NAUGATUCK — A toy poodle left abandoned and in poor health has a new lease on life thanks to a Naugatuck woman who has helped thousands of dogs in the past 15 years.
The poodle, a 5 1/2-pound apricot-colored male named Merlin, was abandoned by someone in Putnam, where the local animal shelter took him in. The shelter knew the dog needed medical care but couldn’t pay for it, so it called on Daryl Masone, owner of the nonprofit Poodle Rescue Connecticut in Naugatuck.
“The dogs don’t tell us what happened so we don’t know much, but he had not been groomed in a long time,” Masone said.
The lack of grooming, which poodles need, caused the animal’s hair to become wrapped around a leg, cutting off the blood supply to his foot, Masone said. On Thursday, Merlin had that leg amputated by a veterinarian in Beacon Falls. On top of that, the animal’s teeth, which were in poor condition, were cleaned up as well as possible and the dog was neutered, Masone said.
All told, the bill ran to about $1,400. Although Masone tries not to ask for donations often, she could use some help this time. She is seeking money from the public, all of which is tax-deductible, as well as someone interested in adopting Merlin.
Masone couldn’t let Merlin remain in the condition he was in when she met him. She said his ankle got so thin it was half the width of a pencil, and his foot was wobbling. He needed surgery right away.
She believes Merlin is between 6 and 8 years old. She also believes someone “loved him very much” but might have been elderly and had a hard time taking care of him.
“He is an amazing dog; he loves to give kisses,” she said.
Masone has helped more than 2,000 poodles since she started her organization about 15 years ago.
“I’ve tried to retire, but the shelters know me and call me,” she said. “I can’t say ‘no.’ I try my best to help them. They are my breed, they are my passion.”
Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible donation to Merlin can do so by paying on Paypal through the website www.poodlerescuect.org or sending money to the organization, Poodle Rescue Connecticut, P.O. Box 188, Naugatuck, CT 06770. Or they can send it to the Beacon Falls Animal Hospital, 45 Pines Bridge Road, Beacon Falls, CT 06403 in Merlin’s name.