Judy and I were in Northeast getting out hay and dog houses. We were fixing up Snow, a Malamute mix that we’ve been visiting for a long time. When we were getting back to the van, a man came up and asked if he could have some hay for his dog. I told him that we needed to see his dog and we’d be happy to give him some hay. We absolutely have to see the dogs before giving out free supplies to the owner.
He just lived about 1/2 block down so we went down to meet his dog and see what’s up. He had a gorgeous white pit bull on a tie-out cable (yay-no chain!). I asked him where he got his pit bull and he said the Kansas City shelter. He was about 6-8 months old and he had an old wooden dog house. The dog was social and at a good body weight. He had clean water and the poop was cleaned up. Sad that this wonderful dog was tied up 24/7, but he was much better cared for than a lot of them we see. Like right next door to this guy. There was a beautiful black pit bull, chained to a shed (no doors left open for the dog, though), no food, no shelter. He had been barking and barking at us, like “please notice me!”. I asked the white pit bull’s owner if the black pit was out there all the time like that-no shelter, just tied to the shed and he said yes. The black pit was thin and the white pit’s owner told us that he feeds the blk pit sometimes because the owner doesn’t do a very good job.
We told the guy that we could leave a dog house for the black pit and he helped us unload a nice, large igloo. As he was helping to carry it to the black pit, he kept commenting on what a nice dog house it was, what a wonderful dog house it was. Finally, Judy asked him if he’d like to have it for his dog and we could give the blk pit the wooden dog house and he said yes! The wooden one wasn’t really a bad dog house, it was just old and worn. The guy set the igloo up for his dog and he carried the wooden one over for the blk pit. We stuffed both of the houses with hay, fed and watered the blk pit and left plenty of food so that this guy could feed both dogs.
Normally we would call in a thin dog with no shelter to animal control. It’s always a difficult decision and every situation is different. This blk pit bull had a concerned neighbor that is helping care for him. We will put both of these dogs on our monitoring list to make sure neither of them slips through the cracks. The alternative was to call animal control and most likely, this pit would sit at the shelter and then be euthanized if the owner failed to come for him, which is most often the case. Sometimes death is better than the way some of these animals are forced to live. In this case, however, with a concerned neighbor, we decided to leave this pit bull and see if we can gradually improve things over there. It’s always a difficult decision how to handle individual situations. I know we probably don’t always make the right decisions, but at least we are out there every day trying and going into some really bad areas to help the animals. Those animals need us the most.
As long as you keep supporting us, we will continue to go to the hood. Thanks for keeping us out there. This work is so important.