Carol and I were on the way home from the wildlife clinic on Sunday and we spotted a female dog at the corner of Belmont and Girard. The dog was a large Mastiff type dog that was clearly starving. She was literally tearing apart a plastic bag to find food and had parts of the ripped bag in her mouth that she appeared to be chewing. She had recently mothered puppies because her teats were hanging down below her body, and she had been without food for so long you could see her rib cage sticking out. We drove to a Mom and Pop store a block away and bought a can of dog food. The owners were really gracious and when we told them what we wanted it for, they gave us a plastic container and opened the can for us.
When we got back to the intersection the dog was still there, but there was a young woman bent over the dog. She had a yellow dog collar with which she was trying to entice the dog to come with her. We thought perhaps that she was the owner, but when we got out of the car and talked to her, she turned out to be a PAWS volunteer that had seen the dog and stopped to try and rescue her. The three of us made sure she ate the canned dog food (which went down very, very quickly) in addition to some dry dog food that the volunteer had brought. We then added some water that was lapped up as quickly as the food was eaten. The PAWS volunteer was going to try and take the dog into PAWS and asked us if we thought we could pick her up and put the dog in her car. The dog was extremely skittish and we did not think that would work, so we tried to lure the dog into the car with food but that was unsuccessful. Every time we went to reach for the dog, she just jumped away from us even though she wanted the food. We were worried that if we were successful in trapping her, we might be abandoning puppies that might be around somewhere. The volunteer thought that was not the case because the dog was emaciated and she thought that someone may have just dumped her off after she had her puppies weaned. As we circled the dog trying to coax her into the car, the PAWS volunteer made an attempt to grab her. The dog’s response was to growl and try to bite and then to run away. She ran about two blocks and turned the corner and we did not see her again. The volunteer drove down the street to where the dog turned the corner and said that she was going to drive around a bit and hope that the dog turned up again. We left at that point, leaving it in the hands of the PAWS volunteer.
I tell this story because working at a wildlife rehab clinic has heightened my awareness of the extremely negative human impact on the natural and animal world, and this extends to the way cats and dogs are mistreated and abandoned. Hopefully this story will arouse that sense of caring and concern for readers of my blog.