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Rescued pooch is now living life large

Submitted by admin on Friday, 10 December 2010No Comment

1292011219 17 Rescued pooch is now living life large

The adoptive “parents” who claimed the dog now known as Ripley — after the Ripley’s believe It Or not newspaper cartoon and freak museum empire — will be announced in mid-December when they travel by limousine to PetCo on Martin Luther King Boulevard to claim a year’s supply of free food and other goodies. The precise date is still being worked out.

Ripley will also be featured in the company’s 2012 edition of its “believe It Or Not” book.

“we are hoping to make this an educational event for the community, and we will invite other adoption groups so that they can tell people what animals are available,” Brent Neil, manager of the Houma store, said of Ripley’s planned PetCo appearance.

Ripley was handed over to my Heart’s Desire in the fall after two women found the dog him in a Laplace sewage ditch, said the group’s co-director, Leslie Matherne. The 2-year-old poodle’s hair was so matted and overgrown, Ripley had to be sedated just to be groomed. Veterinarians found live and dead cockroaches snared in the 2 1/2 pounds of fur they cut from the dog.

The malnourished pooch’s condition was so unbelievable that Tracy Lapeyrouse, the shelter’s other director, named him Ripley.

News reports of the horrible neglect he suffered gained the attention of Ripley’s believe It Or not, which paid for Ripley’s medical care,

The Houma-based organization nursed the dog back to health, restored his dog-like appearance, then put him up for adoption. Matherne has agreed not to disclose further information on Ripley until the company that shares his name pulls off its public relations coup.

Matherne said that while she is pleased Ripley will have a good home, the heartbreak of rescue work is that so many other dogs and cats wait for a family to love.

“we have wonderful pets that are still looking for their forever home and hope to arrive there before Christmas Day,” Matherne said, cautioning that while she encourages adoption, families should also carefully consider all that is involved before adding a pet.

“they aren’t disposable, and they are not returnable,” she said. “they become attached to their families in the same way that humans become attached to theirs.”

Peppy, a Lhasa Apso-Shitzu mix, is one of the pets Matherne said seeks a home.

“He’s 1-and-a-half years old and neutered. he is vaccinated and heartworm negative, and we have had him for about a month,” said Matherne. The dog was rescued from the Lafourche Parish Animal Shelter, where he might have been killed.

Matherne said anyone seeking information on adoptable pets can call 226-4693 or visit, or

Local animal shelters also have pets for adoption.

Celebrity pets like Ripley, Matherne said, aid adoption efforts overall, although there is a down side.

Applications for Ripley — whose story went international — poured in from all over the world.

“we had so many applications that we received for Ripley,” she said. “but a lot of people wouldn’t consider other animals until they knew if he had been adopted. on the other hand, our adoptions have gone up because people have come to see Ripley.”

Senior Staff Writer John DeSantis can be reached at 857-1150 or

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