Kendra saw a guy pan handling at Emmanuel Cleaver Blvd.and 71 Hwy. He had a beautiful pit bull with him and her teats were hanging with milk. Kendra pulled right up onto the grass, thanks goodness, and got out and talked with him. He was only 21 yrs. old and had been on his own since he was 12. He hops trains and travels all over the country. His pit bull’s name was Daisy and she was 5 yrs. old. He’d had her since she was a puppy and she had had 3 litters on the road. It turns out that she had 10 pit bull puppies in a house that he was squatting in a couple of blocks over. Kendra told him that she could help him with the puppies and he was receptive to that. They made arrangements for us to come over the next morning and get the puppies. They were 5 weeks old, he said.
The next morning, Kendra and I went to the house and saw the puppies. He had them in a back room. They were adorable. We talked to him about sticking around long enough for us to get Daisy spayed, but he would not do it. He said he was hopping a train the next day to go to North Dakota to work for awhile. Daisy really did appear to love him and he loved her, it was clear to see. We explained to him the health risks he was taking an the likelihood that she would develop mammary cancer down the road and he’d lose her far too soon. He told us that he usually ends up in Sante Fe for the winter and there’s a woman down there that “does like you guys do with those pit bulls. I’ll get her spayed down there”. Sure he will! I’m sure he’ll get right down there and get that done…..
We started getting ready to load up the puppies. It was then that he told us that we could take 7, but he’d already promised 3 to people that traveled like he did. They were all hopping a train the next day to go to North Dakota. I can’t even imagine this man’s life. Anyway, we were shocked because we had thought we were getting all of them. We talked and talked trying to convince him to let us take the whole litter. He refused. I finally couldn’t take it anymore and I just said, “Kendra, I’ll be in the van” and I left the house. Kendra stayed behind and finally came out carrying the pet taxi. She got in the car and said that she had begged him and begged him, but he would not do it. So, we had 7 in the pet taxi and 3 tiny puppies that were going to be hopping a train the next day with these guys. In fact the guy told Kendra that he needed a pet taxi for the puppies and he asked where he could get one. Kendra told him Walmart and he asked how much they cost. She said $70 (just to embellish it a little) and he said that he couldn’t afford that-they’d just put them in their pockets!
As we pulled away, we could not stand it and we did something that we RARELY do, which was to go get cash and go back to try and offer him money for them. On the way over, we talked about how he would probably refuse again at first, but that he would probably think it about it later and wish that he had taken it. Kendra wrote her cell # on a piece of paper and we pulled up in front of the house. Kendra kept it pretty low key and just said that she knew he was going on the road and that $60 would probably really help him out when he got to North Dakota. He said that he couldn’t give us the puppies-he’d promised these people. Kendra told him “no pressure, just call me if you change your mind”. We never heard from him again.
So, we had 7 tiny pit bull puppies at Chain of Hope. None of us think that they were really 5 weeks old. They seemed more like 3-4 when we got them. They really struggled without momma and we were syringe feeding, plus some of them were licking up gruel really well. Unfortunately, they started breaking with parvo a few days later. Kendra took them all home and nursed them and cared for them, but sadly, we lost 3 of them.
I don’t really feel successful in this case because I’ll always think about those 3 that he wouldn’t give us. They were 3 females, too. We got 6 males and 1 female. It sucks.
Thank goodness Kendra stopped that day that she saw him or we wouldn’t have saved the little lives that we did save. Thanks for keeping us out there.