A couple of Chain of Hope volunteers found a house a few months ago with 3 dogs chained up in the back yard. The volunteers told me that one of the dogs, a little corgi/shep mix, had a large, black growth on his elbow. They said he was running around, acting fine and the people said that he was eating well, etc. The volunteers told the owners that they would see about getting him into the vet. We made arrangements to pick him up and bring him in for an evaluation. It turned out that it was a benign tumor and it needed to come off, but had done him no harm. We neutered him while he was under for the tumor removal, of course. The volunteers got him back home the next day. We told the owers that we would get their dogs in for neuter (all of them were boys), but we had a waiting list. I had not been over there personally (we go to an unbelievable number of addresses every month), but when I had asked a couple of volunteers about this house, they had said that it was marginal. All of the dogs were at good body weight, but there was room for improvement. We had taken care of these dogs’ immediate needs-medical care for Chocolotta and a good dog house for Jake, who had needed one even worse than Frank.
Judy and I went over a few days ago. It was a cold, rainy day. It was the first time I’d personally been over there. It was a very dreary, depressing visit to this address. Frank, the Rottweiler, was a big boy. He had a dog house with a wide open front and he was living in a bunch of mud. He was at good body weight, though. Then we met Jake, the little golden mix. He was adorable, but very afraid of us. We couldn’t get close to him, he stayed as far away from us as possible. It was very sad. He was as cute as could be and young, we could tell. The short-leggged little guy that we had taken the tumor off of was named Chocolotta. He was a cute, sweet boy. His poor little ears were scarred all over the tips of them from years of fly strike. Judy and I fixed them up the best that we could. We didn’t have a dog house large enough for Frank, the rottie, on the van. We would have to bring him one the next day. We stuffed the house that he had full of hay. We used a lot of hay for mud control as well. While we were there, the people came home. It was the first time for me to meet any of them. The mom was very nice and I told her that we would be bringing Frank a dog house the next day. I asked her about getting their other two dogs neutered. She went in and talked with her husband and said that yes, they would like to have them neutered. We left there depressed on a gray, rainy, muddy day, but determined to improve things even more for these animals.
We went back the next day with a large igloo for Frank. It was a much nicer day and the sun was shining. The kids were home on spring break and they came out to help us. They were adorable. The boys wanted to carry the dog house. We needed to dump out the hay that was in the dog house because it was kind of nasty, and put in fresh. The kids helped dig out all of the old hay and carry the house to the backyard, etc. I could not believe the difference in these dogs with the kids out there. They were all happy, the kids were running around and petting them and giving them the cookies we had brought for them. Jake, especially, was a different dog with the kids out there with us. Frank was playing by tossing his bowl up in the air and rolling it around in his circle, etc. I picked the dogs up for their neuters the next day. They did just fine. We kept them overnight at the clinic to recover and the next morning I took them home. The mom and kids came right out and helped me unload them and take them to the backyard. Chain of Hope bought de-wormer for all of them (thank you donors!). We worked very hard to get all of the dogs in for their neuters, deliver Frank a good dog house, take hay and food, and de-wormer. This family also has a litter of 8 tiny kittens in the house and some adults cats. We have a cat rescue person contacting them for help with the cat issues they are facing.
Does it suck that these dogs had to go back there and be out back on their chains and tie-out cables? You bet it does. There are thousands of dogs just like them all across this city. We can’t possibly bring them all to Chain of Hope. We constantly need foster homes to be able to rescue more animals out of terrible situations. There is no way that we could take 3 more dogs into our program at this time. The people were feeding them, so they were a lot better off than a lot of the animals that we see and assist with. We continue to be involved with this address since all of the animals are now neutered and will make sure that these guys don’t fall through the cracks! They will receive flea and fly control this summer, along with a lot of education for the family of how to make their animals’s lives healthier and more comfortable in the upcoming hot summer months. Education, education, education! Thank you for keeping us on the streets in the urban core working with the people and animals that need us the most.