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Wednesday, October 24 2012, 06:55 PM MDT
Letter Describing Hogan's Rescue
(KUTV) This is a letter Ken Vanmoorhem sent to fellow railroad workers about the rescue of Hogan the therapy dog.

March 3, 2008,

I am including Mile Posts for the Rail Roaders and GPS co-ordinates for the “non-rail's” who are interested. Hogan tunnel is about 38 miles southeast of Wells and 27 miles due west of Wendover.

As near as I can tell Hogan was first seen around Ventosa, Nevada, MP739 (N40° 51.45'/ W114° 48.26') the week of Halloween. The first time I saw her was a mile or two west of Spruce, Nevada, MP748 (N40° 47.88'/ W114° 39.52') a day or so before Christmas. She was rescued at the west end of the Hogan tunnel MP755 (N40° 43.98'/ W114° 35.55') February 27th. That is about 15 miles from where she was first spotted.

I know many of you railroaders who work over the Shafter subdivision have seen the small black and white dog in the Ventosa/Hogan tunnel area over the last few months and thought you might want to hear the latest developments.

On Saturday (Feb 23rd) morning I was eastbound and saw the small black and white dog for the first time since Christmas week. Unfortunately she was about 20 feet inside along the north wall of the Hogan tunnel. Being eastbound I just couldn't stop on that upgrade and go back through the tunnel to get her and it made me sick. We went into the siding at Sage to meet a passing west bound train and I talked to Marion Green and Mike Goodrich about her and asked them to at least throw a granola bar out to her. It was all I had at the time.

The more I thought about it I realized this was the first time I knew that she had been seen in a place where she might want to stay around (shelter and the dead cows for food). That is when I decided to go and get her, luckily my vacation was starting. Sunday morning I loaded up and headed west.

I got to the bottom of the hill at the east end of the Hogan tunnel with a lot less effort than I thought and was trying to find a passable road over the top when I got a call on my hand held from Theo Basset, saying he had heard that I had seen the dog and where, and he and Mike Goodrich had managed to take hold of her on their way east. We arranged to meet in Wendover, saving me the worst part of the trip. I dug myself out and turned around

When we met in Wendover, Theo said she had let him pick her up and had devoured his ham and cheese sandwich and slept at his feet all the way down the hill. Mike and Theo chipped in some cash for her care and I took her home

Once home I let her loose in the yard and let her decide when to come to me. It only took about 15 minutes, and I spent the evening giving her a sponge bath and checking her over. She wasn't missing any fur and wasn't coughing and wheezing and let me touch her anywhere I wanted. I didn't want to press my luck and left her missing front left foot alone. So far, so good

Monday morning I took her to Stone Ridge Veterinary Clinic in Riverton, UT, and had her checked out. I expected her to have intestinal worms and probably some sort of skin disorder and was happy to find that her skin was clear but Dr. Durant said he stopped counting at six different species of intestinal worms, and gave me a prescription for her

All of this I was ready for. The rest I was not.

The x-rays showed massive impact damage. She had been hit hard (car, train, falling out of a truck…) she had a collapsed lung, her hip was broken in two places and her right rear leg was completely dislocated and was riding on top of the hip bone her rear left knee's ACL was ruptured and her colon had been torn loose and relocated to the wrong (right) side of her body, the x-rays also showed signs she had gnawed off her left front foot to escape a snare trap. The other front foot also showed broken and healed bones most likely from a snare trap as well. She also has a few broken teeth. Although it is difficult to say for sure these injuries are not "years" old but certainly more than a few weeks, for example the wound from her missing foot is not completely healed.

She went in to surgery on Thursday, to fix the ACL and clear the way for the repair of the hip and dislocated leg. Dr. Durant said she did real well in the surgery but was not clotting as well as he would like. He told me this was not a big concern but that she was "kind of messy".  She will be back in surgery in a week or two to finish the repairs and is expected to have a good quality of life after surgery.

I have named her Hogan, after the tunnel she was living in. Many of you that I have talked to have said you had tossed food out for her as you passed the last place you had seen her. On Hogan's behalf I want to say thank you! I'm sure it was appreciated!

Thanks for everyone's interest and kind words.

Ken VanMoorhem

(Copyright 2012 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)
Letter Describing Hogan's Rescue

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