Dog doused in gasoline, blinded, to be adopted by Rogersville family

Jeff Bobo • Apr 13, 2019 at 1:30 PM

ROGERSVILLE — A Hawkins County stray dog that endured horrific cruelty recently hasn't lost its love for humans, and will be rewarded for its perseverance next week with a new home and family in Rogersville.

The Labrador mix was nicknamed "Jasper" by Hawkins County Humane society manager Sandy Behnke.

On Saturday a woman who resides on Caney Creek Road called the HCHS to report a stray dog on her property.

"She sent me a picture of the dog and I posted on it Facebook hoping to find the owners," Behnke said. "Looking at the picture we noticed the dog's eyes were completely white and I advised her to bring the dog to the shelter."

Jasper was doused with gasoline

When Jasper arrived it was immediately apparent that he'd been doused with gasoline. HCHS staff immediately bathed him and tried to flush out his eyes with clean water.

Sonia Kutz from Border Collie Rescue came to the shelter and helped evaluated Jasper's condition, and she agreed to take Jasper to her vet in Kingsport.

Dr. Cherry with Cherry Point Animal Hospital treated Jasper for Chemical burns in both eyes, a juvenile cataract in left eye, and a severe bite wounds on left side of his face.

Jasper was apparently attacked by something and the wound on the side of his face was infected.

As a result, Jasper is currently on heavy antibiotics and two different types of drops for his eyes.

“How someone could do that to him is beyond us”

Behnke noted that the whole time the he was with the vet he was wagging his tail and appeared to be happy.

"He is sad to look at because he's so calm, and he's so loving," Behnke said. "He's a beautiful dog, and so sweet, and how someone could do that to him is beyond us. He wags his tail and licks your face, and he'll just sit there and let you pet him. After what he's been through, to be so trusting and loving toward people is amazing."

Although his eyes are damaged, they're hoping he won't be completely blind.

Behnke added, "I think he might be able to see shadows. If you walk up to him he'll cock his head toward you, but that might be his hearing and smell. We don't know yet, but the vet thinks he may have lost sight in one eye, and will hopefully regain sight in the other eye."

On the bright side he tested negative for heart worms and was treated for coccidia.

He also had a broken tooth with nerve damage. On Tuesday Kutz is taking Jasper back to Dr. Cherry t have that tooth removed, as well as being neutered.

A new life with a new family

And then on Wednesday Jasper begins his life with his new family.

Matthew Stevenson and son Jasper Stevenson fell in love with Jasper online and had to come meet him. When they pick him up Wednesday they will also keep his name even though there's already a Jasper in the family.

"They offered to pay the entire vet bill, but I explained the the community has donated for all of his medical expenses,” Behnke said. “The family that will be adopting Jasper has a son named Jasper."

The Stevensons recently lost their dog, and although it wasn’t located they were grateful to the HCHS for help in their attempt to help find it.

Stevenson is 12-year military veteran who served two tours of duty in Iraq and two tours in Afghanistan. He now resides in Rogersville with his wife and two children.

Jasper is believed to be 2-3 years old.

Sunday buffet fundraiser for Humane Society

Although Jasper's medical expenses were paid through donations, the HCHS always needs assistance with funds, cleaning supplies, dog and cat food, kitty litter, and volunteer labor.

Donations can be dropped off at the HCHS, 5180 Highway 11-W, Rogersville.

There's also an all-you-can-eat dinner fundraiser Sunday at 5:30 p.m. at Occasions on the Square, which is located on Depot Street in downtown Rogersville at the Main Street intersection kitty-corner from the courthouse.

Sagebrush Steakhouse is catering the meal with includes steak, Chicken or ribs, green beans, mashed potatoes and cobbler. There's also a silent auction, raffle, animal trivia with prizes, and more.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the HCHS. For more information about the benefit, or making a contribution, call the HCHS at (423) 272-6538.

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