’s counter by two people who then walked away. When the clerk opened it, assuming it was a delivery package, she saw what she thought was a dead dog. After all, he had already turned blue.

Do you believe in miracles? One happened right away. Against all odds, the shelter vet was able to revive him. The dog was a matted mess. They shaved him down and discovered ulcers covering most of his body, as well as deep wounds going all the way through his skin to his muscles. He was extremely malnourished, weighing only 7 pounds, when his proper weight should have been 15 pounds. Further examination and a bath soon revealed the extent of this little creature’s injuries. It was not a pretty sight! Would he even survive? was the question on everyone’s lips.


How Kelli and Suzy Hopper found out about Champ:

Kelli says: "I’m a court reporter by profession and don’t have phone access while I’m working. On a quick ‘pause’ between question and answer, I checked my phone for emails. I routinely do this as it is the way the shelter will often contact me. There was an email with the subject: ‘Kelli, Evidence case, can you please help this guy.’ As soon as I opened the email and read what had happened to this poor little fellow and saw his picture, I requested a break from the judge (which I NEVER do) so I could phone the shelter immediately to tell them we would absolutely take him.

I sent the email to Suzy (who is my sister) to see if she would foster him. She immediately said YES as well. Suzy went to the Los Angeles West Valley Shelter to meet with the lieutenant who was handling Champ’s case. Since he was an evidence case, we would have to document everything about Champ while he was in our care, including the vet, Dr. Daniel Slaton, giving the shelter weekly updates on Champ’s condition. We also could not comment on details of the case while it was pending."

Even though he had been rescued, Champ had a long way to go before he was out of the woods! The medical staff at the shelter did the best they could to get him stable. His condition was terrible.

Suzy says: I went to pick him up at the shelter on May 15th. Because of the way he was brought in, and his condition, the Animal Control Officer and the resident vet both wanted to speak with me before they would let me take him. They wanted to be sure he was going to a legitimate rescue shelter; one that knew how to take care of dogs with special medical needs. They explained the horrible way he was brought in, and how deeply it affected everyone at the shelter. He was brought in, wrapped in plastic bags. The bags containing Champ were dropped on the counter. As the people were walking away, they said, He’s still alive," and they walked out. The counter on which he was dropped was staffed by employees who don’t usually receive/intake dogs to the shelter. They handle adoption paperwork.

The person working at the counter was horrified and assumed it was a dead dog until they said he was alive. She rushed the bagged animal to