Here’s a little story I want to share with you. And now that we are working on helping out GDREP raise some money, now seems the best time to share this story with you so you understand why we feel the great peeps are GDREP are so special.
Early last year Mom had an experience that changed everything she thought she knew about shelters, humane societies, and rescue groups. You could say that she was naïve about how things worked or didn’t work, how underfunded or under staffed groups are, and especially about the politics involved. She learned a lot from the mistakes she made during this experience and most of all she learned that as well meaning all of these organizations are and the good that they do, there is still a lack of eager assistance to individuals (like her at the time) who are seeking guidance when found in a situation they have not experienced before.
She wrote this about her experience at the time that it happened (note – this is a true account of her experience written the days it occurred, I had to delete/edit some of her comments, as she can really have a potty mouth when she’s quite upset):
I am writing this account of recent events because I want to share with you my frustration and because the chain of events is so incredibly ridiculous and unfathomable that, as my husband put it “you just can’t make this (poop) up!” Please excuse the language I am about to use, although harsh it is an accurate reflection of my frustration and feelings during this event.
Tuesday, February 14th, 2012: I was heading back from a business meeting at White Sands around 3 pm and as I was coming up over the San Augustine pass I saw this dog standing scared and confused in the middle of the two westbound lanes of HWY 70. I swerved to miss her and pulled over to the side of the road as soon as I safely could. I got out and started heading up the Hwy watching this poor dog run (with what was obviously a broken leg) over to the north side of the road to a ditch bank, by then another gentleman in a blue GMC pickup had pulled over and tried to catch her but she was too scared to trust anyone.
I caught up to him and asked if it was his dog and he said “No, I just didn’t want to see her get hit. It looks like maybe she already has been hit by a car once.”
He then decided the maybe he could block her from going up over the pass if he back up his truck and cut her off…so he proceeds to put his truck in reverse and back up ON THE HIGHWAY with on coming west bound traffic coming over the hill! I thought for certain he was going to get hit by a car or semitruck coming over the hill! Anyway, it did work and kept her from going further up the hill, but as we tried to approach her she ran back across two lanes of traffic to the center of the highway and ran down small shoulder of the road along the concrete jersey barriers.
The gentleman jumped back in his truck and moved over to the inside lane and slowly followed her with his hazard lights on while I jogged/ran in my business attire (NM ‘business’ attire typically consists of clean untattered jeans, a nice blouse and dress type shoes, so it’s not really quite as dramatic as it sounds) in the left west bound lane along side of her to keep her from darting back out into traffic.
I finally was able to get her to slow down and let me get close to pet her. She calmed down some and I picked her up and (dodging HWY traffic) carried her to my SUV while she proceeded to pee on me and express her anal glands simply out of fear. The poor creature was terrified.
I thanked the kind gentleman for his help and we discussed whether it was better to take her to the shelter or to the vet. Unfamiliar with the local shelter, I was not certain if the shelter had a vet and if they would actually do anything for her. So, covered in urine and anal gland secretions I headed to the first vet clinic I came across.
At the vet clinic they of course wouldn’t do anything unless I was going to take responsibility for the animal (except check for a microchip) so I agreed to an exam to assess the situation of this poor scared animal. She was not chipped. She seemed to be in relatively good condition with the exception of the broken leg. She was not in shock and the poking and prodding didn’t seem to indicate any additional broken bones or internal injuries but only x-rays would tell that for certain. She was also very FAT and her coat was clean and soft so it was obvious that she has a human out there.
After much debate of what to do I decided to go ahead with splinting the dog’s broken leg and pain meds. The vet clinic contacted the shelter to see if anyone had reported a missing dog with her description and I my husband also filed a ‘found dog’ report with the shelter and I email pictures of her to them. Since she was on morphine for the setting/splinting of the broken leg the vet clinic agreed to keep her there overnight without charge.Meanwhile, I had talked to the shelter and explained that I had already paid in full the immediate care of the dog’s leg but would need to take it somewhere soon for further treatment and that it is obviously someone’s pet someone more than likely is looking for it. Over the phone they told me that they would not care for the animal, I repeated that the splint and medications are already paid for…they referred me to the Humane Society. So, I called the Humane Society and the individual I spoke with told me to contact two other local groups instead. Call after call I was passed on from one recuse group to the next. I posted ‘FOUND DOG’ messages on just about every local FB page I could think of to get the word out there.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012: The following day, I picked up the sweet dog from the vet clinic. She was in good spirits but a little timid. Not knowing what else to do and naïvely thinking that if someone is desperately looking for their dog they would go to the shelter first (I mean, I would, I would be there every single day, multiple times a day, shoving a picture of my dog in the face of every single person there, demanding to look in every kennel! Heck they would probably have to call the police on me if I felt I wasn’t getting informed answers from them!).
Taking her to the shelter, she was scared, she tried to hide behind me and it simply broke my heart. She had already come to understand that I wasn’t there to hurt her. Leaving her there I had an incredibly sickening feeling in my stomach, I think mostly due to the seemingly sterile demeanor of the individuals that I had dealt with. I told them that if she is not claimed please call me and I will take her somewhere/someone/somehow and find her a home even if it ended up being my own home. I got the “well, it’s up to our board of directors if we euthanize after 72 hours or not; but we will not call you”. Well WTF!? I then asked if I could call daily to check, they said ‘No’…but I could come in. It left me with the impression that they’d rather euthanize the animal rather than pick up the phone and call someone who is saying ‘hey, here I am, I’ll take her and find her a home if her owner doesn’t show up within your prescribed timeframe’.
That night I left her at the shelter I had a tremendous amount of anxiety, a feeling that I had made a horrendous mistake. Realizing my mistake of leaving her at the shelter, I desperately contacted Great Dane Rescue of El Paso to see if they might possibly have some space to take her. They agreed with no hesitation that they would take her and made arrangements w/ the shelter for me to pick her up and deliver her to GDREP. GDREP took her immediately to their veterinarian for check up and x-rays. X-rays revealed that her broken leg was shattered so badly that it was going to need to be amputated. Again without hesitation of the expense or the fact that this creature was not a Great Dane or even a giant breed, GDREP went ahead and scheduled the operation for the following week.
The following day, the shelter contacted the GDREP saying that the owner had come to the shelter looking for the dog. The owner came to pick up their dog at GDREP where the owner informed GDREP that their vet was the same vet clinic that I first took her to and that they had been looking for their dog at the shelter for over a week and had submitted a lost dog report and description with the shelter!
“YOU JUST CAN’T MAKE THIS (POOP) UP!”…
The owner was grateful for all the efforts put forth for their pup and GDREP informed them of the condition and the scheduled appointment.
From there Mom does not know what ever happened to that little dog she had started to call ‘Cora’ (short for ‘Corazon’, meaning ‘heart’ since she was found on Valentine’s day). She hopes that she got the medical help and treatment that she needed, but we will never know. We will also never know the name of the gentleman who stopped to help her that day.
What she did learn was that while all these humane societies, rescue groups, and shelters have the best intentions and put forth great efforts to help the pups in their immediate care with the limited funds and manpower that they have; they are missing one critical element about educating and communicating with the ‘in the moment’ would be rescuers like my Mom.
Mom learned a lot that day. But she also learned that even though little ‘Cora’ wasn’t a Great Dane, when Mom needed help and contacted GDREP to say “Help! I don’t know what to do!” they responded without hesitation. Not only did GDREP rescue me as a pup and little ‘Cora’, in a way they ‘Rescued’ Mom too!
So, PLEASE don’t forget to get your delicious treats from http://www.treatmeright.org BEFORE OCT. 14TH and help out GDREP continue to help out the pups (of all breeds) in their care and help those that happen upon their doorstep in desperate times of need like little ‘Cora’. TIME IS RUNNING OUT!