Community looks after stray dog

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Max is a stray dog that has a lot of love and support from his community in Charleston, Illinois. Although Max won’t let anyone get too close to him, he has several people who are looking after him and making sure he is well fed.

Joe Evans opened his restaurant, Smoky’s House BBQ, a year and a half ago. Evans noticed a stray dog hanging around the area. Evans started calling him Max and has been feeding him ever since. Back then Max was very skinny, but today he’s a well fed pup thanks to Evans and several others.

Courtney McElwee brings Max food twice a day, stopping as she commutes to and from work each day. She also put a dog house in the restaurant’s parking lot for Max. Brenda Price, who works at the BP gas station nearby, also keeps an eye on Max and feeds him every day. When she arrives at work Max runs and meets her in the parking lot. Max won’t let her get too close to him, but still acts very happy to see her. He gives a similar greeting to Evans and McElwee, excited to see them but never letting them get too close.

Evans thinks the dog was probably mistreated. “Half of me wants to see him get caught and adopted, but he’s not adoptable unless you’ve got five acres and let him run around,” he said. Max was almost caught once. Coles County animal shelter had set a live trap for him and he was caught. Someone let him out though, and Max won’t go anywhere near traps now. “That dog is street smart,” said shelter manager Julie Deters. Deters thinks Max is doing okay in his current situation and isn’t sure taking extreme measures to catch him would be in his best interest.

The people who care for Max are torn about his situation. When McElwee initially met Max she wanted to catch him. She worries about medical conditions that might be undetected. She also tries to be realistic about his situation, “He’s kind of living like someone’s outdoor dog. If he’s caught, he’s probably going to be miserable,” she said. Though Max might not have a traditional home, he’s got a family in Evans, McElwee, Price and many others who keep an eye on him. “He’s got people who care about him,” said Evans.

5 thoughts on “Community looks after stray dog”

  1. He’s scared because of something in his history. It’s noble to love him from afar but it isn’t the best thing for him in the end. He needs to be caught and checked by a vet and then slowly and patiently allowed to see that a home is a good thing. He obviously wants to love a human. He’s lonely….

    • I totally agree because he no doubt has not had shots, including rabies, dental work most likely needs to be done and just a complete checkup. Perhaps someone could spend a weekend with him in the parking lot, letting him get close enough to learn he isn’t going to be hurt. I’ll bet it wouldn’t take long and he could be snuggled up next to his person by Christmas.

      A jar for contributions to his care could be set up in the BBQ perhaps – maybe even a Chip-in online. Don’t know, but it would be nice to have a follow up to this story.

    • I agree with most…. He is fearful and that is what keeps him at bay…but he acts like he wants to go near but fear tells him no… If u can get passed that fear by spending time with him rather than feed and leave, he may warm up to those he knows from afar…It takes time and patience to win over a hurt, fearful animal, please if u love him like u say, win him over and give him the unconditional love of a forever home that he so urgently needs.. no animal likes to be alone. they are pack animals by nature… but again fear kills all trust… watch a rescue and see how they win over on some of the most fearful dogs and gets tips on how to and I promise u that he will feel the love he misses…. <3

  2. That is so wonderful that he has caring people who feed him and take care of him. I wish there were more people like the ones in Charleston, Illinois. Thank you for doing that and may God bless all of you!


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