I have to take a deep breath to tell this story and you will have to take a deep breath to read it.
Chain of Hope had come across this house back in the late spring. We saw 2 puppies tied to a tree in the front yard and there was one dog house and neither one of them could reach it. They were tied to the tree with leashes, so they didn’t have much room. We knocked on the door, met the people and talked about their puppies and what services Chain of Hope could help them with. Of course, they told us what everyone tells us and that is that the puppies were only out there for a little bit-mostly they were in the house. We hear that over and over again. We moved the dog house over so they could get into it. We left them some puppy food and said that we’d check back. We knew we would be driving by and monitoring this situation to see if these puppies really were in the house sometimes, or always tied up. This is what makes Chain of Hope so unique-we continue to monitor and follow-up, no matter how many trips we have to make to that house to make sure the animals are okay.
I really can’t remember the exact order of everything, we have so many cases. I believe when we went back to check on them, the puppies were now tied up in the backyard and there was also a blk/wh pit bull on a tie-out. We had never seen him before. He looked good and he had a decent dog house. We didn’t really understand yet what was going on over here. We were able to talk them out of one puppy, but they wouldn’t budge on the other one.
When went back a week or so later, the pit bull was still tied up in the backyard. One neighbor told us that the people had moved. Another neighbor told us that they were just away for a little bit and that they actually had the puppy at their house. They were apparently keeping the puppy until the people got back from where ever. We checked on the pit-the neighbor told us that the people come by to feed and water him. He did have a bucket of clean water and was not starving. One day we went back and the pit bull wasn’t there. Someone had taken him to their house or something. It was always chaotic over there.
There were no dogs for awhile. We continued to check on this address and one day I drove by and saw the puppy, who was now about 6 mo. old, and the pit bull tied up in the front. They looked pretty good. I knocked, but of course no one was home. We left our information on their door. At least now we knew the dogs were back.
I had the volunteers stop a couple of Fridays ago and check up on things. Things were horrible over there. They told me that this guy had built a pen and the pit bull was in there with a lot of feces and diarrhea. Judy told me that there was no way into the pen. It was all zip-tied, nailed and tied up tight. The brindle mix puppy was chained outside of the pen and it had a dog house. The volunteers put straw in there. The lady had come out and talked with the volunteers. When they expressed their shock and concerns regarding the condition of this pen, she said that her boyfriend messed with the dogs and that he was going to clean the pen out when he got home-another thing we hear all the time. The volunteers didn’t really know what to do at that moment. When they got ready to leave to get back to the office and tell me about it, the woman that lived there said something about a puppy being sick. Judy said, “you’ve got another puppy, too?” and the lady said yes. When Judy asked her where it was, the woman pointed to the dog house and said that it was sick and it didn’t come out. She said it “only comes out for her boyfriend”. No one could get into the pen and they volunteers could not see the puppy in there. They left to get back and talk about it with me. They were clearly upset about the situation. All they had seen was the pit bull sitting in the pen and the older pup chained up.
They came back and told me about it and I was very worried. This didn’t sound good at all. I decided I’d go over there on my way home and get these people to give me this puppy so that I could get it medical help as soon as possible. I went over there about 8:00 pm and the house was dark. I knocked just in case, but no none was home. I went into the backyard. It was very dark back there-no lights anywhere. The older pup started barking at me, but I had some canned food to throw to him. The pit bull was sitting there. Judy was right-this pen was closed up tight. There was no entrance to this pen whatsoever. I could not see inside the dog house- it was so dark. I just took some pix with my flash of the entrance to the doghouse, hoping maybe with the flash I could see the puppy. No go. I had some dry food and tried to put some in there for the pit bull. It was so dark, I couldn’t see a thing-I just poured food in there. I tried to put some close up to the doghouse in case the puppy was in there. I tried to pry the doghouse off of the back of the pen, but it was on there good and I had no tools with me at all. I was very, very frustrated.
I went back around front and left a note on the door. I told the people to check their puppy TONIGHT when they got home, that parvo was very bad right now, and it could be very ill. I left them my cell number and told them to call me TONIGHT if the puppy was sick-I didn’t care how how late it was-call me! I did not receive a call from them by the next morning, so I emailed the pix I had taken the night before to animal control and then I called and talked with a supervisor. They said they would send someone over. I didn’t hear that day what had happened regarding animal control, but apparently the woman that lived there had received the door knocker from them. Lo and behold, the next morning I received a call from this woman. She was now telling me that I could come and get the sick puppy.
We headed over and no one was home, of course. I walked around back-the first time I was seeing this tragedy in the daylight. It was so sad and disgusting. I went to the side of the pen and could see that laying in the front of the doghouse was a brindle pit bull puppy, dead. I just hung my head for a minute. It is at these moments that I just hate people. I know people get offended hearing that, but when you are standing in that backyard and looking at something so horrific, you really do just hate what mankind does to animals. The pix speak for themselves.
I called the supervisor that I had talked to about this address the day before. I told her the puppy was dead and she said she’d be right there. The supervisor told me that the officer had gone there the day before. No one was home. He did not see the puppy either. He did say that there were several violations. He took pictures, left a door knocker on the door and put down to go back the next day.
Animal control arrived and shortly, the woman that lived there arrived back home. She tried to tell animal control that she didn’t know the puppy was sick, but I explained how she knew it 3 days ago when she brought it up to my volunteers. She received several citations.
Animal control had to cut the pen open to get the poor pit bull out of that shit hole. He was a sweetie and so obviously relieved to be getting out of that mess. It was parvo. There was bloody diarrhea all over. Very, very sad.
This was just one case for Chain of Hope. It’s hardly a wonder why it’s hard to keep our spirits up sometimes. I know a lot of you wonder why Chain of Hope can’t take every dog we get out of a horrible situation. Why don’t we just go to the shelter and bail them out? Well, if you’ve been reading the blog for any length of time, you know that sometimes we do. It all depends if we have space in our program. We absolutely can’t take any more pit bulls right now. We have a few that we’ve had for quite awhile and we just can’t take in anymore unless we place some of the ones we have. It’s so sad for the pitties. They are the worst treated breed out there and there is so little hope for them. The hood is inundated with them. We are swimming upstream. Chain of Hope doesn’t let our pits go to just anyone and that is why we have them so long. We are very careful about who we adopt our pits out to. I know a lot of groups don’t even do a home visit when adopting out a pit bull and to me, that is totally irresponsible. I wish we could go save this little boy that lived in that hellhole, but we have no room for him-there’s never enough foster homes or adoptive homes. The best we can do sometimes is just get them out of their nightmare that they’ve been living in.
All I can really say is that despite the sadness, disappointment and disgust from this case, we were back out there that afternoon taking care of business. Thank you for supporting us and enabling us to continue our very difficult work in the hood.