Their bowls runneth over

Fundraiser seeks assistance for injured rescue dogs

By: Brad D. Bates | Shelby - Utica News | Published February 6, 2013

 Since being rescued from an animal shelter in New York, Jack, a 6-year-old German shepherd mix, has acclimated well to life in Michigan, despite injuries from being hit by a car.

Since being rescued from an animal shelter in New York, Jack, a 6-year-old German shepherd mix, has acclimated well to life in Michigan, despite injuries from being hit by a car.

Photo provided

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — While a night of bowling and a pizza dinner may not sound like the most romantic of Valentine’s dates, animal lovers will unite for just such a celebration Feb. 15.

As a fundraiser for two dogs rescued from New York by the Detroit Animal Welfare Group (DAWG), people will receive two games of bowling, shoe rental and a pizza dinner for $20 at 8:30 p.m. at Imperial Lanes in Clinton Township, 44650 Garfield Road.

“Somebody posted them on our Facebook page that they were dying in a Manhattan shelter in New York, and it said they had both been hit by cars and were going to be euthanized after their five-day hold was up,” DAWG President Kelley LaBonty said of how Manny and Jack came into her group’s care.

LaBonty was able to take in the animals, thanks to a network of like-minded animal lovers who helped transport the dogs from New York to Shelby Township by car and plane.

“Within 24 hours, we got some transporters after calling, and we found a wonderful guy in New York,” LaBonty said, referring to Doug Weir from Pilots N Paws.

“Doug Weir flew them to Pennsylvania, and the transport team from there drove them into Ohio, and another group took them from Cincinnati to Cleveland, and one of our Michigan volunteers drove from Cleveland to here.”

Making the final leg of the journey was Carol and Kirk Detloff, who drove from their home in Ray Township to Cleveland and back to Shelby Township so the dogs could get the care and time they needed to heal properly.

“My husband came home from work, and I said, ‘You know that day off you were looking forward to? Well, we’re going to use it to drive to Cleveland,” Carol Detloff said. “He wasn’t feeling good, but he made the trip with me, and I’m so grateful to him for helping.”

Detloff, who has made trips to aid animals before, said the duo from Manhattan were in the sorriest shape of any animals she had ever helped rescue.

“They were pretty much lethargic, and one had a catheter,” Detloff said. “We just tried to get them on their way as quickly as we could.

“This was one of the worst. I felt so bad for them and was so glad help was on the way, and (I) knew they’d have the best chance with Kelley.”

Upon arrival, LaBonty said it was evident that some injures went far beyond just being struck by a car.

“Manny had a torn penis and was withdrawn like he was abused or attacked,” LaBonty said of the Labrador mix puppy.

“And Jack was hit by a car with six broken ribs and a broken pelvis, and he needs a leg amputated,” LaBonty added of the 6-year-old shepherd mix.

While the dogs are on the mend, they still need various treatments and surgeries, and LaBonty hopes to raise as much as $5,000 to cover those medical bills.

“Both were in pain and had worms in their wounds,” LaBonty added. “They’re doing real good right now, but Jack still needs surgery and it turns out he has heartworms, which is a $600 procedure.

Along with funds to help with medical costs, DAWG is also looking for “forever homes” to adopt Jack and Manny. She does not anticipate that they will need much special treatment.

“There’s not a lot, really,” LaBonty said.

“Manny would need more emotional care, because he’s still scared. He would need someone to be patient with him and understand that he’s going to be shy.

“Jack, although he has physical limitations, he doesn’t require much physical care,” LaBonty said. “He’ll just have three legs.”

Anyone interested in attending the bowling fundraiser is asked to RSVP by calling (586) 354-8500.

For more information on Jack and Manny or any of the other animals cared for by DAWG, visit or call (586) 354-8500.