About 3 yrs. ago, by going down an alley, I came across a house in the hood that had 2 dogs chained up. One had a piece of plywood to lay on and one had about 1/2 of a wooden box-type thing to get in. Their yard was filthy. This was such blatant neglect that I just called it into animal control. They went out, wrote some citations and told the owner to clean up his act for these poor dogs.
Animal control gave Richard, the owner, our number to call for some help. I took 2 dog houses over there, tie-out cables, etc. I got the dogs all set up, we took them in for spay/neuter and things were much improved. Richard had a black female pit mix named Chaos and a Chow mix named Chewbacca. The dogs were very shy and unsocialized, especially Chaos. We put this house on our monitor list and got by there every week or two to make sure things were ok. Richard and his son stepped up and we would find clean water in their buckets, the ear gel we gave to the owner would be on both dogs’ ears. He was really doing better.
About that time, we moved into the house on Tracy street and Richard would come by about once a month an pick up food and treats for the dogs. I had been thinking about Chaos and Chewbacca a lot lately. We hadn’t seen them because Richard had been picking up the food. I decided to stop by and see if the dogs were ok. Thank God I did. When I pulled up in front of his house, Richard was in the front of his house talking to someone. He told me that about 3 weeks ago, Chewbacca was shot by the police. Of course, it was all drama and centered around a domestic dispute, but regardless, the police shot Chewbacca as they went around to the backyard. I don’t know the details and I don’t want to know. Animal control came that night and took Chewbacca to the shelter. Richard picked him up the next day from animal control and took him to the vet. He was shot clean through the leg, between the knee and the foot. By the grace of God, it went clean through and didn’t really damage anything severely. He was put on antibiotics and sent home.
I went in the backyard to check the dogs. I saw Chaos, sitting there with flies buzzing all around her. I saw Chewbacca sitting in the mud in his area, which was disgusting. His head was hanging a little and he was pressed up against the side of the house. I thought he was acting strange, but both dogs had been shy and I hadn’t been here in awhile. I got all of the fly products from the van and I hung fly bags, put on ear gel, sprayed fly spray, etc. Chewbacca’s area, in particular, was all muddy, his dog house had a big hole in it-it was disgusting. I was talking to Richard about their conditions again when I saw Chewbacca get up and walk around the side of the house, where his tie-out would reach. As I glanced over and as he moved, I saw a bunch of red on his neck. I said, “Richard, what is wrong with Chewbacca?”. He mumbled something about when Chewbacca came back from where ever he had a tight collar on. I don’t know what the hell happened, but I told him to bring Chewbacca over to me and let me see him. Richard grabbed a bottle of peroxide that had had sitting there and pulled Chewbacca back around the house. I went over and saw that he had a terribly embedded collar, a bloody neck with flies all over him. I told Richard I had to get Chewbacca into the vet asap and we loaded him up.
I took Chewbacca to Kennedy’s Animal Clinic. Poor Chewbacca went to surgery. While he was knocked out, I had them heart worm test him and of course, he was positive. This little boy had been through so much-no wonder he was shut down emotionally. When the collar came off, there were maggots in the wound. The smell coming off of these embedded collar necks is horrendous and will make you lose your lunch sometimes. It was disgusting. I asked Tamara, the vet tech, if she could just completely shave him and she did. We got him all cleaned up, including putting him in the tub and thoroughly washed him.
Dr. Kennedy called Richard, the owner, for me and discussed Chewbacca’s situation. He had no money and I sure as hell didn’t want to send Chewbacca back to him. Richard decided to sign Chewbacca over to Chain of Hope. Thank God! We now have a chance to rehabilitate this baby. I named him Gus because these dogs always have to lose their name from their previous life and move on to a happy life. Gus is healing both physically and emotionally. He ever so slowly wags his tail once in a while now. We haven’t tested him with other dogs yet, but we will in a few days. He could really use a foster home to recover in. He’ll need a lot of TLC. We will continue to monitor Chaos-this house went back on our closely monitored list.
I can’t imagine how much Gus has suffered. It is unbearable sometimes to think about how much pain, discomfort and fear these animals go through out there. Gus is at Kennedy’s Animal Clinic. If you’re interested in fostering this special boy, fill out an application on our website chainofhopekc.org and go to the “Adoptions” page.
These animals come into Chain of Hope broken and sad beyond belief. But Gus is smiling now! It will be a real privilege to watch him blossom, heal, and come out of his shell. Thank you for keeping us out there. This is why I formed Chain of Hope.