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Local News

Animal clinic provides dog free care during makeover of New Lenox home

Dr. Mary Ubatuba examines Shadow, a black Labrador mix, Monday at the Animal Clinic at New Lenox. Shadow belongs to the Sabec brothers, whose home is being renovated by ShareFest and Operation Nehemiah.
Dr. Mary Ubatuba examines Shadow, a black Labrador mix, Monday at the Animal Clinic at New Lenox. Shadow belongs to the Sabec brothers, whose home is being renovated by ShareFest and Operation Nehemiah.

NEW LENOX – When three brothers left their New Lenox home so it could be remodeled, they had to leave one family member behind.

Brothers Ray, Lawrence and Don Sabec couldn’t bring their 4-year-old black Labrador mix, Shadow, with them to the house where they are temporarily staying while their home undergoes a makeover

Nonprofit organizations ShareFest and Operation Nehemiah have pooled funds and volunteers to bring new life to the brothers’ deteriorated home. The majority of the work began Aug. 1. 

Instead of being alone or temporarily abandoned, Shadow is being cared for by one of the receptionists at the Animal Care Clinic of New Lenox. He has received extensive, free medical treatment from the clinic. 

“We actually don’t get the opportunity to do this so it’s nice for us to share our expertise and knowledge with someone in the community,” said Tina Medland, the clinic’s hospital manager. 

When Shadow came under the clinic’s care Aug. 2, he had flea bite dermatitis and no flea, heartworm or tick prevention treatments, she said. He received a flea bath, vaccinations and a rabies shot. A doctor at the clinic also offered to neuter him at no charge. 

The clinic is working to provide three months worth of flea and tick prevention at no cost. When Shadow and the Sabec brothers are reunited, Medland said they plan to give him chewable flea treatment pills. 

“We want to make sure whatever we sent home with the brothers is easy to dispense,” she said. 

Shadow also is working with a local trainer for free to improve his behavior. While he’s not aggressive, he lacks obedience, Medland said. 

She said the brothers have visited Shadow while volunteers with Operation Nehemiah and ShareFest work on their home, 717 S. Prairie Road. The brothers have lived in the home since 1946, but problems they could not fix led to its decline. 

Rob Lach, executive director of Operation Nehemiah, said plumbing and electric infrastructure work is finished. Door and window replacements have been done as well. Workers are reconfiguring the layout, he said. 

He said he’ll have a better idea of when the project will be finished once drywall work is complete the weekend after Labor Day. 

“I think it’s coming along well, considering the time the brothers have been out. It’s come a long way. I’m happy with the progress,” he said. 

With an average of six to 10 volunteers helping with the home makeover project, Lach said he could use more assistance. Those interested can contact Lach at rlach@nehemiahshands.org, or call 708-612-9139.

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