When Tracy Landis, founder of SCARS Pit Bull Rescue, heard about two dumped pit bulls on January 27th, she knew she had to investigate. She was told one of the two dogs was injured and was limping with wounds around his neck. They had been spotted around the Ridinger Lake area near Pierceton, Indiana. Tracy was immediately concerned for their welfare because of the freezing temperatures outside for the past week.
After several days of "battling hail, heavy rain, thunder & lightning" while searching for the dogs, she finally spotted a male dog. She had startled him by almost stepping on him huddled under a tree stump. The dog ran away and in the days that followed he continued to evade her. Tracy named him Vader the Evader. She named his unseen female companion Cheveyo (Indian for Spirit Warrior). Cheveyo turned out to be even more elusive than Vader and Tracy began to doubt there was a second dog.
While she out looking for the dogs, some passersby asked her if she had seen the "puppies". She was shocked to discover that the dogs had been abandoned 4 months ago and that the pair had been on their own since they were likely 4 to 6 months old. From speaking to other people in the area she learned the dogs were kept alive by a few generous people that left food out for them.
After hearing how long Vader had been on his own, Tracy guessed she would likely need a live trap to catch the skittish dog. Each time she saw Vader, she grew more determined to rescue him. She wrote on her Facebook page:
"When I saw him today and he looked straight at me, his eyes hold so much sadness. It's heartbreaking... He is injured and his nails are so long, it has to be painful to walk. I refuse to give up on him. I WILL catch him and take whatever time it takes to rehab him and get him ready for a loving, forever home!"
With the weather turning even colder and nastier, Tracy left out an igloo dog house with food and hoped that Vader would go to the shelter with his friend.
Then on Saturday, she was excited to see Vader in the igloo with Cheveyo. She wrote, "Well crap....things just got a little more urgent & complicated.... there ARE 2 dogs... Vader & a VERY SKINNY female pit :( Both scared to death…."
But within a few hours of gentle coaxing and holding out treats, Tracy was able to get the two dogs close enough to her, and put a leash on Vader. She told Stacey Page Online, that after Vader was leashed she simply walked the pair back to her truck, "I just started walking him back my truck and she followed."
Tracy took the pair to the vet and wrote:
"SHOOOO....what a day! VADER & HIS GIRLFRIEND ARE SAFE!!!!! They are warm and fed at the vet's right now. Vader had some bite wounds on his ear & neck that were scabbed over and they were both VERY skinny! Other than that they are in pretty good shape for being on their own for the last 4 months. Dr Carlton estimated they are around a yr old. It may take some time for them to totally trust people, but they'll get there in no time! THANK YOU everybody for the support!"
Tracy plans to socialize and rehabilitate the pair prior to finding them a forever home.
If you would like to help Tracy and SCARS Pit Bull Rescue with the medical costs and rehabilitation care for Vader and Cheveyo you can visit Paypal and make a donation to: email@example.com. To find out more about SCARS visit the SCARS Pit Bull Rescue website.
Vader & Cheveyo (now renamed Journey). Photo: Tracy Landis via Stacey Page Online
Here is video of when Tracy first saw Vader with Cheveyo in the igloo.
The two dogs cautiously approach Tracy for some food.
And finally, Tracy successfully gets a leash on Vader and rescues the pair.