1530 N Lowell Avenue, Pierre SD Email Us 605-223-2287


Rumor/Reaper’s Story

Some of you may remember reading about Rumor’s rescue back in Summer 2016. To our delight, he was adopted last month and renamed Reaper. We figured it was time to share his story again with plenty of updates.

Reaper was riddled with porcupine quillsOne day in Summer 2016, a rescue group outside of Pierre contacted us with a special case: a dog injured by a porcupine. They couldn’t afford to pay for the medical treatment Reaper desperately needed, so they needed our help. Volunteers quickly went to collect him in order to take him to the vet.

First Impressions

The first time we saw Reaper, it was quite a shock. Quills had penetrated deep into his muzzle, neck and chest and his skin looked angry and sore. Due to fear and pain, he had to be sedated in order to be moved from the vehicle to the surgical room at the Animal Clinic. During his examination, the doctor determined that the quills had been present for up to two weeks! They had also penetrated his left eyeball and his sight was at risk. On top of all that, he had double ear infections, punctured ear drums, and was riddled with ticks. The doctor quickly got to work pulling out the quills, while our volunteers removed the ticks. Altogether, the process took three hours. Reaper was given oral antibiotics along with eye and ear drops. His medical bills were substantially higher than other dogs at the shelter, so we appealed for donations to help. The next step was to determine his aftercare.

Betty and ReaperBetty and Reaper

Reaper was placed in foster care with Paws veteran Betty Truax. Betty has fostered numerous animals and nursed many back to health. Upon initial arrival, Reaper slept for most of three days, waking only for food and water. On the fourth day, he woke to explore his new surroundings and relieve himself. Betty, of course, gave him lots of hugs and affection. He needed it after all he had been through! Luckily, his eyesight made a full recovery. After allowing him to heal and put on weight, it was time to plan his future.

Finding a Furever Home

Initially, our plan was for Reaper to join the other dogs at the shelter following his recovery. Due to his breed, many volunteers expressed fear and apprehension about taking care of him alone. We decided to leave him in foster care for the time being. He was taken to the shelter during open hours in the hope of finding his furever home. Despite being well-behaved, crate-trained, house-trained and loving, the stigma attached to pit bulls meant that he didn’t initially gain a lot of interest. He was up for adoption for five months until he finally met a wonderful lady, Stephanie Heyd, who showed him love instead of fear. Introductions to Stephanie’s husband, their one-year-old pit bull and feisty seven-year-old Yorkie/Maltese went extremely well. Reference checks were also great. It was clear to us that we’d found Reaper’s furever home!

New Life
Reaper the 72-pound lap dog!

Reaper has settled into his new home like it was truly meant to be. Have you ever heard of a 72-pound lap dog? Reaper loves to snuggle up on Stephanie’s lap! She is more than happy to accommodate him. At night, he and his brother, Mr Mayhem (one year old pitbull), choose their spot on the couch or loveseat. They even have their own furniture.

Stephanie reports than Reaper is incredibly laid back – nothing seems to bother him. His Yorkie/Maltese brother, Jax, is quite a handful and runs the household. Reaper has no problem with his feisty behavior and chooses to ignore it. The same goes for Mr Mayhem – he is young, full of energy and wants to play all the time. Before Reaper was in his furever home, he would never play with other dogs or toys. Mr Mayhem taught him to do both. Reaper will oblige him for a while and once he’s had enough, he will just walk away without becoming frustrated. Talk about easy going!

Reaper cuddling with Mr Mayhem
Reaper cuddling with Mr Mayhem
Reaper with Gemma and Stephanie
Mayhem with Jemma – Reaper with Stephanie

Reaper is a gentleman with Stephanie’s five granddaughters. Three-year-old Jemma likes to play vet with him. As he lays on the floor, she will place a cover over him and check his ears! They’ve had three other rescue pit bulls before who all got along well with the children. Reaper and Mr Mayhem are taken for walks outside of town and let off the leash. Rumor will stay by his mom’s side. She states, “I feel like we won the lottery with Reaper. He is the sweetest, most gentle dog.”

As volunteers and animal lovers, happy stories like this make our lives complete and our hard work worthwhile. Please consider adding the adoption of shelter animals, fostering, making a donation, or volunteering to your list of New Year’s resolutions!

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Open Hours

Saturday 11am-1pm for dogs; 11am-1pm for cats
By appointment: 605-223-CATS


1530 N Lowell Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501

(Behind Walmart off Airport Road)

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