The first part of January, 2015, Chain of Hope received a call from some concerned neighbors regarding a pit bull next door. They said that she was very, very pregnant, was chained to the fence and had a tarp for shelter. I had an outreach team go by and check it out and there was Milkshake. Yes, she was very pregnant, was chained to the fence and had a tarp for shelter. There were so many things wrong here, I thought that animal control would intervene, so we called this into KCMO animal control. An officer went over, wrote a citation for Milkshake not having a city license and left. Really??? That’s all they saw wrong over here? They left her there, chained to the fence, ready to give birth any day now and it was 1 degree outside.
We felt like there was no hope for this girl. With animal control saying nothing was wrong here, where could we turn? That is why we often feel like we have no back up out there. The next day, the neighbor called again and said that Milkshake had had her puppies. They told me that they could hear them squeaking and crying under the tarp. Oh no! It was bitter, bitter cold. The neighbors had left the message late in the day and we didn’t get it until the next day. I called the neighbor and they said that they didn’t hear the puppies anymore, they’d never seen anyone take them in and they were very worried that they had frozen to death. We went over to check it out and did not see or hear any puppies. Milkshake was still on her chain, her teats full of milk, but no babies. We called animal control back and told them that she had had the puppies outside and that we thought they’d frozen to death. They went back over there and said “No Violations”, which is what we get back the majority of the time.
Poor, poor Milkshake. The neighbor told us that she had been chained out there for years and had had 2 litters of puppies every year for quite awhile. This poor girl needed an angel so badly. She’d been through hell. We had absolutely no help from a city run department that our tax dollars pay for. It’s incredibly frustrating when you see an animal suffering and the powers that be don’t give a damn.
The people that owned Milkshake were Hispanic and spoke little English. I finally called Whitney, who is always so gracious to interpret for us, and asked her if she could go over with me to this house the following Sunday. She said sure and the next Sunday, we headed over. I told her that the only thing we could do since animal control had failed this dog twice already, was to go over there and try and resolve this ourselves.
When we pulled up, there was a kid sitting on the front steps. The kids always tell us everything, so I told Whitney to go up there and talk to the kid before an adult came out and ask him about the puppies. She did and he replied that they had “given them all away” except one and it was in the house. He went and got his dad and Whitney began speaking with the dad about Milkshake. It was like talking to a brick wall. He wasn’t listening, he didn’t care, and really didn’t want to be bothered with us. Whitney asked him if he needed anything for the puppy inside the house and he replied that there was no puppy in the house-they had given them all away. We left and felt totally dejected. Why was it so hard to get help for this poor dog? It wasn’t right was happening to her, yet no body seemed to care except Chain of Hope and the neighbor. We left and wondered if this was one of those cases that we were not going to be successful with. We aren’t successful 100% of the time, but we try harder and work harder than anyone else out there. We felt sick about Milkshake still being chained to the fence.
The next day, I received a call from the neighbor again. They told me that the police had been called to the house late that afternoon, after we had left, for a domestic disturbance and that the police had shot and killed Milkshake! OMG!!! I was devastated. I couldn’t even believe it. I asked the neighbor if she had been on her chain and he said yes. He said that the police had then called animal control and they had come and taken Milkshake and also taken A TINY PUPPY out of the house. That man had totally stood there and lied to Whitney.
The next day, I went to Kansas City Pet Project (the city shelter) to see about the puppy. I really wanted to see how big it was because if it truly was very tiny, then I knew they hadn’t given them all away, I knew they had all frozen to death except one. When I walked into KCPP and told them that I came to see the puppy of the pit bull that was shot and killed by the police, they told me that the momma was not killed! She had been shot, but she was alive! I was so glad to hear that news. I was able to go back and see her. She had been taken to an emergency clinic Sunday night and they said that her shoulder was shattered and they recommended amputation. I don’t know if animal control had to get her and bring her back to KCPP the next day or if someone from KCPP went and got her and brought her back there, but Milkshake ended up at KCPP. She still had the bullet in her and had not had an amputation yet. The puppy went to foster care. Milkshake’s owner was calling the shelter, trying to get Milkshake back! They were being told that they were going to have to pay all of her medical expenses in order to get her back. They were trying to get the money together. The shelter was in communication with them for a few days, all the while Milkshake was in a kennel at KCPP, awaiting some kind of resolution to her predicament so that she could go to surgery. It was frustrating. They had her on pain control and antibiotics, thank goodness.
I finally received the green light and I could do a “medical transfer” with Milkshake and at least get her to one of our vets for treatment. I took Milkshake to Independence Animal Hospital, who does all of our orthopedic work. She was on the surgery table that afternoon.
You can see Milkshake’s extensive bruising on her abdomen, after she was sedated for surgery.
Milkshake had her leg amputation, her spay, heart worm test, vaccinations and de-worming. She was heart worm positive. We kind of expected that because she’d been an outside dog (and they get heart worms from infected mosquitoes). At the moment, that was the least of her worries, although she did have a very extended abdomen, which often is a sign of advanced heart worm disease because fluid is accumulating. We had to get her through the initial trauma of losing her babies and her leg. A few days later, we were able to bring her back to Chain of Hope. She had been through so much. Our hearts just ached for this poor girl. We wanted her to have nothing but happiness from here on out.
If animal control had done their job and removed this poor baby the first time they went out, none of this would have happened. She would not have lost her litter, she would not have to have her leg amputated. I can’t even tell you how frustrated and disappointed we were with KCMO animal control. The suffering that this dog has endured and they left her there twice. We have so little faith in a department that does things like this. We are frustrated beyond belief, but we will keep at it because this just shows how much the animals in the inner city need Chain of Hope to be their voice. We will keep fighting the good fight.
Milkshake needed to heal. She would get very out of breath just walking outside to potty and could barely make it to the rocks outside the back door. She would get labored breathing pretty easily. Her heart doesn’t sound very good and we are sure it’s all from having heart worms for an apparently long time. We gave Milkshake so much love and attention and pep talks that she could do it! She’s a strong girl, we already knew that.
I came in the next Sunday morning and Milkshake was excited to see me, was wagging her tail and wanted to go outside. We walked out and went down the sidewalk a little bit and all of the sudden, blood just started gushing out of her gunshot wound. It was like a fountain and she was breathing very heavily. She was hemorrhaging-I was so scared that we were going to lose her. I kenneled all of our dogs real quick, got her in the car and headed to the emergency clinic. She laid in my lap, breathing very hard and I talked to her all the way. I kept telling her to hang on, even telling her which exits we were passing and how many more we had to go, etc. I called the emergency clinic and told them that I was on my way with her and that I didn’t even know if she was going to make it. We finally arrived at the Animal Emergency Clinic north of the river. She was no longer bleeding profusely, but she was very, very weak.
We got Milkshake on the table and her gums were stark white. She was very weak, breathing fast and struggling. I kept thinking, how much can one dog go through?? This poor, poor baby. We ran her blood work and her red cells were extremely low, of course. I finally left her for the night in the very capable hands of Dr, Mischke and his staff at Animal Emergency Center, north of the river. They have saved many Chain of Hope animals through the years and we thank them.
Milkshake was stable the next day when I picked her up. She had been very close to a blood transfusion, but by the next morning her red count was up slightly. We took Milkshake back to Chain of Hope and got her settled in. We monitored her blood work and after 3-4 days of her red cells just not rising like they should be doing and the fact that she was still very weak and very pale, we decided to go ahead and give Milkshake a blood transfusion. She seemed a little better when we left that night. Over the course of the next couple of days, Milkshake transformed into a different dog! She had a lot more energy, she was nice and pink and just seemed to feel so much better. I was so glad that we decided to go ahead and transfuse her.
Just when we thought we could exhale a little bit, and were over another crisis. Milkshake broke with kennel cough. It was about 10 days after being at KCPP and she began coughing very badly. She had to go into the isolation room to keep her away from our other dogs. She went on medication, we ran a humidifier 24/7 for her, and nursed her through it. I didn’t know if she could beat this nasty kennel cough, but we nurtured her and cared for her the best we could. This dog had a strong will to live. We had a few different volunteers cook her chicken and rice, which she devoured. She always had a great appetite through everything, even the kennel cough. Slowly, Milkshake began getting better. She loved the special attention and goodies that she got. This girl can eat a pig ear in 5 seconds!
Milkshake was finally able to leave isolation! Now she has a big room that she is in during the day and then she is kenneled at night. She has done very, very well. She never potties in her crate. She has relaxed so much since she’s been with us. She had had so much happen to her and had been through so much hardship, that I think it was all overwhelming at first. But she has settled in. Milkshake does not seem to care for other dogs. Who can blame her? For years, she was chained to a fence, giving birth out there, trying to protect and take care of her babies-I wouldn’t expect her to like other dogs.
Our next hurdle with Milkshake is her heart worms. She is pretty far advanced with them and often times, treating them and breaking the worms up, etc. can kill the dog. Her heart and lungs are very compromised. The chances of Milkshake making it through heart worm treatment are not high. We could choose to just let her live out her time left and give her as many happy days as we can. It’s a tough call and we are in consultation with our veterinarian.
No matter what happens, Milkshake needs an angel. She needs someone who does not have a dog to step forward and love her and give her a place to call home for a while. Please share this blog with everyone you can think of. Think of friends and relatives that you know who do not have a dog and send them this blog! You never know who may step up. If you felt a nudge in your heart while reading this tragic story and you do not currently have another dog, please give us a call and talk with us about it at 816-221-8080. Milkshake needs someone desperately. I can’t think of a more deserving dog, can you? We’ll never be able to erase what the human race has done to her, but we can offer her a loving home for what ever time she has left. Please, people with no dogs, take a chance on Milkshake. She’s totally worth it!