Chain of Hope became aware of a situation that badly needed our intervention. There was a house on a corner in mid-town that had a Rottie on a chain. We spayed 2 chained dogs across the street from him. I had talked with the owner of the Rottie a few times, but he did not want his dog neutered. Every time we came by to take care of the 2 girls that we cared for, he would see us unloading the hay, food, hanging fly bags, etc., but he received nothing because he wouldn’t neuter his dog. He did feed him well, which was good because he wasn’t going to receive any services from us.
We hadn’t been by in a while and when we did get back over there, there were several dogs hanging around in his yard with his Rottie. There was a momma dog and 2 of her puppies, and there was an adorable purebred Beagle. When I asked about all of these dogs, a neighbor told me that they were all strays and the guy that owned the Rottie was wanting to keep the momma dog and chain her up. He also wanted to keep one of the puppies. Oh boy! The race was on to get them all out of there before he got one and chained it up for the rest of it’s life. She told me that the momma had been out there a yr., which I don’t know for sure. We had never seen her before and I’d been going over there to the two girls we spayed for about 3 yrs. She told me the Beagle had been out there a couple of months.
We met a really wonderful neighbor that lived behind this guy and she and her husband were totally supportive of what we were trying to do. They gave us permission to set our traps in their yard and to come and go anytime we needed to in their yard. She kept telling me, “we’re all on the same team here”. I loved these people.
We took our large dog trap over and the next day, we had trapped one of the white puppies in there! It was pretty much feral-never been touched by humans. Probably about 10 weeks old. We took her back to Chain of Hope, went back over and reset the trap. We showed the helpful man how to reset the trap in case it got tripped somehow. We gave these people our cell numbers and they began a very watchful vigil that would last for the next 2 weeks!
A couple of days later, we received a call that the Beagle was in the trap! We went over and got him and he turned out to be an absolute love! We were able to move him on to Furry Kids-thanks, Furry Kids! He has been adopted into a wonderful home. We took the trap back over and set it again. We would run by and check the trap, re-bait it with fresh goodies and we just kept trying. Meanwhile, we had the single white puppy back at Chain of Hope and she was totally shut down. She hid under the shelves and we couldn’t touch her. We kept telling her that we were trying to get her momma for her! And her sister!
Days went by and momma and the other puppy were getting very wise to all of the happenings, which was probably good because the trap started malfunctioning. The woman whose yard we had it in started baiting it for us as well and she would put fried chicken pieces in there and other tantalizing goodies. She would watch from her window and she said that the other puppy was going in there all the time and eating and coming back out! We had to scramble and borrow another trap (thanks, Virginia!) and reset and go back over, sometimes going over to that house 3x a day. The guy that owned the Rottie started backing off of his claim that he wanted to chain them up and make them his dogs. He could see the difficulty that we were having even catching them, let alone touching them. Guess he finally figured out he wasn’t going to catch them either so he could chain them up.
We went about 3-4 days with nothing really happening. We gave it a go a couple of times with more volunteers, our net and our catch pole but we just couldn’t get them. It was frustrating, but we kept at it. Then one day, I received a phone call from the wonderful woman letting us put the trap in her yard and finally, the momma was in it!! We had her! We were so excited and glad on one hand, but on the other, this left the last puppy out there by herself. We were worried.
We took momma back to the house. She was very nervous. When we took her up to her puppy, there was no reaction. Neither one of them acted excited or happy to see the other. They were pretty shut down. We had them in a room upstairs and just let them chill. We went in to clean and feed and talk to them but we didn’t push them. We just let them be while we continually worked on getting the other puppy.
An entire week went by while the last puppy was out there by itself. She started trying to cozy up to the Rottweiler since she had no none else now. I swear, we tried telepathy, trying so hard to just let her know that if she’d just go in there, her whole life would turn around. Nothing good was going to happen to her out here! I finally went over last Friday with chicken nuggets and a cheeseburger (we had tried all kinds of things and so did the woman). I told the lady that we were going to try once again, but that this was taking up an incredible amount of our resources-mostly time that we needed to get to all of the calls that come pouring in. I was kind of resigning myself to the fact that we might not get this puppy. She was the hardest one to get that I’ve ever had and she was only about 12 weeks old now! Little stinker. I kind of drew the line in the sand and let the woman know that we were about at our wit’s end with this.
The next morning at 7:30 am, my phone rang and it was the woman who had let us put the trap in her yard. The last puppy was in there! Finally! We did it! All of us together had finally captured this little elusive one! Finally this little family would be reunited!
We let them all be together for a few days and then Donna took the two little girls to her house for foster. It is a slow process, but they are progressing. Momma started progressing, too, after the babies were gone. We brought her down with the other dogs and she started socializing more. She is getting spayed this morning as I write this. They will all be just fine.
I don’t know anyone else in this city that would’ve put this much time and effort into getting all of these dogs off of this corner and out of the hood. That is 4 animals that never have to enter the shelter system. That is a call that animal control never had to get because Chain of Hope took care of it. That is a lot of money that we saved the city by them not having to respond, catch, impound, house and most likely euthanize these animals. We cleaned up this corner, the citizens were very grateful and helpful, and our services are free. Our work speaks for itself.