April 16, 2014: Frustration and Reality

The following was written by Pam, our Pontiac Animal Care Network Manager. Please read.

I have just got home from 11 hours in Pontiac and I am physically sick to my stomach, nauseous, my head hurts and I cannot stop crying. The crying has been sporadic all day long.

The lack of compassion, care and respect for some of the dogs and cats that we see on Animal Care Network runs is sometimes just more than I can bear. As I seem to be saying on a regular basis, I do not know whether to cry or vomit after a day like today, sometimes I do both.

Our volunteers spend hours, days, weeks, months, years trying to educate the community, offer amazing free spay and neuter, vaccines, food assistance, straw delivery, transportation to the veterinarian, the list goes on. We talk and we talk and we talk and we pass out literature
and more literature. We get articles in the newspaper over and over again, we get important issues on the TV thanks to our media contacts who are also concerned.

Yes, we get through to so many, and there are so many caring, loving, humane pet owners that just really need a helping hand and are so grateful for our program and our help. But then there are the OTHERS.

I guess when the bomb drops, it drops real hard, like exploding fireworks at the fourth of July. One tragedy, one heartbreak, one unexcusable situation after another.

Situation number one:

I can count over thirty articles that we have had in the paper and on the news about the parvovirus over the years. Every single address that we visit gets a packet which includes low cost vaccine clinic information and information about the virus. Please read this we ask, please get your animals vaccinated, please listen to us, please understand that it costs less to get your dog or cat shots than it does to take them to the vet when they are sick. Please don’t believe anyone that gives you a dog or cat that says “oh yes, they have already had ALL their shots”. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard that a 10 week old puppy has had ALL it’s shot. That is just not possible. So we continue to preach, educate, implore, persuade, beg, offer and talk and talk.

We have repeat problem addresses that are as frustrating as they get, people that have new dogs every week, dogs coming and going, none of them are vaccinated, none are fixed, they refuse to do this, the environment is infested with fleas, it is just BAD.

On Friday evening a neighbor (not the so-called owner) called me to please pick up a very sick dog. She had been vomiting and bleeding from the rear end. I went immediately even though I did not even want to look at or speak to these people. The dog could barely walk and they were trying to push her to walk. I screamed “could you just carry her”. So one of the neighbors did that and put her in my van. She immediately started having liquid blood diarrhea pouring out of her and non-stop vomiting and drooling, her hair was all missing and skin was infected due to severe fleas. Thankfully I found a local vet to humanely euthanize this poor, poor dog, and I thanked God that she was not suffering any more. I stayed with her until the end. This dog did not have a chance, she was forced to breed, used up and then passed around the city, exposed to parvo and then dead.

The next day these same people showed up at a vaccination clinic with another dog and two beautiful puppies. Are you kidding me? I almost fell over. Once again I confronted them and went through the entire speech again, they just stared at me. These three new dogs were getting vaccines, yes that was good, but guess what? They were already exposed to parvo.

Two days later, I received another call from the neighbor, guess what? The black dog is very sick, she has been throwing up all night, what could be wrong with her? Is this for real? I picked her up and she was crashing just like her friend two days earlier. I begged them for the puppies, but they absolutely refused and said, we are giving them to a friend. Great, now they can suffer at a different address and contaminate and spread the parvovirus more. I expect to get a call in the next day, or should I say I hope and pray I receive a call to pick up the puppies, wherever they are, before it is too late for them.
Situation number two:

We pass out literature at every single address about spay and neuter, the importance of spay and neuter, the health and temperament benefits of spay and neuter, we offer low cost spay neuter, we offer free spay neuter including vaccines, we offer free transportation for spay and neuter. Not only will it stop your dog or cat from reproducing, but it will stop female problems, infected uterus, mammary issues, bad heat cycles, false pregnancies, etc. This past week I have picked up four adult female pit bulls that all had to be put to sleep. One was toxic because she could not pass her puppies, one got so sick after having a litter she was nearly dead when we picked her up, one had mammary masses that nearly exploded because of not being spayed and one came down with parvo two weeks after they SOLD all her puppies.

Oh and guess what else, I received two frantic messages from guys that wanted their female pit bulls fixed. Both dogs that we had previously offered free spay several times in the past. But they knew more than we did then and they DID NOT want them fixed. So guess what? They both ended up with a prolapse uterus, the uterus was literally coming out of the poor dogs rear end. Now they wanted them fixed immediately. This condition cannot wait and of course we obliged and got both dogs in as soon as possible and they both did great. These two guys at least seemed to have learned a lesson and said they were going to convince all their friends to get their pit bulls fixed! I guess this ending is the bright spot of the week and the fact of better late than never should override my frustration that this was all preventable. So it will and I will regroup and tackle another day.
All in all, it has been absolutely brutal and my heart breaks for these poor, poor animals. But we ALWAYS go back for more don’t we?

Many of you will ask, couldn’t we save the ones we lost? And the answer is no, we could not, the damage had already been done.


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