When South Charleston’s town dog, Blackie, was picked up by the Clark County Humane Society, some of the residents feared that capture wasn’t what was best for him.
But it turns out it might have saved his life.
Blackie — also known as Hobo — was caught by the Clark County dog warden Jan. 9 after becoming trapped in the entry vestibule at Shoemaker’s IGA. The dog roamed South Charleston’s streets for nearly six years, loved and fed by some and feared by others. He even became a topic of debate at village meetings.
He was taken to to the Humane Society Serving Clark County on Urbana Road with plans to go through a prison dog training program. However, health issues have delayed that.
“He had a pretty bad case of heart worm,” said James Straley, humane society executive director.
The disease is often fatal to dogs, especially if they don’t receive immediate treatment. Straley said due to Blackie’s age, he is getting specialized treatment to lower his risk of other heart problems or a stroke.
“I know there’s a lot of emotion with Blackie and with taking him off the streets but it’s a blessing in disguise,” Straley said. “He does have a fatal disease and we were able to treat him before it got any worse than it is.”
Once his health has improved, Straley said Blackie will enter a program at the Allen Correctional Institute in Allen County, receiving house and obedience training. The program takes eight to 10 weeks, Straley said. However, the timing of that is unknown because his treatment will dictate when that can happen, he said.
Members of the town dog support group said they want Blackie to end up back home in South Charleston.
“That’s our message, we want our dog back,” said resident Karen Goodemote.
Blackie already has a potential owner lined-up, a South Charleston resident. Straley said he also has a waiting list of other potential adopters from the village.