Maggie has quite a story. She lived chained up in a corner lot in the hood. There were other dogs chained, too, and it looked like a mess. I vaguely remember getting a couple of emails about this address about 1 1/2 yrs. ago. I don’t really remember the details, but it was a neighbor concerned about the animals at this house. However, I think there had been a lot of chaos, a confrontation, the police had come-there was something that had happened over here that had kind of blown up, so we stayed away. I’m sure the owners were not going to be receptive to anyone at that point. We decided to let things die down and maybe try and approach them at a later time.
Probably about 6 mo. had gone by and I was on outreach on a pretty hot summer day. I realized I was right by their house and there were several people on the front porch. I decided to pull over and see if they needed help with fly control. They said yes and were very receptive, so I pulled over and finally got to see what was going on in this yard. I was so glad to just be able to get in this yard and intervene.
It was then that I learned that the black chow mix had tiny little puppies in the dog house. Oh no! There were 4 of them. Momma was protective of her babies, of course. There was a golden mix chained up in one corner of the yard. She was already spayed (Yay!), but was living in a nasty area. There was a reddish, male lab mix and he was already neutered (Yay again!). His living conditions were not good, either.
I asked them if they could have momma and babies inside. It was very hot and the insects were terrible. I don’t even remember now why they said they couldn’t, but it doesn’t matter-they had no intention of taking them inside. I explained to them that we could help them with the puppies when they were a little older and able to leave momma. I explained about momma needing access to food and water 24/7. I told them that she couldn’t make her good milk for her babies if she didn’t have food and water herself.
This poor little momma dog was not very big. The top 1/2 of her ears are gone-eaten up by flies. It was very, very sad to see her out there, trying to take care of her puppies with little food and water and flies eating away at her. We didn’t interact with her back then because she was a good momma and protected her puppies. The owners always told us that she was “mean”.
We were at this house either once or twice a week all summer long. Every time we stopped by, poor momma would have no water or filthy dirty water. We talked about the water situation every time we were there.
The golden mix dog had a huge rubbermaid contained filled up with nasty water with larvae and things in it. They got upset when we dumped that out and told us that she drank out of that and also “loved to get in it and cool down in the water”. We patiently explained that that should not be sitting there because the mosquitoes bred in that nasty water and she shouldn’t be in that water. We told them that she certainly should not be drinking it. I try and tell myself, “Education, education, education.” We set up a water bucket and told them to keep the drinking water separate and fresh.
Here is a picture of the red shep mix. You can see the fly strike on his ears and the nasty water he had to drink.
The puppies grew and started coming out of the dog house and walking all around. They were in a fenced yard. The people started telling us that they had homes for them all, blah, blah, blah-we hear it all the time.
I noticed that the puppies looked like they had skin issues. They had hair missing in some round patches-could be ring worm, could be anything. They were living in very unsanitary conditions. I talked to the people and told them that these puppies needed to see a vet and they responded that they were “going to take care of it”. I stopped by one week later and they had not taken them to a vet. You can see some of the spots in one of the pictures below.
I finally decided to turn them into animal control. We certainly weren’t getting through to these people, despite our noble efforts! Maybe animal control could get through to them with some citations-hopefully that would get their attention. I was very worried about the puppies. They were not thriving like they should. They needed de-wormed and now they had a possible skin problem, too. You can see momma’s ears bleeding from the flies. This was a miserable, disgusting place.
We could’ve finally gotten these animals the help they so desperately needed, however animal control basically did nothing. I had no case number to look this up the next day because I had called a supervisor to explain all of our efforts and the conditions over there. I have emailed or called 4 times asking for what the results were and got no response. I am quite sure it’s another NO VIOLATIONS. What I do know is that nothing changed AT ALL. Things did not get any better. It was a wasted phone call to animal control, more frustration and a missed opportunity on their part to get these animals in a better situation. You can understand, I’m sure, why we feel like we are beating our heads against a brick wall most of the time.
We didn’t know if the pet owners thought it was us that turned them in or if animal control told them (they have done that before and put us in danger), so we decided we had better not go back by for awhile. More time passed and then one day we just pulled up, asked out our window if they needed any food or anything and they were receptive! We were able to take a look at the animals again. They had given away 3 of the puppies (they actually had given one away at a very early age). They were keeping one and he was already on a chain at 4 mo. old. If this makes you sad, it happens all the time.
I talked to them about spaying momma, letting us take the puppy, etc. They wanted momma spayed, but they were hell bent on keeping that puppy. They insisted that it wasn’t out on it’s chain all the time. They asked about getting a male dog neutered that was in the house. I didn’t even know about him. We made the appointment for me to come and pick them up for their free spay and neuter. The morning I got there, they brought their male out of the house and he was a very handsome, well cared for tan and white pit bull. They told me that he was the daddy to the puppies. At least they were wanting him neutered and weren’t going to fight with me about the city ordinance! They voluntarily wanted him neutered, which was good. He was very well cared for, while the other dogs suffered outside 24/7 in the heat of the summer. I’ll never understand.
Momma dog only weighed 24 lbs. She was down about 1/3 of her body weight, poor thing. When the vet tech got momma dog on the table, she said she felt pretty warm. She had a 103 degree temperature. We thought she might have a pyrometra, which is an infection of the uterus. We decided to go ahead and spay her. She did fine, but our hearts broke for this sweet girl. She was in bad shape and had somehow made it through the summer. She gave birth while on a chain and then tried to take care of her babies while chained and given very little food or water. She probably only survived because of our constant visits and monitoring. This poor little thing was very scared, too. We just couldn’t take her back to these people. We’d have to figure something out.
I called the woman that owned momma dog and talked to her about her condition, the vet’s concerns, etc. I told her that if she could sign her over to us, we could absorb all of the medical costs to get her healthy again and then we would find her an indoor home. The woman was ok with that, but wanted to bring the kids to tell her good-bye. I gave her directions to one of our vet clinics we use, but of course they never showed. They never really cared about her anyway, that was obvious.
A few hours later, I got a call from a guy who, all of the sudden, was now the owner of momma dog and he didn’t want to give up his dog. He went on and on about how he’d had her since she was a puppy and how much he loved her. I told him he had a funny way of showing love, chaining her up in the terrible heat with no water, letting her give birth to a litter, etc. I explained the hell he had put that dog through last summer and he finally admitted that he “didn’t do her right”. Then he got right down to the point of his whole phone call and he wanted money for her! Now, this did not surprise me at all because I know how some of these people operate. I’ve been around it a long time.
We knew momma could not go back there. In just 2 days at Chain of Hope, she was a totally different dog! Smiling and loving life and gaining confidence and wagging her tail. It was a beautiful thing to see. Look at her pix just 2 days later. Does this face say it all?
Here is what I told the guy who was suddenly the owner. I told him that this dog was in terrible shape, that she was only 2/3 of what her body weight should be-she was emaciated under all that hair. I told him that she came in with a fever, was dehydrated, full of parasites, and that half of her ears were gone from flies eating them, even though we gave them fly gel every time we were there! I told him that all of that was documented by our veterinarian and that we had several pictures as well. I told him to sleep on it and call me the next day. I never heard from him again.
We all fell instantly in love with Maggie, which is what we named her. She was the best girl! It is so awesome to watch a dog blossom and that’s exactly what Maggie was doing! She was thriving at Chain of Hope. A few weeks ago, Maggie scored an awesome foster home with Bethany!
Bethany works at Three Dog Bakery and so she took Maggie to work with her. Maggie was scared, wouldn’t take treats from people and pretty much hid under the counter. Bethany kept working with her. She would take Maggie to her parent’s house when she had to be gone and Maggie and their Golden Retriever, Ollie (10 mo. old and 85 lbs ! ) became fast friends! Maggie was doing so well. Bethany took her back to work with her one day and Maggie was a different dog! She was greeting people, accepting the many cookies that came her way and was very social. She had come so far!
Well, Bethany’s parents fell in love with Maggie, of course, because everyone who meets her does! She’s a great little girl. She now weighs 37 lbs. and is happier than she’s ever been. They all started calling her Mollie. It wasn’t long before Chain of Hope received an adoption application from Bethany’s parents! They wanted to make Mollie a permanent member of their family! Now they had dogs named Ollie and Mollie! We couldn’t be happier for Mollie and for them! (We are still involved at Mollie’s old house and the puppy is not chained outside all the time-he is sometimes inside. We’ll stay on it and see what happens as he gets older and bigger.)
Check out Mollie’s special cookies that say “Welcome” and “Home”.
Yes, Mollie, you are finally HOME!!!