Steve Diacik, husband of Camp Verde Animal Control Officer Lisa Diacik, removes ticks from one of the five Overpass Pups recently.
Kathy Davis, Camp Verde Animal Control volunteer, and Lisa Diacik, Animal Control Officer for the Town of Camp Verde, from left, hold two pups found under twin bridges recently. “They were in such bad condition. One almost didn’t make it, she was so sick with ticks, wasn’t walking or eating,” Diacik said.
CAMP VERDE - On July 15, while taking an afternoon walk, two Camp Verde teenagers found five neglected young dogs discarded under twin bridges. The teens, Camp Verde residents Javier Valdez, 16, and his girlfriend Emma Ehresman, 15, immediately turned the pups over to Animal Control.
"We went to pet them," Javier said. "They ran to Emma. We saw that they had fleas and big ticks. We figured they were abandoned. It was sad. We wanted to turn them in to help them."
"The teens who found the dogs were concerned for their health," said Lisa Diacik, Animal Control officer for the Town of Camp Verde. "They were in such bad condition. One almost didn't make it, she was so sick with ticks, wasn't walking or eating."
Diacik needed help tending to the five Overpass Pups, as she christened them. So she turned to Camp Verde Animal Control volunteer Kathy Davis.
"The dogs had bloated bellies," Davis noticed when she first saw the pups. "They were suffering from a lack of nutrition. You could feel their ribs easily. And they were covered with ticks. It is not an exaggeration to say there were 1,000 ticks on each dog. You couldn't see their ear canals."
Davis volunteers with a tender heart. But situations like this can be tough on her. "The one thing that makes this doable for me is that we never put a dog down," Davis said.
"Kathy knows I very rarely call her mid day," Diacik said. "I explained how severe this was and she came running with shampoo and even a bottle of water for me. These pups did not get this way overnight. They were probably born outside and since they are about 8 weeks [of age], I suspect it took that long to become this tick infested. This is so cruel. These ticks have made holes in their ears that are not natural holes."
"Ticks were everywhere," Emma said. "It was insane. I feel sad that people would leave those animals like that with nothing."
Diacik believes the animals were abandoned shortly after birth.
"I understand times are tight, but dumping animals is not the answer," Diacik said. " I constantly see dogs in neglect and give [people] solutions, advice and sometimes its just about educating our citizens. It is more humane to ask for help from your local animal welfare people than to just dump the animals."
According to Davis, Northern Arizona Fresh Start Pet Rescue in Flagstaff picked up the pups on July 22.
"They will be given medicine for tick-borne disease," Davis said. "The dogs are doing great. They are incredibly will be given medicine for tick-borne disease," Davis said. "The dogs are doing great. They are incredibly good-natured. They're just happy puppies, full of life."