I had a very sad and horrific day last Friday. I was out running around last Friday when Patty called me about an address. The owner had called in and said that she had a puppy that was not eating, not drinking, hanging his head over his water bowl, etc. She thought it sounded like parvo and called me to go on over there.
It turns out that I knew this address and I knew this woman. I had helped her a couple of years ago with spaying and neutering her cats. At the time, she had a huge Presa (basically a very large pit bull) on a heavy chain and his life was hell. He was aggressive, so we never could do anything with him. He was there to let her know when someone is around and that was it. I always felt so sorry for Reno. We would toss him pig ears and put our fly spray bottle on jet stream and just hit him from afar with fly spray. It was sad.
I hadn’t heard from Bridget in quite a while until about a month ago. She called me to say that she had found a tiny kitten in her yard and had been dropper feeding it, but she was afraid it was going to die. I went over and got the kitten and my daughter, Hannah, fostered her. She named her Burrito because she was so tiny when we got her, she was always wrapped up in a towel like a burrito. Burrito made it just fine and moved onto a rescue group for adoption. Sadly, Bridget told me that Reno had died. I just didn’t ask any questions-my heart could literally not take it.
Last Friday, when I got the call to go to this house that sounded like the puppy had parvo, I realized it was this same house. She had told Patty who mans our phones (along with a thousand other things!) that she wasn’t home and the puppy “was on the north side of the house”. I said, “You mean this sick puppy is outside?” and Patty said yes. I headed right over there and when I pulled up, some guy and a toddler were on the front porch. They ran in the house and shut the door when I pulled up. I’m sure they were scared of who that white van was. After I got out, the guy stepped out on the porch and asked me who I was. I told him I was there for the dog and he pointed to the side of the house and said “it’s over there”. I walked to that side of the house and saw a Pomeranian on a chain, in the dirt and mud. I went back out front and I told him I was there for the one that was sick and he pointed to the other side of the house and said “oh-it’s over there”. I went around and saw the saddest little puppy, so sick he could not get up. He was on a chain with a small padlock on it. There were no bowls out there, not even turned over ones or anything. He had lots of green gunk on his ears, which were bleeding from the flies. He had tons of flies on him. I thought at first that the green gunk was infectious pus , but I smelled it and thought it was some kind of citronella stuff or something, for the fly bites on the ears, I thought. The owner later told me it was hair grease. Geez……never cease to be amazed out there.
The anger in me just rose immediately and I was furious. I was so angry that this little puppy had suffered and nobody gave a damn.I ran back to the van to get something to wrap the puppy up in. I ran back and wrapped him up and started to the van with him, this poor, suffering creature. The guy was still on the front porch and I couldn’t help myself. I just screamed at him and I said “This is BULLSHIT!” He looked pretty surprised and he said “I told you those aren’t my dogs. I don’t do nothing with those dogs, …….” I yelled at him that he could’ve at least made a phone call, that he should never let a creature lay there and suffer like that. I told him to call animal control if he had to, but NEVER leave a poor creature laying out there like that to die. It was pretty heated, then I jumped in the van to get to the vet.
I took this little guy to the Humane Society of Greater KC. He only tested slightly positive for parvo, so we were encouraged. They gave him some fluids, injections of antibiotics, anti-nausea stuff and B-12 to help perk him up a little. I left there with two IV bags to run on him when needed and all of his injections to give him for the next 3 days. I’ve had many parvo puppies before and hadn’t lost one, I don’t think. I had high hopes for Monty that he’d do ok. I took him back to Chain of Hope and got him set up upstairs, away from everyone else, of course. He was pretty lethargic and just kind of laid there. I knew he’d feel really bad for a couple days before he started turning the corner.
We checked on him periodically through the evening and he was basically just laying there. He didn’t feel good and that was obvious. When Crystal and I were getting ready to leave for the night about 10:00 p.m., I ran up to check on him one more time. He looked so bad, he definitely was not doing well at all. He was kind of catatonic, just kind of staring into space. I sat in the floor, put a big blanket on my lap, pulled him onto my lap and covered him up with more blankets. I told him that I loved him and that I wanted him to know that he WAS loved on this earth. I just stroked him and talked to him. Crystal came in and did the same. She sang to him. We stayed like that until he passed away in my lap. We were heart-broken. We kissed him and told him good-bye.
We hadn’t known this little guy long, but our hearts broke for him and the suffering he endured laying on that chain. It’s hard to go on sometimes after cases like this (and they are numerous). But I always think that if we stop, these poor animals will have no one out there pulling for them and helping them. What we do is very difficult, especially emotionally. You have to be pretty tough mentally and emotionally to get out there and look at this shit every day and get up the next day and do it again. These animals need us. Thank you for supporting and funding us so that we can continue to do this difficult work.