A few weeks into beginning my volunteer running with dogs at the Humane Society of Macomb, I met Nick. Nick instantly fell in love with running, and I of course, instantly fell in love with Nick.
This is Nick's story:
In 2017, Hurricane Harvey devastated parts of Texas. Shelters in the Houston area opened their doors to the large number of homeless animals in the area with the hopes of reuniting them with their families. As time passed by, these shelters continued to care for more animals than the space would properly allow. An animal rescue reached out to the Humane Society of Macomb asking for help to bring some of the animals from the shelters in Texas to Michigan. The Humane Society of Macomb took in approximately 30 dogs (ranging in size, age, and breed) from these Texas shelters. The Humane Society of Macomb did a lot of work before the adoptable dogs from Texas arrived. They contacted potential families who were interested in adopting a dog, but were previously unable to do so because their apartments or condos had breed restrictions which did not allow pit bull mixes. The Humane Society of Macomb primarily rescues pit bull mixes (approximately 90% of the dogs in the shelter are pit bull mixes), and although these families were wanting to adopt, they were previously unable to do so because of breed discrimination by their housing policies.
On Sunday, March 11th, 2018, the Rescue Express pulled into the shelter with Nick on board. Prior to being transferred on the Rescue Express, the dogs had to be up-to-date on vaccines and pass wellness exams. When they arrived to the shelter, the veterinarians at the Humane Society of Macomb did an intake exam to be sure that nothing was missed.
Nick’s life up until the moment he arrived at the Humane Society of Macomb is mostly a mystery. Nick may have lived a life with a family in Texas prior to Hurricane Harvey and was separated from them, or he may have always been a stray. Only Nick knows that chapter of his life.
After the intake exams were completed, the first big adoption day for the animals who were rescued from Texas was on Saturday, March 17th, 2018. Most of the dogs were adopted on this day and their time at the Humane Society of Macomb was short. Nick was one of the first dogs who was adopted. However, his story does not end there.
About a year later, the family who adopted Nick decided to return him to the shelter because they were moving. They claimed that because they were moving they would not be able to take him with them. When Nick was returned to the shelter, the veterinarians on staff did another intake exam, just as they had done when he arrived on the Rescue Express. This time, they found something concerning.
The veterinarian specialist mentioned that he was surprised they had found it because the growth was difficult to spot. They had discovered a growth in Nick’s nose and upon discovering this performed a biopsy.
The good news: The results came back and it was non-cancerous.
The not-so-good news: It would still need to be removed because if it continued to grow it could become large enough to inhibit Nick’s breathing.
Currently, the growth in Nick's nose is not impacting his quality of life. It doesn't stop him from going on 3-4 mile runs, playing in the yard, going on adventure hikes, barking at trucks and bikes, chasing squirrels, and enjoying the world (and humans) around him. In order for Nick to maintain this quality of life, the surgery is required as the potential growth could have major consequences for Nick's future.
The specialist speculates that the growth in Nick’s nose may have began in Texas due to the mold that was growing after the hurricane. However, there is no way to be certain. While Nick’s medical situation was being examined, he waited patiently for months in the shelter. Many volunteers loved spending time with Nick and so he went on weekly adventures to parks and of course, lots of 3-4 mile runs with us! One day another volunteer at the shelter took him out for an adventure and instantly fell in love with Nick! Nick is being fostered by this volunteer and after the surgery to remove a tumor in his nose is complete, this foster family will also become his official forever family.
The estimated cost of Nick’s surgery is $2,500-$3,000. This is more than the shelter can afford. The shelter also rescued another dog named Pita with a broken pelvis. Pita is currently being fostered, as is Nick. Any additional money that is raised for Nick’s surgery will support Pita’s surgery. The Humane Society of Macomb is working hard to fundraise for all of their animals. They partnered with the local Hanson’s Running Shop at their group run in October to fundraise for Nick’s surgery. Nick was able to participate, too! He has completed two 5k races (both at Hanson’s Running Shop charity runs) and we were fortunate to have the honor to run with Nick during both of these 5k’s!
If you would like to donate to Nick’s surgery, here is how you can help:
1. The Humane Society of Macomb is selling shirts (featuring Nick) with the proceeds benefiting Nick’s surgery. You can purchase Nick's shirts by clicking here.
2. You can specifically make a donation to Nick by clicking here. After you enter an amount and click "submit," on the following page you can input "For Nick's surgery" in the "Note" section.
Additionally, if you are looking for the newest addition to your family, check out the adoptable animals at the Humane Society of Macomb by clicking here.