The Dog Liberator™

The Dog Liberator rescues abandoned dogs throughout the Southeast. Based in Central Florida, this non-profit organization fosters all of their dogs in a home environment. Founded in 2009, all dogs are fully vetted, spayed or neutered prior to adoption. The Dog Liberator focuses in rescuing the herding breed, which consists of Border Collies, Shepherds, Sheepdogs, Aussies, Collies, and Deaf/Blind Dogs.

Spanky, the Australian Cattle Dog ~ Adopted

Spanky, the Australian Cattle Dog ~ Adopted

Amy has struck again! She has a reputation with us for discovering the most amazing dogs in rural kill shelters. They are virtually always overlooked by others because they are scared to death. But Amy can see past that. Time and again she has rescued the most unlikely dogs, fostered them and allowed them unfold the inner beauty that she always knew was there. Harry Potter, Rosebud, Picadilly and Penny Lane, ….. and now Spanky!

This precious dog had been languishing in a kill shelter, having given up all hope. Amy couldn’t stand it. She pulled him out, brought him home, and showered him with love.

It is amazing the difference a little loving kindness makes in the life of a dog (actually, in our lives too, but that is a different topic). When he arrived Spanky was afraid and shy. Two weeks later he attended our Spring Reunion. He had no problem at all meeting people and dogs, playing and hanging out. Truthfully, I could not believe it. The video at the top of this page was made that day. This next one was made a couple of days after he was rescued ~ all he does is sit and wag his tail hopefully. Well, his hopes are coming true. All our boy needs now is a loving forever home.

A couple of things to know about Spanky. He is very laid back. He’ll play and run around, but he is also perfectly content just hanging. He isn’t a pushy dog and will allow the other dogs their way, so if you already have a dominant dog, he’s an easy addition. His coat is surprisingly soft. And his eyes are beautiful.

The difference between his shelter photos and his present ones are night and day! Make sure you look through his photo album.

If you are interested in adopting Spanky, please review our adoption process, then e-mail

Amy keeps a wonderful diary of her fosters, so rather than me retell the story, here it is:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011:

Today I made the mistake of clicking on the “Dogs Needing Adoption/Rescue” link on my facebook newsfeed. There sat Spanky, an extremely shy/submissive 1- to 2-year-old Australian Shepherd/Australian Cattle Dog (Red Heeler) mix. Those sad eyes and that beaten-down look reminded me so much of Harry Potter, the shy/submissive Corgi/Australian Cattle Dog mix I’d fostered. Knowing the urgency of Spanky’s situation as he languished in a high-kill North Florida shelter, I picked up the phone …

Thursday, March 10, 2011:

So I just adopted another dog! Spanky will be vetted and neutered today. Happily, he is heartworm negative (yahoo!). If all goes well, he’ll be on the transport to Wildwood on Saturday. Shelter staff reports that – although extremely shy and submissive – Spanky is also very sweet and people-oriented. He weighs approximately 45 pounds, gets along well with other dogs, and ignores the cats in the shelter’s cat room. Good news all around!

Saturday, March 12, 2011:

I just picked up Spanky in Wildwood. He’s an adorable fellow with his unusual Red Heeler markings and the one-ear-up-one-ear-down thing he’s got going on. Incredibly, Spanky’s medium-length coat is as soft as can be, not the coarse, wiry texture you’d normally expect of a Cattle Dog. But bless his heart, this guy needs some confidence. When the transport driver took him out of his crate, he immediately dropped to the ground, tail plastered to his body, hugging the concrete as closely as possible and trying to be invisible. I hate to see that look in a dog’s eyes – the one that says he’s afraid of everything and anything and just wants to crawl into a corner somewhere and be left alone. There’s a lively spark in there somewhere and I’m determined to find it.

Monday, March 14, 2011:

Took Spanky to the vet this morning. He won’t leave his neuter incision alone and it’s looking pretty inflamed. I started him on Clavamox last night to ward off infection. Dr. Hendrix concurred and told me to continue the antibiotics and added an anti-inflammatory to Spanky’s cocktail. Apparently, the goofball tore out his sutures (how nice of him!). Dr. Hendrix and I had the last laugh, however; Spanky has to wear an e-collar (I call it “the cone of shame”) to prevent further irritation of his incision site. I can’t wait to take photos!

Dr. Hendrix also confirmed Spanky’s age to be 1 ½-years-old and said he had the best-looking teeth he’d seen in a while. Spanky’s weight is pretty good, too, and he only needs to gain another 3-4 pounds. Awesome!

By the way, Spanky is crated trained. We’re working on the house training. He hasn’t had an accident, but I wouldn’t necessarily trust him to be alone in the house at this point. Spanky shows no signs of food or toy aggression.

Friday, March 18, 2011:

It’s been more than a week since I first saw Spanky and an amazing transformation has taken place in his personality. He’s still very shy and submissive, but there’s a joy in his eye and a bounce in his step that wasn’t there before. He gets along great with other dogs – and I mean LOTS of other dogs. I’m on Spring Break this week and have been painting my mother’s house. Because I’m gone all day I’ve been taking my dogs, Spanky included, with me in the mornings. My mom has two dogs, so that’s a grand total of six dogs hanging out in the house or the yard while we paint. Spanky acts as if he’s been a part of the pack all his life. Such a sweet, friendly guy!

Just a note: Those folks who think that all Cattle Dogs are aloof, snappish, and unfriendly toward children couldn’t be more wrong. My 12-month-old niece visited one day and Spanky greeted her by rolling over on his back so she could scratch his belly. When she got “screechy” he tried to get away from her, but other than that he was wonderfully well-behaved.

Because he’s still somewhat fearful, I wouldn’t recommend Spanky go to a household with a child that young; however, I think he’d do just fine with dog-savvy kids 5-years-old and up.

Spanky is still a young dog and has a lot of playful energy that will need to be put to good use, so I’d recommend he be adopted by an active family. He’s not a speed demon, but he’s definitely no couch potato either!

Friday, March 25, 2011:

Spanky took his first Jeep ride this afternoon – sans top and all! He really seemed to enjoy the wind in his “hair,” not to mention the female attention a cute guy always gets when he’s tooling around in a Jeep. In fact, I think I’m going to get magnetic signs for my doors that say something like, “Honk if you want to adopt this awesome dog!”

I did learn one thing: Spanky seems to prefer riding facing backwards instead of forwards. I guess he likes making eyes at the folks in the cars behind us. Whatever the case, it’s sure funny to watch.

Monday, March 28, 2011:

Spanky really is coming into his own, and was a total gentleman at the Dog Liberator reunion in Melbourne on Saturday. He was friendly toward people and other dogs, greeting both with a wagging tail. He didn’t get excited when everyone else was running around and roughhousing; instead, he trotted curiously from one group to the next, introducing himself then moving on. I am so proud of this sweet, gentle boy and his amazing progress!

Just a note about Spanky and bath time: The first time I bathed him was like wrangling a wild animal; he was petrified. But we made it through (although both of us wound up in the tub before all was said and done!). This Saturday, however, was totally different. I got up early in order to bathe Spanky for his big public “debut.” Turned on the warm water and gently placed him in the tub. And … he stood perfectly still! Just let me lather him up and rinse, then repeat, without a single objection. In fact, after I’d drained the water from the tub and was rubbing him down with the towel, Spanky actually sat down and rested his head on the side of the tub as if to say, “Ahhh, that’s the spot.” What a character!

Spanky was adopted today by newlyweds Nick and Lauren Stephens of Jacksonville!


Adoption Update:

One thought on “Spanky, the Australian Cattle Dog ~ Adopted

  1. He is so beautiful and seems to have such a sweet spirit.. hope he finds his forever home soon. Thanks Amy and Dog Liberator for saving him!

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