Neglect Survivor Ready for Adoption

August 14, 2017

When two good Samaritans noticed a young man dumping a sick looking dog from his car into the parking lot of a business in Port Orchard, they knew they had to help. The dog was friendly, but uncomfortable- he was almost hairless, with open sores and scabs all over his face and body. But he jumped right into their car, like he knew they were there to help him. When he arrived at Kitsap Humane Society (KHS), staff were horrified by his condition. Admissions, Animal Care, and Veterinary Services staff all jumped into high gear to get him assessed and get him some immediate relief from his discomfort. He was started on medication and medicated baths right away, and he moved into the KHS medical Isolation Room.


Named Tatum, this big, beefy boy was nothing but a sweet cuddle bug from the start. It was determined that lack of veterinary care and potential use of inappropriate home remedies contributed to his extreme fungal skin infection and hair loss. The severity of his untreated skin infection meant that some areas of his skin were so scarred, they may never grow hair again. Tatum had to be housed and treated in our Isolation Room for 49 long days. In order to support Tatum through his long treatment period, the staff started Tatum on an enrichment schedule. His enrichment plan was designed to give him mental stimulation (aka, a brain work out!), and included having to eat his meals out of food puzzles, frozen treats that took a long time finish, and specially designed scent enrichment materials. When small animals like rabbits, guinea pigs and ferrets came into the shelter, the blankets removed from their kennels during daily cleaning were given to Tatum to smell- and he loved it! In addition, our facilities staff drilled holes into some segments of PVC pipes, with specially fitted caps, then our Animal Care staff filled the pipes with various new smells… including dirty straw from a pig’s pen! These interventions helped Tatum to have quality of life during his long stretch in medical isolation.



Tatum has been medically cleared for adoption and is now ready to find a home! He is still missing large sections of hair on his sides and face. Some new hair growth is coming in, and we hope that in a loving home with a good diet he will continue to heal. Some areas of his face, however, are likely permanently scarred by his former neglect. He may always have exposed skin on his face, which is sensitive to sun and will need TLC. Tatum’s scars and scabs don’t seem to bother him, yet he continues to be passed over by adopters who seem scared off by his appearance. Tatum doesn’t know he looks any different, and he is eager to show someone who he is truly is inside- an amazing dog!



Since moving to our adoption kennels, Tatum has won over all the staff and volunteers’ hearts. He spends most mornings hanging out with the administrative staff in their building. He lounges in the hallway so he can get greetings from all the staff and visitors,  and then will head into one of the offices for some one-on-one time. His favorite office is the one with a good window view, where you can often find him looking wistfully for someone to come adopt him. Every afternoon Tatum can be found “helping out” at the Customer Service desk in our front lobby.  He often sleeps on his back, with his legs in the air, which can be very distracting for staff and visitors! Tatum has even gotten to have overnight sleep overs with a staff member, who reports he is house trained and the perfect gentleman. Despite everything he has gone through, Tatum is a low-key, loving boy. Most of the time he can be found napping, and he loves to make nests out of his blankets and bed. He does enjoy toys, but leisurely walks are his favorite pastime (after napping). He is a low-energy couch potato that we know will be a great companion for some lucky person.


More information on Tatum and what kind of home he is looking for can be found HERE.