Sonny and Cher

I always tell and show it like it really is, so I must warn you that this blog is a hard one to read and has a difficult picture to look at.

We became aware of a house in KCK that had 2 Rotties chained up to trees. We went over to check it out and the conditions were not good. The female’s dog house was always in 2 pieces and her skin didn’t look good. She was missing hair and her skin was irritated and flaky. She was not spayed. The male chained up was her son from a previous litter. His nose was bleeding because of the flies getting him. The dogs would almost never have water when we’d go.They were both crawling with fleas every summer. We visited the house over the next several months, gave the owners supplies and tried to get them to step up. Finally, in the winter, conditions were so bad, we finally called animal control. In fact, we’d called animal control on this house a couple of different times, because these animals were not spayed/neutered and KCK has a mandatory spay/neuter law. Cher, the female had already had four litters of puppies and she had a nipple that was huge and hung way down off her body. I’m sure she had some mammary tumors.

Nothing was ever resolved with animal control. They did nothing. They did not make the people get their animals fixed. They didn’t address the lack of water, the doghouse always being broken in 2 pieces (we found it that way all the time-with snow on the ground) or the medical care that Cher needed. It was very frustrating. I sometimes wondered if we were looking at the same dogs.

As warmer weather came, Cher’s skin and coat were terrible. She was missing a lot of hair and seemed kind of lethargic. It wasn’t long before we could tell that she was pregnant again. Another litter to be born out around that tree. It was very disappointing that animal control did not enforce their own ordinance. Finally, a couple of volunteers went over and talked to the owner one more time and he finally relinquished the dogs to Chain of Hope. We brought them into our program and everyone quickly fell in love with these guys! They were wonderful dogs. They played with the other dogs really well, they were so happy to have food, water, a soft bed and lots of people taking them for walks, etc.

About a week or so later, these people decided they wanted their dogs back. They came to Chain of Hope demanding them back. They had no paperwork with them, nothing to prove who owned either of these dogs, no vet records. It was one of those “my uncle owns that one and someone else owns the other”, even though they were chained up in the same yard. There’s usually family issues when this stuff goes on. All I knew was that we had a signed relinquishment form on our letterhead stating that they gave both dogs to Chain of Hope. The police looked at what we had and said we were fine.

Cher was definitely pregnant for the fifth time at least. We got her scrubbed up and on some good food and her skin began to heal and her hair to grow. She was delightful. Very sweet dog and so hadn’t deserved the life she’d been forced to live. The vet felt that Cher was too far along and in too poor of health to be spayed. We would have to let her go ahead and have the puppies. We all thought it’d be in the next few days, but Cher hung on an entire other week. Finally, one day, a volunteer went up to check on Cher and she had had a dead puppy laying there. She went several hours before birthing another and then it was dead, too. Then Cher vomited and in her vomit were body parts of puppies. Cher had obviously had 2 puppies before we even knew it and had apparently eaten them. I have no doubt that they had been born dead as well. The mommas know when something is wrong and Cher, I’m sure, knew that these babies were not alive anymore.

It was pushing towards evening and we decided that we better get her into the emergency vet because things were not progressing at all. At Chain of Hope, Cher was upset, pacing and couldn’t settle down. We had removed her dead puppies and had laid them on a towel in the bathroom. Cher was so upset and confused, that we decided that we should let her in to see her puppies one last time. We let Cher into the bathroom and she went right over and started licking her babies. It was gut-wrenching to watch her.

We finally loaded her up and got Cher over to the emergency vet. They x-rayed her and found that she still had a couple of more puppies in her. We took the dead puppies with us so the vet could see them. He said that they were underdeveloped for their gestational age and that the ones still in her were dead, too. Cher vomited at the vet and there were more puppy parts in it. Cher was going through unbelievable things this night. Our hearts went out to her.

The emergency vet gave her some Oxytocin to try and speed up the delivery of her remaining dead babies. We waited there with her for quite a long time, but nothing was happening. The vet felt that as long as we had her to our vet first thing in the morning it would be ok. He said she needed to be spayed as soon as possible. We got Cher over to the Humane Society of Greater KC and Dr. Taylor performed her spay surgery immediately. The last two puppies were dead as well. Poor Cher, she was going through more than any one dog should ever have to.

Finally, this nightmare was over. It was time for Cher to get healthy and find her forever home. While Cher was going through all of this, Sonny was blossoming! He loved to get in the kiddie pool and play with the other dogs. Sonny started out about 10-15 lbs. underweight the vet said, but now he is a big, strong boy and he’s a total love bug! Eventually, both of these wonderful dogs found their forever homes. They are both inside dogs, of course, and enjoying life. They both sleep in the bed with their owners, just as it should be! Sonny has a new sister to play with and Cher’s family calls her “Big Bootie Judy”!

This case lasted through the entire summer, but in the end, both of these precious souls were delivered out of their hell holes and into fabulous homes. How very disappointing to have been told by the director of Kansas City Kansas animal control to take these dogs back to the owner-a pregnant Rottweiler that lived chained to a tree. Unbelievable. In a city that has a mandatory spay/neuter law! Both of these dogs, but especially Cher had scars on her ears from the fly bites every summer. Both Sonny and Cher were heart worm positive. These dogs had needed help for a long time.

These situations are unbelievably stressful, but these dogs need advocates out there that are going to be their voice for them. We just press on. Thank you for keeping us going.








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2 Responses to “Sonny and Cher”

  1. Andy Whiteman Says:

    The former owners should chained outside with a borken dog house so they can feel what Sonny and Cher went through.

  2. Jennifer Shive Says:

    Karma Karma Karma. Those assholes will get what’s coming to them. Keep telling it like it is Kate. People need to know the hell that you see everyday. Words can’t express what you do. You’re absolutely wonderful and so are your volunteers.

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