Two weeks ago I rescued a neighbor’s starving dog. She had no food, water, or shelter. I worked on this case for months, waiting until nightfall and wearing dark clothes to sneak her dog biscuits through a chain link fence. I tried to talk to the owners months ago about improvements I could help with, but they would not listen and in fact told me to mind my own business. I had already asked them to pick up the piles of kitchen garbage in their front yard and did not want to start a war.
I tracked down a free doghouse and planned to sort of diplomatically force it on them, but saw that the dog was getting thinner by the day, her ribs and backbone prominent under her short fur. Then I noticed she was in heat, which is obvious when you know what to look for. She looked to be about 20 pounds underweight and I knew she wouldn’t make it through the winter. I finally decided to liberate the dog in a midnight black-ops rescue.
We brought her to safehouse in another town where a contact took her in. We had her vaccinated and spayed. When they spayed her, they found she was carrying FIVE DEAD DEFORMED PUPS due to malnutrition. If we had not rescued her, the vet said she would have delivered the dead pups within days and died from infection. The dog never once complained about the discomfort she must have felt.
I feared disclosing this information to anyone but a few trusted animal-rescue contacts, and stressed over how to find her a home other than the usual route. She is loving and smart, but I was afraid to advertise her in any way. Since the owners did not look for the dog or take any action at all, I assumed they didn’t notice she was gone, but I still did not want to push it by publicly putting her up for adoption.
My shock and disgust at learning the true severity of her condition changed all that. I no longer cared if the owners saw her picture on a poster. But by some miracle, through my connections, I met someone who is coming to meet the dog this week. For the past two weeks I have felt a sense of relief as I pulled into my driveway and did not have to watch a starving dog desperately trying to get my attention. I could not feed her during daylight hours because I feared the owners would see me and make the dog’s life worse by chaining her in another part of the yard where I would not be able to reach her without trespassing.
This morning I saw my neighbors pull into their driveway with a new puppy. They immediately put the pup in the back part of their yard where I cannot reach her.
The physical sickness I felt before is now back. I am in a difficult position—not wanting to start a war with my neighbors, not wanting to call authorities because I cannot prove anything or admit what I did. I have learned the hard way living here that calling local agencies often proves futile. There is a fine line between keeping an animal barely alive and actual abuse, and agencies often do nothing. Many people who live in town just look other way.
My neighbors have religious icons in their yard and attached to their house but apparently this belief does not extend to animals. I just don’t get it.