Sharky, misunderstood like his namesake

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Shark Week 2020 airs on television from August 9 to August 16, 2020.  This will be the 32 installment of the Shark Week franchise.  The week-long event explores these deadly but often misunderstood creatures.

Sharky, a 3 1/2-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier/Dogo-Argentino mix was applicably named as he also has been misunderstood since he was born. Sharky’s rough beginnings started in late 2016 when his mom PeeDee was rescued off the streets. She was found wandering in a hospital parking lot, very pregnant and very malnourished. She was taken to animal control and when no other rescue would take her, volunteer-based Animal Coalition Unlimited (ACU), based in Oregon stepped up for this pregnant mother dog.

PeeDee gave birth to ten puppies in December 2016. One puppy was adopted by a vet-tech who worked with PeeDee and was familiar with the puppies.

Sharky, was also adopted but returned to Animal Coalition Unlimited when he was one-year old. Although he was quite the handsome pup, his adoptive mommies could not understand why he constantly whined while in their office and at home.

Since they were both hard working women, they could not keep up and handle a problematic dog. Although he was socialized, it did not register with him, and he was completely detached.

The volunteers at Animal Coalition Unlimited who worked with him when he was returned did not understand his behaviors either until Sharky was evaluated by a Veterinarian Behaviorist.  It was then discovered part of Sharky’s brain did not function like normal dogs. In the human world it is known as Autism.

The handicap was traced back to his mom PeeDee being vaccinated during her sixth week of pregnancy at Stockton Animal Hospital before ACU took her under their care and transported her from California to Oregon. Sharky’s brothers and sisters were also adopted as puppies but were all returned one by one due to their adopters’ lack of understanding of their needs and their various personality traits including dog aggression, reactive to small children, and some bite incidents.

Sharky is now being cared by one of the ACU volunteers who understands what he needs. A new routine is set, and he must get in an hour of exercise three times a day to keep his mental needs fulfilled. Sharky is so happy and content now that he is understood and his needs are met.

Sharky’s mom PeeDee, along with his eight brothers and sisters, BamBam, Bullet, Chaplin, Polka, Pebbles, Tylee, Rocket, and Dudley will remain in the care of Animal Coalition Unlimited for the duration of their lives due to being difficult to place and deemed unadoptable.

Animal Coalition Unlimited is looking for donors, and sponsors to help them continue to care for the ten dogs. The long-term plan is to rent a piece of property in Oregon for all ten dogs to live out their lives in peace. Such a property has not yet been found.

If you would like to support ACU, Sharky and his family, please visit their Facebook page

Donations and sponsorship can be done via this site.

A fundraiser has also been set up on Facebook for the ten dogs.

So many dogs are abandoned and destroyed every year because they are misunderstood. They cannot talk to tell us what they need so their actions are so often misconstrued. A huge shout-out to Animal Coalition Unlimited for not giving up on these ten dogs. They are truly the unsung heroes.

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