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MARBLE FALLS — When Jacey Ferguson came across Shadow several weeks ago outside Colt Elementary School, she was shocked — despite her years as a Marble Falls Animal Control officer.

“He was just in terrible shape,” she said. “He was suffering from a terrible secondary infection from all the flea and tick bites.”

When she found the dog, he was trying to escape the heat by hunkering down in a windowsill at the school. The dog’s fur  from about midway on his back all the way to his tail was gone because of the infestation and infection. It was the same under his chin and on his legs.

“His skin in some areas had basically calcified,” she said. The folds under his neck had become fused together due to his condition.

“We’ve had some bad cases come through here, but this is one of the worst we’ve ever seen,” said Amanda Langley, the Marble Falls Police Department administrative assistant.

In some places, the dog would have been euthanized, but Ferguson hates doing that unless it’s absolutely necessary. The only times she performs the procedure is when an animal is aggressive toward people or other animals or its health is very poor.

Shadow when he was first found several weeks ago.

“I really want to get the animals homes,” Ferguson said.

Langley smiled a bit.

“Sometimes, it means Jacey keeps a dog or cat longer than the period she needs to,” Langley said.

In Shadow’s case, Ferguson captured him about six weeks ago. Since that time, she’s worked to get him healthy again. This has required numerous flea and tick baths as well as other care. Fortunately, a private donor stepped up to cover the additional costs.

“But we’re at a point that we really need more help,” Langley said. “We’ve set up an account at Highland Lakes Veterinarian Clinic where people can donate to.”

The account is under the city of Marble Falls for Shadow.

Ferguson said if somebody was interested in fostering Shadow during his recovery process, she’d love to speak with him or her.

“It would have to be somebody who could give him medication through the day and take care of him,” she said. A foster person or family would be able to access the money in the Shadow’s account to help defray veterinary costs. While adoption is something Ferguson hopes for in Shadow’s future, she can’t put him up at this point.

“It wouldn’t be right to adopt him out to somebody right now not knowing how much it will cost for his vet care,” Ferguson said. “So we want to get him healthy, and then we’ll look at adopting him out.”

Ferguson has contacted several rescue groups, including those dedicated to German shepherds, regarding Shadow. Several have expressed interest in accepting Shadow once he is medically cleared for adoption.

Since coming into Ferguson’s care, Shadow has rebounded quite a bit. A lot of his hair has returned, and he once again looks like a German shepherd. When Ferguson first took Shadow in, the average person would probably never have recognized him for that breed. Ferguson said he’s likely a black Belgian shepherd, which is a type of German shepherd.

“What Jacey’s done for him has been remarkable,” Langley said. “I think there’s this idea out there (in the community) that we keep an animal for 72 hours, and then if we can’t find it a home or somebody doesn’t claim it, we destroy it. That’s not true. Jacey does everything she can to find dogs and cats homes who come into the shelter.”

And it’s something Shadow knows first hand.

Go to and click on “Adopt a Pet” to look at the animals that are up for adoption at the Marble Falls Animal Control Center. Call (830) 693-3611 for more information or on how to help Shadow.

Along with helping Shadow, Marble Falls authorities are also seeking information on his owners. Langley said people can call the department at the number above or provide anonymous tips through the MFPD website (accessed through the city website listed above) and click on Tip411 or through the department’s Facebook page.

“We really want to find out who Shadow’s owner is,” Langley said. “Because we really want to file on them.”

3 thoughts on “Marble Falls animal control officer seeks help for badly neglected dog

  1. Shadow does well with other female dogs same size or smaller. He is mostly a person lover and wants to sit in someone’s lap and just be loved on. 🙂 he thinks he only weighs 20lbs

  2. I am unable to foster this beautiful dog. I am fostering a pit bull at this moment. I would, however, like to at least walk with this dog, play ball, whatever, and give him love. I hope he has found a home, temporarily, at least. I would like to hear more about him. I wonder what sort of disposition he has?………………

  3. Shadow definitely looks like a Belgian Malinois. There is a Belgian Malinois rescue here in Texas. The group may have a network of foster homes. Check

    I have a rescue mal from this organization.

    Is Shadow good with other dogs?

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