BY AJ TRAGER
CANTON – On Aug. 12 a pitbull-mix puppy named Lazlo, approximately 6 to 8 months of age, was found wandering the corner of Ford Road and Merriman in Garden City. He was malnourished and hungry for attention. A concerned Michigan resident took him to the Humane Society where he was rejected care for having what's known as mange, a skin disease consisting of parasitic mites that affects animals and sometimes humans and causes extreme itching, hair loss and the formation of scabs.
Thankfully, Lazlo quickly found his way to the compassionate and loving home of Andrea Kerby, a 26-year-old Canton resident who lives with her parents and works at a local dog care facility. Kerby decided shortly after meeting Lazlo that he was going to become the next member of her multi-pet home.
In the roughly two months since Lazlo has been in Kerby's care, his mange has practically disappeared. Where his shoulder blades, legs, stomach, face, chest and back were shed of all hair, they are now white, and his immune system has drastically improved. He takes baths every few days, and Kerby administers natural oils and antibiotics which will clear up his mange in roughly 30 days.
When he arrived in her home, Kerby noticed that the young dog took immediately to eating quickly, suggesting that his last home did not feed him properly. Kerby has him on a strict diet of Merrick Puppy Food, known for being premiere, U.S.-based dog food.
"The second he walked into our house he was all up on me. He's just so happy with everyone. He will go up to anyone, any dog (and) lick their face. He's just so happy and sweet. I don't know how anyone could just, you know, dump him. It's sad. Any rescue would be happy to have this dog because he's just so easy and sweet," Kerby said. "But we're keeping him. It was pretty much decided the moment he walked in the door."
Lazlo's new mom has been very proactive in getting him the care he needs by taking him to the veterinarian, getting his shots and even implanting a microchip.
Shortly after taking Lazlo into her home, Kerby authored a Craigslist ad calling out the previous owner.
"I have your dog," Kerby's advertisement starts, then describes the status of Lazlo's body and his experience at the vet. "Regardless of the miserable, cruel being that 'cared' for him, he has the most loving, positive attitude about life. He loves everyone and everything. When meeting a new person, all he wants is to hop right in their lap and give kisses. You couldn't break his spirit if you tried."
Kerby has always loved animals, often more than people. Between Lazlo and the puppy they got last year, Kerby and her family have three other dogs, one cat and a guinea pig.
For the last six years she has worked full time at Happy Hounds, a cage-free "doggy day care" facility in Plymouth. She's always had a home full of animals. Kerby's family has had cats, salt water aquariums, rats and a "little bit of everything." Every dog they've ever had has been a rescue.
In the four weeks Lazlo has been in the home, Kerby has taught him to sit and has started working on other easy commands like "stay." The Craigslist ad has been shared over 3,000 times since Kerby wrote it, and she has received countless emails from people thanking her for caring for Lazlo.
"It's absolutely amazing to know that so many others care and have, or would have, done the same thing for an animal in need," she said.
Lazlo has a Facebook fan page. Visit http://www.facebook.com/AdventuresOfLazlo to see up to date pictures and keep connected with his progress.