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Sparky painting fetches $5,000 for rescue center

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

Sparky, the dog, continues to bask in the public's eye.

The Terrier-mix gained statewide attention when he was seriously injured after he was dragged behind a pick-up truck in Forest Park in July.

Recently, an oil painting of the injured dog fetched a $5,000 donation during a fund-raiser for Atlanta Pet Rescue and Adoption.

"The painting of Sparky brought in more money than any other item in the auction," said Betsey Blimline, a spokesperson for Atlanta Pet Rescue and Adoption.

Chip Allen, Sparky's new adoptive father, got up and spoke about the dog before bidding opened on the painting. The first bid was $500, and a bidding war quickly began among auction participants who wanted to take home the Marc Tetro painting.

The winning bid was made by David York, the owner of Barking Hound Village, an Atlanta daycare center for dogs.

"Well, honestly, there's so many dog-related stories in the news right now," Allen said, when he was asked why he thinks Sparky's story strikes a chord with so many people.

York turned around and gave the painting to Allen as a gift.

Overall, animal lovers donated $35,000 to Atlanta Pet Rescue and Adoption.

Atlanta Pet Rescue and Adoption took care of Sparky after he was left for dead along Frontage Road in Forest Park. His paws, claws, and large portions of fur and skin were rubbed off during the incident. Despite his wounds, Sparky fought to live and surprised his caretakers in the process.

Now he's become the poster dog for Atlanta Pet Rescue and Adoption.

"There's just something about his story that touches people," Blimline said. "The only good thing to come out of what happened to him was that it brought much needed attention to other dogs who have gone through similar ordeals. He's a great happy-ending story."

Sparky's story has also brought a lot of attention to Atlanta Pet Rescue and Adoption, Blimline added. The rescue center provides injured and abandoned dogs and cats with services, such as dental and orthopedic surgeries, mange treatment, and veterinary care.

Atlanta Pet Rescue and Adoption officials also feed, and bathe the animals.

Sparky's E-collar is expected to come off in three weeks and his doctors have already taken him off antibiotics, Allen said.

"Sparky wants to retire from the public scene," Allen said. "There are a lot of other dogs who need the help he's received, though."