Assistant Compliance Director Finds Warm Spot In Her Heart for Cold, Abandoned Dog

Joey 3On the early morning of January 14th, 2016, the temperature hovered around 27 degrees. Julie Williams, Assistant Compliance Director, was on her way into work at the City Securities downtown Indianapolis office when she saw what she initially thought was a fox off of Fall Creek Parkway along the Indiana State Fairgrounds. After doing a double-take, she quickly realized that it was actually a dog curled up in the snow.

Julie had recently seen a post on Facebook about the new dog ordinance that enforces dog owners to bring their dogs inside if temperatures drop below 20 degrees, and steps to take if a dog is found outside under such conditions. While it was not below 20 degrees, the prior day had been in the single digits and the dog was clearly cold as it lay curled up in the snow. She first called the Mayor’s Action Line to file the report, as directed by the post. Then, she called the Indianapolis Metro Police Station non-emergency line. While they ensured her that Animal Care and Control (IACC) would be dispatched to the area, Julie didn’t feel good about how long it could possibly take.

Julie pulled into the fairgrounds parking lot, near the dog. However, she was on the other side of a fence, so she couldn’t tend to the dog at all. Two children approached on the side that the dog was laying. She asked if they would help her by boosting the dog up so that she could lift it over the fence. The children were afraid, but one took off their coat to cover the dog and agreed to stay by the dog to make sure it didn’t take off while Julie made her way around the fencing.

Without really thinking about the possibility of aggression, Julie approached the dog. It was gentle, and still, and had no collar. A lady happened to see Julie and pulled over to give her a leash that was in her car. The dogs hind legs were freezing from having been in the snow for so long and weren’t moving much. So, Julie wrapped the dog in a blanket from her trunk, picked it up and carried the dog to her car.  The dog responded with a kiss!

She sat the dog in the back of the car, scooting inside with him and covering him with the blanket. It was scared and stressed, but also very tender with her, continuing to scoot itself over as close as possible to Julie and sneak kisses at any chance.

“Now what?” she thought. Having an 8:45 meeting that she was going to miss, she called the Director of Human Relations and close co-worker at City Financial, who is also an animal lover, Katy McShane. Katy advised her to call the Humane Society of Indianapolis and/or the Animal Care and Control Center, but neither opened until 10 am.

Julie canceled her meetings for the day and drove around the fairgrounds, asking anyone she could find if they were familiar with the dog. She did the same at a camp ground across the road. She had no luck.

Joey 2Katy then directed Julie to her own veterinarian, so that she could get the dog checked for a microchip. She did, and the vet was able to provide some information on the dog. He was a 9 month old, male, Australian Cattle Dog (a.k.a. Red Heeler). Unfortunately, he was not microchipped, but was luckily healthy, didn’t have frost-bite, and hadn’t been out on his own for long. The veterinarian provided Julie with information on Animal Care and Control Center and warned her that it would be a very hard thing for her to take him there, given the general atmosphere of rescue centers. Julie got in her car and thought about it. She couldn’t do it.

“While ACC has improved over the years, it can be a very large, loud, scary place for animals that are already confused and lost,” said Julie. “[He] is such a sweet, calm boy and I had a hard time subjecting him to that environment.”

Though Julie is clearly a dog-person, she already has her hands tied with a pup of her own. “Unfortunately, I already have an active dog that takes a significant amount of my time and proper integration would be necessary which could take some time.”

Joey 1She thought of a dear friend who might have an idea of a better option. Her friend directed her to an animal rescue in Greenwood, Ind. – Tails and Trails Rescue. After discussing the dog and asking the owner some general questions about options, the owner offered to take him without Julie even having to ask. There was one stipulation, though, Julie had to name him. Julie took him back to the vet for shots, went to purchase some dog food, blankets and toys for him, and offered Tails and Trails a cash donation for their generosity. And, she named him Joey since he resembled a baby kangaroo.

While they have posted Joey on Facebook, the NextDoor app, and have set up an IndyLost pet alert, no leads have come of it. Unfortunately, he was likely dumped by a previous owner who no longer wanted him. Luckily, Joey is in a wonderful place until he finds his forever home when he becomes adoptable in a few weeks.

Julie visited him the weekend after she surrendered him to Tails and Trails. He immediately recognized her and welcomed her with more kisses. He’s a happy, active puppy and has made himself home in the owner’s office. He has only shred one magazine and was working on his leash etiquette, but is on his way to becoming a handsome, well-mannered adult.

Julie thinks of Joey often, and hopes that he finds a home to always keep him warm.

If you know that you would’ve done the same thing as Julie, why not equip yourself in case you do find a lost dog? Please find a list of items to have in your car and helpful resources below:

  • Collars and leashes – both clip and slip leashes (the stronger, the better!)
  • Heavy/soft blanket
  • Tasty/strong smelling treats (soft, smelly treats are a dogs favorite)
  • Pet carrier – if your car space allows
  • Water and water bowls
  • Helpful Numbers:
    • Local animal control
    • Local animal shelter
    • 24-hour emergency veterinary clinic


*UPDATE: Joey unfortunately had to have his left eye removed last week due to a freak accident while playing outside. He accidentally ran into a branch, lacerating his eye. Read the Tails & Trails full update post on Facebook here. If you would like to donate to Joey’s medical expenses and care, please do so via, directly by phone (317-786-7923) or mail to VCA Swengel Animal Hospital, 6950 S. East St., Indianapolis 46227. Be sure to note: “Joey- Tails & Trails”. Thank you in advance for you generosity!