UPDATED: Owner and dog found in remote area with porcupine quills in mouth reunited

Adam MacInnis
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The New Glasgow Veterinary Clinic is now caring for this black dog. She was discovered with porcupine quills in her mouth near the Liscomb Game Sanctuary. SUBMITTED

UPDATED: The owner of a black dog found near the Liscomb Game Sanctuary has been found. 

Craig Mercer said a lady from Caledonia has claimed ownership of the dog. She and her son were looking for the dog for about three weeks and were happy to hear that it was alive and well.

They were reunited at the New Glasgow Vet Clinic today. 


She has no nametag to say who she is, but the black dog brought into the New Glasgow Vet Clinic on Sunday can certainly be called one lucky girl, says veterinarian Kathryn Sykes.

The dog arrived on Sunday at the clinic Sykes works at with porcupine quills in her face and was terribly thin.

“I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a dog this thin,” Sykes said.

Craig Mercer and some friends found the dog Sunday afternoon. They discovered her wandering near the Liscomb Game Sanctuary where the men had just finished up a four-day camping trip.

“They did a pretty good thing bringing her in,” Sykes said. “It’s going to take some time but she should be OK.”

Already they’ve pulled out some of the quills and are working to rehydrate the dog. They’ll have to surgically remove some of the remaining quills, which were deeply embedded. But all things considered, the dog is lucky to be alive. If it wasn’t for the Pictou County men, she might not be.

Mercer said he and his friends had just finished loading boats into the truck at the end of their fishing trip and were ready to head home when they saw a black animal in the middle of the road. At first they weren’t sure what the creature was so they pulled out some binoculars for a closer look and realized it was a dog.

“We tried to call her over, but she was pretty scared,” Mercer said.

They tossed the dog some leftover hotdogs in an attempt to get it close enough, but it ran up the road when they attempted to catch her.

Mercer just couldn’t let her go, so he decided to go back and try once more to catch the dog. He discovered her again lying in a ditch. With a big coat on and gloves to protect himself in case she decided to bite, he lured her in close with food and grabbed her. He tied a rope onto the dog, who although scared seemed relieved to have found someone to care for her. 

Exhausted, the dog slept on a pile of Mercer’s things on the way back. Meanwhile Mercer called ahead to his wife and they let the vet know that they would be bringing the dog in.

As soon as Mercer caught the dog and told his friends he was with it, they all pulled out their wallets and began passing over cash to help contribute to what they anticipated would be costly vet bills. Since then others have stepped forward to indicate they would help, he said.

Mercer is hoping that they’ll be able to find out where the dog came from. Because of where the dog was, he figures someone who was visiting the sanctuary lost her or she was abandoned.

He said his family is trying not to allow themselves to get too attached to the dog until they’re sure she doesn’t belong to someone else.

“We’re godparents,” he said. “We’re paying the bills and making sure she has a fighting chance.”

However, if no one comes forward, he said he’s happy to take the dog into his own home.

“We’ve already got two dogs and if all else fails she’ll be welcome in our family,” he said.



On Twitter: NGNewsAdam


Organizations: New Glasgow Vet Clinic

Geographic location: Pictou County

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Recent comments

  • Cindy
    May 28, 2013 - 20:30

    Love, love to read this; thank heavens this pup had you angels happen upon her and save her life and that you cared enough not to give up on her; like Allan in Ancaster I'm wiping away the tears knowing that she will be okay and please NG News keep us update on her progress and her eventual forever home whether it be with wonderful Craig Mercer or that someone was frantically missing her. Thanks for the great story of good people.

  • County resident
    May 28, 2013 - 20:14

    These guys deserve a great big thank you, dog would have been better off with one of them, hopefully the owner pays the vet bill.

  • flipx
    May 28, 2013 - 20:07

    Great Job a tip of the hat to ya.

  • Rosanne Gillis
    May 28, 2013 - 18:11

    Wow....Mr. Mercer it's because of people like you and your friends that cancel out all of the negative news. Such a heartwarming story, it made my day...great job guys!!

  • dog lover
    May 28, 2013 - 17:25

    just heard they found the owner of that puppy.and I am delighted.hoe it leads to every pet owner to have a collad and a name and phone number on it so every pet can be brought home and again mr mercer and your fishing buddies u took such care of that puppy .now it is returning home to its owners.many thanks

  • MicheleM
    May 28, 2013 - 14:58

    Mr. Mercer, You and your friends showed so much kindness to this poor helpless dog. Warms my heart to read a story like this, God Bless You :)

  • Craig Mercer
    May 28, 2013 - 14:25

    A very heartfelt thank you to all the generous comments here and people that have been contacting me in person. Any credit for this is shared equally with my good friends that helped get the dog to help and the excellent staff at the New Glasgow Vet clinic. As for everyone's offer to help,your generosity it greatly appreciated. If you feel compelled, feel free to donate your time or energy to the charity of your choice or simply make sure you hold the door open for the next person at the post office. Thanks, Craig Mercer

  • Craig Mercer
    May 28, 2013 - 14:09

    A very heartfelt thank you to all the generous comments here and people that have been contacting me in person. Any credit for this is shared equally with my good friends that helped get the dog to help and the excellent staff at the New Glasgow Vet clinic. As for everyone's offer to help,your generosity it greatly appreciated. If you feel compelled, feel free to donate your time or energy to the charity of your choice or simply make sure you hold the door open for the next person at the post office. Thanks, Craig Mercer

    • sonia
      May 28, 2013 - 19:12

      Craig and friends, What you and your friends did made me feel more positive about the world. Don't know how many people would go to the effort. Best wishes from Hudson Quebec

  • Dawn
    May 28, 2013 - 11:37

    What a lucky lady. Hoping for a speedy recovery and placement where she will be loved the most and that sounds like with Mr. Mercer and his family. Thank you for being kind.

    • claire
      May 28, 2013 - 12:23

      THANKYOU THANKYOU to the kind gentlemen for saving this poor baby!!! WHAT KIND people they are...AND even the way they 'gave money' to contribute towards the vet bills!! I hope this dog can live with the kind man willing to take her!!! What a lovely story!!!

  • Ian
    May 28, 2013 - 10:34

    Anyone who has not seen a dog in this state has no idea how bad it is, I was working in CFB gagetown almost 20 years ago when we found a husky with a mouth full of quills, it was so bad the poor dog was dehydrated because he couldn't get his tongue out to take water. It took a good hour to gain his trust enough to let us use side cutters to cut some of the quills so he could drink. Never heard what happened to that poor dog after the MPs came to take it to the local shelter. That dog was lucky to find a dog lover to help it before it was too late. And one with great friends to help cover the expense of save its life.

  • Allan Fraser
    May 28, 2013 - 09:46

    What a great story! Mr. Mercer, you and your friends show what we all hope we would do inn the same situation. However, you did do it. Thank you guys. Now I gotta find some tissues. Seems like there's some sort of leak in my eyes. Allan Fraser Ancaster, Ont

    • Nelly
      May 28, 2013 - 11:36

      Great post Allan Fraser. My feelings (including the leak) exactly. Thank you Mercer family and friends.

  • Aileen teBogt-Sheehy
    May 28, 2013 - 09:38

    This is amazing story of a dog for being out there all alone in the woods and at the same time people never giving up , as if the dog knew and dog will have a happy ending,BRAVO!

  • dorth
    May 28, 2013 - 09:24

    Thank you to these wonderful men that did this and for trying a second time to get this poor dog. She is lucky and will be faithful to you for the rest of her life.

    • Diane
      May 28, 2013 - 10:27

      Such kind people, I am so happy for the dog. I hope they keep her.

  • Krista
    May 28, 2013 - 08:20

    Bravo!! An amazing act of kindness! Too many times we read heartbreaking stories about animal cruelty in the news. It is so very heartwarming and refreshing to read about someone helping an animal in need - I will certainly be sharing this story with my 6 year old son tonight and will tell him about what a hero Mr. Mercer is. Mr. Mercer, thank you for setting such a great example of what it means to be compassionate and caring!

  • PaulaB
    May 28, 2013 - 08:01

    It's people like you that continue to make me proud to live in Pictou County. That poor little girl was facing a certain death if you had not found her and persisted in capturing her. You are all Heroes in my book, and most definitely in hers! KUDOS to you all!

  • matt
    May 28, 2013 - 07:41

    Simply amazing! Many people could learn a lot from you in regards to what you did. All the best

  • Vince Kennie of Northport
    May 28, 2013 - 07:16

    As a dog owner I can appreciate the love and caring that this man provided for this dog. I have had to get porcupine quills removed from my siberian husky on several occasions and it is no easy task. Wishing a full recovery for this dog and a well placement.

  • woman
    May 28, 2013 - 07:03

    Thank you Mr.Mercer for your kind and generous heart. This story brought tears to my eyes and may God richly bless you for saving this dog. You are a hero to this animal and to all animal lovers.

  • tara
    May 28, 2013 - 06:12

    Thank you so much Craig for your kind and generous heart. You and you pals are very good men. I feel very proud of you all.

  • Debby Sterling
    May 27, 2013 - 23:19

    I have such great respect for Mr. Mercer. In an age where so much violence towards animals occurs, it does one's heart good to hear the good stories. The New Glasgow Vet clinic knows who I am and I would be glad to help out as well if you need anything at all. Just let them know and they will contact me. Thank you for saving this dog!! I for one appreciate it very much.

  • Lesa
    May 27, 2013 - 23:00

    The kindness of these people is wonderful to see. Too many would have turned away, but not these folks. Bless you. I hope you get to keep her as I believe she will be the most loyal friend you will ever have. She is one lucky lady.

  • adeline luckie
    May 27, 2013 - 21:31

    most people would not look twice. You are truly angels to help this defenseless animal.

  • Leah Gerrior
    May 27, 2013 - 20:46

    Bless your heart Craig! You are a true animal hero, wish there were more people like you in the world.

  • just thinking
    May 27, 2013 - 20:27

    indeed a great story .it could have been so easy to just drive by .so im thanking the guys so much for helping this hurt and hungry animal.i just hope that someone did no leave that puppy on the side of the road. so many thanks to this very kind persons for stopping and helping.you will be rewarded

  • Cathy
    May 27, 2013 - 20:13

    PS: please keep us posted on her progress

  • Cathy
    May 27, 2013 - 20:06

    God bless you Mr.Mercer, there is a special place in heaven for people like you. What a lucky puppy she is that you and your friends were the humans who saw her, not everyone would have been so caring. Thank you...., Cathy - Sheet Harbour

  • anne marie paul
    May 27, 2013 - 19:00

    ohhh my what a touching story, to think there is really kind ppl like this , who would go out of their way to help an animal,, god loves u dude and high five to you, story really warmed my heart

  • Vikki
    May 27, 2013 - 17:58

    what a wonderful, heartwarming act for this man to do.. that little dog was probably put out to die because someone would not spend the money to get her cleaned up, if the Mercer family need any help with anything as far as food or helping to place her in a loving home, I would be willing to do what I could to help.. Vikki