Last Thursday, Kevin and Clint, two schnauzers belonging to Brad Niess, escaped from home when a building contractor left a door ajar. Oakland Police found 4-year-old Kevin on the side of the road nearly beaten to death Saturday, but 1-year-old Clint remained missing.
That was until two days ago, when Niess received a phone call from a woman who saw a missing dog ad on Craigslist. The woman told Niess that one rainy evening last week the dog had wandered into her mother’s backyard around 77th Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard.
“She saw something out in her backyard, opened her door, and he ran right in,” with the dog’s friendliness giving the impression that he must belong to someone, Niess said.
Having dogs of their own, the woman and her children – who were keen on keeping the found dog – gave the dog a bath and plenty of affection to compensate for his being caught in the rain.
But confusion arose regarding the dog’s origins when she asked Niess to identify Clint by the color of his collar.
“I told her red,” Niess said, “but she said, ‘I think the collar is blue, so this must not be your dog.'” Niess advised the woman to contact the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals so that the dog could be checked for an identifying microchip.
But the next day, Friday, when the woman saw Kevin’s story on the news along with a picture of Clint, she gave Niess another ring.
“We’re just really, really grateful of that family that they took such great care of him and made the effort to get in touch with us,” he said.
According to Niess, a building contractor performing kitchen remodeling work on his home failed to properly shut the front door last Thursday, allowing Kevin and Clint to escape.
Neither dog had ever wandered more than a few backyards away from home, and Niess said Clint “never goes more than 10 feet away – he really likes to be near people.”
Although the “heartbroken” dog-loving contractor hopped in his truck and immediately searched the neighborhood, he was unable to locate the dogs.
Saturday night Niess received a jarring phone call from Oakland Animal Services that Kevin had been found nearly two miles from home “laid out to die on the side of the road.”
Kevin looked like he had been badly beaten and kicked, Oakland Animal Services director Megan Webb said Wednesday. Pellet gun wounds marred the fur near his eyes and on his head, and he was found with a broken elbow and severe bruising.
Kevin was transported to Berkeley Pet Emergency Hospital last week and received several treatments, medications, and surgeries costing in excess of $10,000, Niess said.
Although Kevin is on the mend, he “still has a long way to go,” Niess said. Because of his injuries, Kevin requires constant supervision and Niess said the dog sometimes has to wear “the cone of shame” to allow the wounds to heal properly.
“We’re trying to keep it off of him so he can be as comfortable as possible,” he said.
Once Kevin’s stitches are removed in a few weeks, he’ll remain on restricted activity for about two months.
Plans to throw a Dec. 30 welcome home party and fundraiser have been met with such overwhelming enthusiasm, Niess said, that he’s had to reschedule the event for the end of January at a larger venue because it would take a Christmas miracle to complete the remodeling work in time.
“We don’t even have a kitchen floor,” he said. Instead, the owners of the Rose Garden Inn in Berkeley offered space to Niess, enabling him to plan an “appreciation event” for Jan. 29.
“We are very humbled by the experience and have the utmost gratitude for everyone that has sent us a kind email, that has given us a phone call, and donated toward Kevin’s vet bills,” Niess said.
Community members can keep track of Kevin’s progress ahelpkevinfindclint.blogspot.com.
As of Thursday, police had yet to identify a suspect in Kevin’s attempted killing, and anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact Oakland Animal Services at (510) 535-5602.
Patricia Decker, Bay City News