This is a very difficult story to write. It is emotional for me to remember all of the frustrations and infuriating things that happened. Yet, once again we see the forgiveness that dogs extend to humans at whose hands they suffer. They are amazing animals.
Chain of Hope helps a wonderful woman in the hood that is a true angel to animals on her block. If everyone took care of their little corner of the world like Mary does, this world would be a much better place.
We stopped by her house one day and Mary told us that the neighbor boys from one street over had come over to her house and asked if they could have some of her dog food for their dogs. Mary gave them some, but she was worried about those dogs. She told me that the Boxer mix that those people had had gotten loose a few times and run around the block and Mary said she was pretty skinny.
We went right over to this house to see how we could help. They had what looked like an older Boxer mix on a chain. Her name was Precious and she was pretty thin. They also had a brindle pit bull older puppy named Pablo. He was only about 6-8 mo. old then and he was skinny as well. They had no food and no water and had chains around their necks. There was a young man home and several younger kids. He came out back with us and we began talking about the dogs. I asked him if Precious was fixed and he said no that they had been trying to mate her! I asked how old she was and he said 7. I told him that she needed to get spayed and they should not be trying to breed her, especially at her age. I told them that Pablo needed to get neutered as well, that it is a city ordinance. We include a copy of the mandatory spay/neuter ordinance in our packet of information that we give people. We told them that we would spay and neuter their dogs for free, but they were not interested.
We continued to go over here and hoped to educate them and get them to step up. The dogs never had food or water-it was continual neglect. I finally decided that we needed to call animal control. They went over and said “no violations”. It was unbelievable to me! They didn’t even get the people on having an unaltered pit bull. I can’t tell you how frustrating this is. It is infuriating.
We weren’t received very well after this. I’m sure the people pretty much knew that it was us that called animal control. This was incredibly sad for the dogs because we weren’t welcome anymore to supplement their food and bring them some cheer and company. I thought about those dogs so much and I was so disappointed in animal control.
After about 2-3 months we received a message from these people saying that they needed help getting their dog spayed! I was speechless that they finally saw the light. We called them back and asked them if they wanted to go ahead and get Precious scheduled. They said yes, but they’d have to wait until her puppies were weaned!!! What? Oh yes, Precious, at 7 yrs. old, had another litter. How totally irresponsible, disgusting and cruel this was.
We headed over the next day to give them some food. I wanted to make sure that they kept up the calories for a nursing mom. They told me that she had had 8 puppies. Pablo was there tied to the fence. Precious’s dog house was sitting there full of the hay we had put in there. I didn’t see Precious. I asked the owner where she was and she told me that she had had the puppies behind the piece of privacy fence, which was behind the dog house several feet. I guess Precious hadn’t felt safe or comfortable enough to have them in the dog house and she had crawled behind a partial privacy fence. Unbelievable! The wind chill was near 0 degrees! I looked behind the fence and saw Precious. The puppies were all tucked up underneath her and I couldn’t see them, but I snapped a picture of this poor momma. This picture haunts me to this day.
I told these people that they absolutely couldn’t keep her out there. The woman told me that Precious was aggressive with her and that her husband would move them as soon as he got home from work. She assured me he would and I told her that they would freeze to death out there if he didn’t. I went over to their house the next day and pounded on the door. The woman came to the door and I asked her if they had brought Precious and the puppies inside last night and she said no! I could not believe it. She told me that her husband got home late and so “he couldn’t do it last night”. BS! I told her that they were going to die. I asked her if they were all even still alive and she said, “Precious don’t let me look in there”. She assured me that he’d do it that night. Of course they didn’t do it.
I felt helpless and hopeless. I’d already had animal control to this address before and gotten “no violations” with an unaltered male pit bull standing there. There was a good dog house full of hay right there, so shelter was available to Precious, which is what is required legally. I was between a rock and a hard place. All I felt I could do is to go over there every day until they did something. Of course, this woman did not like us by now and really had an attitude. She wouldn’t let us go back in her yard and we couldn’t get up there from behind.
The third night I was so upset with her that she called her husband at work and had me talk to him on the phone. He kept assuring me that he was going to take them in that night. I told him that that’s what they’d been telling me for 3 nights now. I kept asking if they were even all alive. I didn’t see how they possibly could be.
The temperatures were brutal, so of course Chain of Hope’s phone was ringing constantly. We had lots and lots of calls for dog houses, hay and crates, as well as all of the reports about animals in terrible circumstances that we needed to get to. But everyday, either myself or Judy and Karen would be over at Precious’s house pounding on the door, knowing that the woman was going to be hateful and rude to us as soon as she opened the door. Finally, on the fourth day, Precious and babies were inside. Five of them had frozen to death, only 3 had survived with their momma. I was devastated. I was angry. I felt defeated. I felt so sorry for this incredible momma. She had endured so much, not just now but her entire life. She’d had multiple litters and horribly neglectful owners. She looked far older than her 7 yrs. She’d been through hell.
Through all of this-there was Pablo tied up in the back yard, starving. He never had food, never had water and was always hungry. The people were totally unfriendly to us now, but we would not stop feeding Pablo. About 3 times a week, one of us would fix him a big bowl of food and just run it back to him. We’d water him quickly, sometimes leave a bag of dry food on the porch, cram his dog house with more hay and get out of there. Chain of Hope basically kept Pablo alive during this time. He was a sweet boy and didn’t deserve any of this either. No dog did.
Judy and Karen asked to see the puppies right after they were moved inside and the woman surprisingly took them down to the basement to see them. I just could not get Precious out of my mind. I kept thinking about her being in a dark, filthy basement. could just picture it that she had to go potty all over the basement because I knew these people were too lazy to take her outside. It was literally driving me crazy to think about her in there. That, and the fact that if we weren’t feeding Pablo, he’d probably be dead, was really weighing on me. I finally contacted a supervisor at animal control and told them everything. I told them that I was very worried about the momma dog. She was pretty thin before she ever got pregnant. I could only imagine after birthing puppies and nursing them how thin she must be now.
Thank God, this supervisor was very concerned. They took a couple of officers and went over to the house. Of course, Pablo was in the back yard, skinny with no food or water. They knocked on the door and told the people that they needed to see the Boxer and the puppies. The woman brought Precious up out of the basement and you can see what condition she was in. She was totally emaciated, just like I had feared. Animal control impounded all of the animals from this house-Pablo, Precious and the 3 puppies. Thank you animal control! We went to the shelter to see all of them. Precious was in poor shape, just pathetic. She has scars on her ears from years of fly strike, she was heart worm positive, and she was extremely thin. Poor girl.
Precious’s puppies were adopted out very quickly from the Zona Rosa branch of Kansas City Pet Project. Pablo and Precious were in the shelter. Due to our very limited spots, we could only pull one of the dogs from the shelter. Chain of Hope was able to pull Precious and take her into our program. The day I went to get her, I was walking out with her and the people that had had her were walking into the shelter-to get Pablo. They looked casually over and said, “There’s Precious” to their kids, like no big deal. It made me sick to think about them getting Pablo back. They had signed Precious and her puppies over, but they would not sign Pablo over, thinking they would get him back.
We got Precious back to Chain of Hope and everyone welcomed her with open arms!
We changed her name to Bella, because she is so beautiful! Bella had to fight off a round of kennel cough, but she did! This girl is a survivor, no doubt.
We kept her in a quiet place to give her time to adjust and to chill and to get stronger. When she was feeling better, we brought her into our big dog room. She was afraid at first, but we slowly introduced her to the other dogs and one by one she began making friends. Now Bella is one of those dogs that you can put with anyone-she’s just laid back and finally getting to enjoy her life instead of suffering.
We LOVE this girl-I cannot say enough good things about Bella. She is delightful and we are so glad to see her happy and playing and having no more worries. She has gained enough weight and is finally able to get spayed. No more being a puppy factory for her irresponsible, despicable owners.
I was in the shelter the following week and there was Pablo!!! They had not gotten him back! Apparently, the losers thought they could walk in there and get Pablo back for free. They were not willing to pay the fines, etc. so Pablo is now up for adoption! He has a chance at a better life. Pablo is extremely handsome and has a great personality! His # is 21562397. What a great dog that has also made it through hell. I LOVE this dog!
Bella needs a committed, loving, protective forever home that will never let anything bad happen to her again. She is healthy and joyful and is much loved by everyone at Chain of Hope. We really do change a lot of lives because you keep sending us out there. Thank you for your continued support.