Shelter saves 3-year-old rescue, needs public’s help in footing medical bill


A 3-year-old pit bull in the Manassas Animal Adoption Center might be ready for adoption, but she can’t be adopted because of outstanding medical costs.

Cookie’s owner brought her to the center in March and requested to put her down. The shelter offers such services, free of charge, for those who need it.

“When citizens come in with a sick or injured animal, we tell them to go to the vet. They do, and we don’t see them again,” said Sergeant Carilyn Mello of the Manassas City Police Department; also the director of the shelter.

Mello says the owner was insistent Cookie be put down, and later revealed she hadn’t taken the dog to the vet. Cookie was suffering from seizures. 

Cookie’s owner signed the rights over to the shelter. An officer took Cookie to Artemis, a nearby animal hospital, which held Cookie in ICU for a week. The vets determined Cookie’s seizures were a product of the chemical imbalance that resulted from her starvation.

Her former owner is facing animal cruelty charges and heads to court on May 22. 

Meantime, Cookie is ready to be adopted. Mello says the shelter wants to pay off the bill before then. “She’s owned…by the shelter and we are responsible for the bill to Artemis,” said Mello. “So if we release her to somebody else, that person would be responsible for the bill and we are not willing to put that on a citizen who’s going to adopt Cookie.”

The bill is a little over $4,000. Mello says Artemis worked with them to get the cost down from over $5,000. 

The center is open Monday through Friday (10:00 to 1:00 and 4:00 to 6:00); 5:00 to 7:00 on Wednesdays and on Saturday from 10:00 to 1:00. Staff is accepting cash or check donations in person or over the mail.

City of Manassas Animal Control Services & Adoption Center

ATTN: Cookie

10039 Dean Dr.

Manassas, VA 20110

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