Moonpie has landed a friend in Cornatzer, but she needs a home

  • Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013 1:04 a.m.
Mark Wineka/Salisbury Post
Jack Cornatzer says Moonpie is ‘perfect. I wish I knew her story.’
Mark Wineka/Salisbury Post Jack Cornatzer says Moonpie is ‘perfect. I wish I knew her story.’

SALISBURY — Jack Cornatzer and Moonpie have a mutual understanding.

They like each other.
“She’s just so sweet,” Cornatzer says, giving the young pit bull a rub. “You’re a big old love bug, ain’t you.”

Cornatzer’s own sweet disposition fades when he moves onto the subject of abandoned dogs, which is what Moonpie is. Over the past two years, Cornatzer and his wife, Deb, have cared for eight different dogs that basically were dumped out in various parts of western Rowan County and left to fend for themselves.

Moonpie — thin, dirty and hungry — somehow found the Cornatzers.

About 10 days ago, Cornatzer noticed the grease rack under his grill on the back deck was pulled out. An instinct told him to look toward an empty doghouse he kept close by.

“So this great big head with pretty eyes was poking out of the doghouse — skinny and just begging for help,” he says.

The pit bull — Cornatzer thinks she is full-blooded — slept for the better part of two days as Cornatzer started to take care of her.

“She was just thrown away,” he says in disgust.

Cornatzer gave Moonpie the name for her color and hidden sweetness.

Abandoned dogs such as Moonpie often are full of worms. The Cornatzers gave her a shot to deworm her, then took the dog to Salisbury Animal Hospital to have her checked for heartworms. She was negative.

It was obvious Moonpie already had delivered some puppies in the past. The veterinarian judged her age at only 18 months.

“After they were weaned,” Cornatzer guesses, “I think they (Moonpie’s previous owners) didn’t have any use for her.”

But Cornatzer doesn’t understand it, Again, how could you not like this dog, which handles a leash well and enjoys going with Cornatzer on long morning walks.

“They don’t come with a lot of instructions when they’re like this,” says Cornatzer, a Vietnam veteran who works as an electrician at the Hefner VA Medical Center.

“She’s perfect. I wish I knew her story.”

Cornatzer knows the reputation pit bulls have as being bred for fighting and meanness. But it’s a bum rap, he says.

“People do bad things with good dogs,” Cornatzer adds. “What kind of person could do that?”

Meanwhile, Moonpie’s wagging tail is about to make his leg numb.

Cornatzer volunteers with the Faithful Friends animal shelter and praises the organization for all of its help with the other abandoned dogs he and his wife have cared for.

But that shelter is bursting at the seams, he says, and Cornatzer plans to look after Moonpie until he can place her in a home.

He figures he has spent about $500 in paying some of the veterinary bills for the last three dogs he has helped.

“It ain’t about the money,” he protests. “I just can’t kick them out. I guess my heart is bigger than my wallet, if you know what I mean.”

Cornatzer says Moonpie should be spayed, and he’s willing to take care of that operation before she’s adopted by someone else. He and Deb have two dogs of their own.

The sad thing is you could write a story every day about the Moonpies of the world. The newspaper won’t do that, but now and then, it doesn’t hurt.

“There’s somebody out there for her,” Cornatzer says. “This is a good dog. This is not a mean animal.”

If you would be interested in adopting Moonpie, contact Cornatzer at 704-232-0266, or at

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263, or

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