Thursday had to be one of the most incredibly frustrating days of my life.
Driving to my in-laws’ house to drop my baby boy off, I noticed a dog roaming down their street. I opened my door and right away knew this wasn’t a pet that had recently escaped…this poor girl had been living on her own for some time. She looked hungry, dehydrated, and dirty. She was desperate for help, but obviously extremely fearful.
She was a pit bull.
Having my 4 month old son with me and being on my way to make my daily dog walkin’ rounds, I wasn’t really sure what to do. Not only did this gal have no collar or tags…she wouldn’t let me get anywhere near her. (And regardless of breed – it’s never good to force yourself on an unknown dog.) I left some water for her and politely asked her to hang around until I could figure out what to do. I worried about her my whole day.
A few hours later, I cruised the neighborhood before picking up my son. I was hoping to find her roaming around (but praying she had found her way home). Eventually giving up, I drove to my in-laws’….only to find the sweet girl laying in the shade of their front porch. She got up and gave me a tiny tail wag when she saw me. I had come prepared with water AND food this time, but despite being STARVING, would only approach either if I backed up a few feet.
I decided I HAD to do something. I asked my in-laws to keep an eye on her and drove my kiddo home to begin the quest of finding someone to help.
I had no idea just how hard this would be.
The hours that followed were filled with emails, calls, tears, and lots of Googling. All pit bull rescues/independently run shelters in Houston (the 4th largest city in the country, mind you) very clearly stated they weren’t accepting dogs as they were filled to capacity. The ASPCA would take her for a fee (no problem) but I would have to bring her in (BIG problem.)
City animal control would come and pick her up, get her into a vet, and (assuming there were no major medical/behavioral issues) get her healthy and up on their website for adoption. The words “animal control” scared me, and they definitely gave me no guarantee that she would not be euthanized….but at this point, it sounded like the best shot. I spent an hour wondering if I was actually prepared to send her somewhere that didn’t guarantee her survival. Finally, I decided this was my only real option. I called…oh,wait…they won’t come to that neighborhood. (While in the city of Houston it was not in the city limit’s??)
They referred me to the county shelter. Sounded like the same thing as the city animal control…until I inquired how I could get updates on this specific dog status. (I was hoping I could help get this dog adopted or at least bring her to the attention of pit bull rescues once she was officially in “the system.”) I was then notified that she would be held for 3 days to wait for her owner to claim her and then she would be euthanized. They did not keep ANY pit bulls. It was their “policy”.
After another round of tears (and a very compassionate woman on the other end of the phone), I was able to get the whole report canceled. All that point, there was only one thing I could do.
So I went to bed that night wondering where she was. Wondering if there was anything else I could possibly do (and realizing that there probably was). Feeling guilty that I did nothing for her…