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Mary Gade of Marion, who heads an Airedale rescue group, said she will keep Piper until she finds a home for the dog, who had been deemed unadoptable. (Gazette photo by David Lee Hartlage)

Kirkwood turns over Airedale

Posted February 26, 1999

By Becky Stover, Gazette staff writer

Kirkwood Community College on Thursday turned over a year-old female Airedale terrier to an Airedale rescue group.

The dog, named Piper, had been living in a kennel at Kirkwood the past seven months and members of the Airedale group were afraid the animal was going to be euthanized.

However, the dog was not scheduled for euthanasia, Kirkwood spokesman Steve Carpenter said. It was only an option if the dog was deemed to have an untreatable condition, he said.

'We're glad that things are looking better for the dog,' Carpenter said.

Mary Gade, who heads Airedale Terrier Rescue & Adoption, said she will keep Piper until she finds a home for the dog, who had been deemed unadoptable.

Gade, of Marion, praised Kirkwood for its quick response to the group's concerns.

'All we wanted was to save the dog,' she said.

A false alarm that the dog was going to be euthanized set off an e-mail campaign.

Kirkwood President Norm Nielsen said he received about 200 e-mail messages about Piper, asking that the dog not be killed.

He said he found out about the situation Wednesday afternoon and made arrangements for the dog to be released to the Airedale group Thursday.

Gade said she tried at least three times to adopt Piper and was told by kennel manager Tane Frederickson on Monday that the dog would have to be put down because of medical and behavioral problems.

Carpenter said the dog's adoption was held up by Kirkwood's policy not to offer dogs for adoption if they have medical or behavioral problems. Piper had bitten several students and showed other aggressive tendencies, he said. She also had some medical problems.

Piper's former owner gave her to Kirkwood in August after the dog exhibited behavior problems.

Gade said she enlisted the help of Laurie Stone of Cedar Rapids, president of Animal Advocates of Iowa. 'We really do appreciate Kirkwood's efforts,' Stone said.

Gade and Stone said they're happy Piper will soon have a new home.

'We've rescued a lot of dogs before,' said Gade's son Jim Alberts, who, like his mother, owns two Airedales. 'This is about the nicest as far as personality. She was very clean and well taken care of. It would have been a shame to put her down.'

The e-mail sent by the Airedale group indicated Kirkwood was doing animal research at the college's small animal services and veterinarian technician programs, where Piper was housed. Students in those programs work with animals from area pounds. Students learn about animal behavior, how to perform physical exams and how to care for animals.

Animal research is not conducted at the facility, Kirkwood professor Stanley Holst said.

The Kirkwood facility is licensed as a research facility because of the length of time some animals stay there and because the facility can perform euthanasia procedures, Holst said.


Becky Barcy with Frodo, Bilbo & Piper

On 19 March 1999, Mary writes: You will be disappointed in the video. It was a feather in our cap due to the last part when the reporter said the vet gave her a clean bill of health and that there were no behavioral problems. That is the exact opposite from what the newspaper article quoted Kirkwood as saying. Jim my son was interviewed at his house, before we got Piper, and then they picked up the story from there when we got her. The radio station mentioned THEY had helped to rescue Piper, which was a crock, but then we know what the media says don't we?


Click on above moving icon to download a QuickTime movie of Piper's story, featuring Mary Gade & Jim Alberts


Click on above moving icon to download a AVI movie of Piper's story, featuring Mary Gade & Jim Alberts

Continue with the story of Piper HERE

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