Carrie Dancer is a spunky ball of fur, living the high life at Oakland Animal Services. But that was certainly not the case just a few weeks ago.
"The hair was just all over ground and down, hanging off like dreaded up," Oakland police Sergeant Mike Morse recalled.
Sergeant Morse said you wouldn't recognize the tiny Shih Tzu after someone found her wandering a rough street in Oakland, California, with obvious signs of abuse. A piece of chicken wire was attached to her leg, her hair grown through the sharp edges.
"It's kind of disgusting," Sgt. Morse said. "That someone would just leave her there and not really want to care for her."
Since then, Carrie Dancer has received extra special care at the shelter. The vet staff shaved off the chicken wire and matted fur and treated a skin infection. With hopes of learning her name and finding her owner, they discovered she was microchipped. And she was registered to a family in Oklahoma.
This is where the puppy tale takes a dramatic twist. The ratty looking dog walking the mean streets of east Oakland is related to a champion show dog from Oklahoma named Pup-Pourri Briana.
"You wouldn't think this type of dog that has obviously been treated as a champion and taken care of, groomed and bred for this type of a show would be hanging out on the street somewhere," Sgt. Morse said.
In fact, it was first believed Carrie was Briana, catching the attention of a San Francisco newspaper. Turns out, both dogs came from the same blood line and the same kennel in the Sooner State before health problems years ago forced the owners to sell their entire kennel to a breeder 1700 miles away on the West Coast. How Carrie went from riches to rags is anybody's guess.
"She has a definite presence of standing there, saying, 'Hey, look at me,'" Sgt. Morse noticed.
More than 20 animal lovers have called the shelter, wanting to adopting Carrie Dancer. The shelter's director has actually taken the pup into her home. Oakland Animal Services is working several leads in hopes of finding the person who neglected Carrie Dancer.