A nearly hairless dog was found in a trash can and is not in foster care after receiving treatment at the Rancho Coastal Humane Society (RCHS). Named Hemingway, the pup was rescued by an officer from the County of San Diego’s Department of Animal Services and then transferred to RCHS through the FOCAS program. The young Shih Tzu is in good spirits in spite of his physical condition, and with help and luck, he’ll be available for adoption in the future.

“We don’t know if someone was trying to throw him away or if Hemingway climbed into the trash searching for food,” said RCHS Medical Director Kathy Zerkle. “We’re continuing the treatment that began when he was at the County Animal Services shelter in Bonita. He’s lost most of his fur. We’re treating him for bacterial and fungal skin infections. What little fur he had left was infested with fleas, so we’re also treating that.”

Zerkle says that Hemingway has obviously been neglected for a long time. “This much damage doesn’t happen overnight, or even in a week or a month. It’s been a long time since anyone cared for this dog.”

In addition to treatment for the skin infections and fleas, Hemingway is also being treated for Sarcoptic Mange. Hemingway has had skin scrapes that tested negative for mange, but that the tests are not always accurate. “We could run three tests and have the first two come back negative, then number three could be positive. The treatment won’t hurt him. As a precaution, he’s in foster care in the private home of a staff member. Hemingway is getting medicated baths to soothe his skin and we have him on five different medications,” explained Zerkle.

While nobody at RCHS remembers how they came up with the name Hemingway, Zerkle hopes that this quote from author Ernest Hemingway is an omen: The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places. “That’s our hope for Hemingway…that the broken places will heal strong and he’ll find the loving family that he deserves,” shared John Van Zante, Public Relations Director at RCHS.

For more information about Hemingway or Rancho Coastal Humane Society’s programs for people and animals visit the shelter at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas, call 760-753-6413, or log on to www.sdpets.org.