Michael A. Sawyers
CUMBERLAND — Biscuit, a 2-year-old dog that is likely a cocker spaniel/golden retriever mix, will have surgery Wednesday to remove porcupine quills that she has been carrying around since September.
“Her left eye will be removed and what’s left of the quills and an abscess on her face and neck will be dealt with,” said Dianne Care of The Ark of Hope Animal Rescue.
Care said her contacts had been keeping her aware of Biscuit and her mother, Cookie, who have been living on their own in Constitution Park for at least two years, maybe three.
Care said she received a call in September about the run-in with a porcupine and attempted unsuccessfully to trap Biscuit at that time.
“(Recently) she was sighted at a house off of Country Club Road. With the permission of the homeowner, we again set the trap,” Care said.
Cookie was caught Friday evening and Biscuit was in the trap the next morning, according to Care.
Biscuit was soon placed on antibiotics and pain medication in preparation for surgery.
“Biscuit weighs about 25 pounds and Cookie is smaller,” Care said. “The cat’s meow would be to adopt them out together. I’m hoping for someone with a fenced yard can take these two girls together. I really don’t want to separate them.”
Care said Constitution Park is a dumping ground for unwanted pets. “People drive in under the cover of darkness, shove the pet out and keep going,” she said. “After we learned about Biscuit and Cookie, every time I was in Cumberland I would drive through the park hoping to spot them.”
The Ark of Hope (13400 Arctic Ridge Lane, Oldtown, MD 21555) helps abused, abandoned and neglected animals and is a no-kill operation, according to Care. Other contact information is 301-478-3300 and www.arkofhoperescue.org.
Tom Lambert, assistant professor of biology at Frostburg State University, said Tuesday that he is not aware of any documentation of a southward expansion of the porcupine’s range.
“They have always been known from this area, going all the way south into Virginia and West Virginia. However, historically they have been or were thought to be rare. If they are increasing, there doesn’t seem to be any clear reason.”
In an April 2011 article at pennlive.com, Pennsylvania Game Commission Biologist Matthew Lovallo said, “... anecdotally, over the past decade, we’ve seen a slow and steady expansion, particularly southward. We don’t have any real systematic way to measure it.”
Contact Michael A. Sawyers at firstname.lastname@example.org.