Another volunteer and I were driving in south Kansas City last Friday. We were stopping and giving out a lot of hay. We were going down a street when I saw a skinny pit bull chained up, with an igloo dog house, but no hay, no food, no water. Across the backyard from this dog was a small white dog on a chain. I could see it laying on the ground in front of it’s dog house but it had no hay, no food and no water either. There were 4 women sitting outside on the side of the house, just sitting there shooting the breeze. I pulled up and rolled down my window and asked them if they wanted any free hay for their dog houses. They said yes, so I pulled the van over. I told the volunteer that I’d just run a bag of hay up to them and be right back. We were wrapping up for the day and this was one of our last stops.
The pit bull was closest to the gate to the back yard so I started asking the older woman about the pit bull. I could see her ribs and she had no food or water. As I was asking the woman about the dogs, I started over to the white dog to give it a treat. I asked the woman the white dog’s name. She replied that it was Snowy and then she said, “it’s sick”. As I was walking across the backyard over to Snowy I could see that he was not moving, He wasn’t barking or jumping up excited to see me. I asked the woman what did she mean that he was sick and she told me that he’d been attacked by another dog. As I got up close to this dog, I could not believe the side of his face. It was one big glob of matted fur, pus, dried blood. It was disgusting and it stunk. I turned around and told the lady I needed to get this dog into the vet and she said, “I wish someone would just take it”. I told her that I would take the little dog. I asked her how long ago this had happened and she told me a week! I asked her if she had done anything for it and she told she had poured some peroxide on it. Oh my goodness, this dog was in absolutely horrible shape.
The poor little dog would cry when the lady was trying to undo his chain. It was all jacked up, of course. I went to the van and told the other volunteer that we were taking this dog and that it was injured really bad. I told her I was getting the woman to sign a relinquishment form and for her to grab a blanket from the van and come and get the dog. The owner had a rope tied around his neck and we had to get the scissors out of the van to get it off of him. This was a nightmare. The poor little thing was crying.
We got this little guy back to Kennedy’s Animal Clinic as fast as we could. They sedated him and got him on the surgery table. This little guy’s eyeball was out and the entire side of his face was a nasty, infected, matted mess with his eyeball and the infection. I could not even comprehend the suffering that this animal had been going through-for a week! I just had to shut my brain down to those thoughts in order to be able to continue. We could feel his ribs and hip bones. He had some small puncture wounds on him as well. I can’t comprehend this level of stupidity and cruelty of the human race. We shake our heads everyday and say, “I don’t get it”, “I don’t understand this”, “I could never do this to my animal”…..there’s just no reason for this kind of suffering. She still wasn’t getting him any help. We just happened to be going down their street and noticed the dogs and decided to stop to see if they needed hay. If we hadn’t, this poor little dog would still be laying there suffering horribly. I swear it’s divine intervention when we find these guys out there sometimes! Thank God we went down that street.
We decided to call this little guy Shasta and this is only part of his story. We got him on the surgery table, shaved away all the hair and gloppy mess that we could, and Dr. Kennedy was examining him and getting her plan together.
While this dog was on the table, he quit breathing. We had to administer Atropine, a drug to get his heart going again. It didn’t take but a few seconds and this little guy was back with us. Dr. Kennedy went on with his surgery and was preparing to close up the eye socket. Shasta literally quit breathing again and died on the table. This dog was not breathing at all. Dr. Kennedy administered some different medication to get him going again. He was not breathing for many, many seconds. It seems like forever while you’re praying for this to work and this little guy to turn around. I could not even fathom this dog dying after suffering so horribly for the last week of his life. Miraculously, Dr. Kennedy was able to revive Shasta. She got him back and sewed up his eye socket which was gushing with blood. It was all very intense, very worrisome, and just made us feel so incredibly sorry for this little guy. But Shasta pulled through and all is well. He is now a one-eyed dog and he is so happy! He wags and wags his tail, loves people and he is progressing nicely. He is only about 1 yr. old and he is a resilient little angel. He is on good pain control and he is starting to enjoy life. He gets pretty excited when we go up to kennel to get him out. He’s adorable.
We found Shasta because we are in the inner city everyday. Anyone who rides with us will see that we are always looking, also searching for those silent, neglected animals. We are out there because of you, our supporters. You keep us out there so that we find the Shastas. Thank you for keeping us out on the streets and alleys. Our work is so very important.