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By SARAH BEACH
The News-Democrat Intern
Spinner is blind and deaf.
He got his name because he cannot walk in a straight line. Instead, he goes around in circles because he cannot see or hear.
Spinner is a four-month-old chihuahua/terrier mix under the foster care of Leah Hill. Leah is a member Carroll County Animal Support, which she says can be a “full-time job.” Her other full-time job is at Carroll County Dispatch.
Leah’s daughter Savannah, 11, was the first junior member of CCAS. Savannah is a sixth grader at Christian Academy of Carrollton.
She and her mother have always owned dogs, but were not involved in fostering them until three years ago when their neighbor died, leaving three dogs in the house alone for over a week.
CCAS Executive Director Tammie Crawford was called in to take the dogs away, but two did not survive. The remaining dog, a chihuahua named Princess, refused to come out of the corner of Crawford’s house.
Leah suggested bringing Princess home with her chihuahuas, and the rest is history.
The Hills now have 11 dogs living in their house, most of which are foster dogs.
Since they took in Princess, they have become active members of CCAS and are now trying to raise money to get corrective surgery for Spinner’s eyes and ears.
When Leah held a yard sale at their home in Carrollton, Savannah asked her mom if she could hold a lemonade stand to raise money for Spinner. She raised about $100 that day, all on her own.
Normally, Savannah holds lemonade stands to raise money to help pay for her school tuition, but this year she decided to use the money to help Spinner. She also collects aluminum cans for money for CCAS.
“(Savannah is) a very caring person. She’ll do anything for anyone and animals,” Leah said.
Spinner was allegedly thrown from a moving car, giving him severe head trauma and leaving him blind and deaf sometime around May 30 of this year.
At first Crawford and Leah were worried that he would not make it, but their tender loving care has paid off so far. Leah feeds Spinner every four hours, and he can now eat soft food and walk more normally.
They are now hoping to be able to fix both his eyesight and his hearing if they can raise enough money for corrective surgery.
Spinner has an appointment with a specialist in Louisville on Aug. 9 to see if his eyesight can be fixed. The appointment will cost $200 for initial tests, then more money will be needed if surgery is possible.
Spinner also needs an appointment in northern Kentucky to see if his hearing can be restored.
Everyone loves Spinner, Leah said. Strangers will come up and donate to the cause or give him toys and food, she said.
Leah also takes Spinner with her to work, where he plays in a small swimming pool. He enjoys playing with the local police officers and fire fighters who stop to see him in dispatch.
If nothing can be done for Spinner’s hearing or eyesight, CCAS will continue to raise money for other dogs in need of medical attention in the county.
They have several funds set up to help animals in need, including Spinner’s Angels and the Emmy Lou Fund.
The Emmy Lou Fund is named after a small red and white beagle who was abused, and thanks to CCAS, has had all her medical needs addressed and is now in a good home in New York.
She and Spinner are mascots for CCAS and help to raise awareness against mistreating animals.
CCAS has been raising funds at Cooper’s Restaurant and will be holding a roadblock Aug. 10-11 to ask for donations.
In the past, they have held chili suppers and other forms of fund raising to help animals in need.
“I don’t know what’s wrong, people are just dropping dogs right and left right now,” Leah said, speaking of the way unwanted dogs will be simply left on lonely county roads by owners who do not want them anymore — or in Spinner’s case, physically abused.
The Carroll County Animal Shelter is full right now and is in need of foster families to help care for unwanted pets in the community, Leah said.
CCAS will provide all medical needs and food for the animals. They are only asking for families to provide a home.
And perhaps the dogs may find a permanent home. Adoption is merely a “failed foster,” Hill joked.
For those wanting to help Spinner or CCAS, but are unable to foster, Fill-In-The-Blank is offering T-shirts, at cost, with the slogan, ‘Blind Dogs See With Their Heart’ on the front and Spinner’s picture. The shirts cost $20 and will benefit either Spinner or another abused dog in the community.
Savannah would ask the community to be compassionate. “Don’t abuse dogs,” she said, “if you don’t want them, bring them to us [CCAS].”