PASCO -- Rocky is a year-old, mixed-breed pooch with freckles on his nose, an adorable mug and a sweet disposition.
At the moment, however, Rocky isn't feeling so well.
He was found last week lying in a field in rural Benton County, banged up pretty bad.
"A good Samaritan found him and took him to the vet. He obviously had been either dragged by a car or fell or was thrown out of a fast-moving vehicle," said Molli Van Dorn, founder of Pet Over Population Prevention.
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"His injuries are road rash on his chest, front pads and the tops of his back feet, and some of those scrapes went clear to the bone," Van Dorn said.
One of Rocky's toes had to be amputated.
Rocky is just one of hundreds of abandoned or abused dogs and cats found all over the Mid-Columbia that POPP volunteers seek safe homes for.
Last month, Lucy, another mixed-breed dog, was found abandoned and tied to railroad tracks in Finley.
She was taken to the Pet Emergency Clinic in Pasco, where she was treated and later spayed.
Then POPP found a Pasco family to adopt her.
"Lucy's story certainly started out sad but fortunately ended happily," Van Dorn said. "She fully recovered from any trauma ... and she's doing great with her adopted family."
Rocky's story also has a happy ending as friends of the good Samaritan who found him adopted the lovable pooch earlier this week.
POPP has several foster homes it uses when an animal is in need, but more are needed because the number of abused or abandoned pets is increasing as more and more people become irresponsible pet owners, Van Dorn said.
Foster home participants volunteer to provide temporary homes for dogs and cats until a permanent home can be found.
"It's criminal what some pets endure at the hands of humans," Van Dorn said. "We do our best to try to help as many neglected animals as we can."
Anyone interested in volunteering can leave a message at POPP's website, www.popptricities.org, or call 509-943-4722.
* Dori O'Neal: 509-582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org