On Monday I saw a truly horrible example of animal cruelty. While leaving my house to take Weasley for his evening walk I noticed a filthy pillow case lying on the side walk. I assumed it was a piece of trash someone had dumped, then Weasley smelled the case and it moved. Inside was a grey and white pit-bull pup. The puppy was barely breathing and completely listless with only slight movements. I yelled in shock which summoned the neighbors and a nearby UPS man.
The UPS man called 911 while the neighbors and I tried to get a better look at the dog. No one had ever seen the puppy before, she seemed to be about four months old, we couldn't see any obvious injuries but we were afraid to move her. We weren't sure if she had been hit by a car or was just very sick. Meanwhile the 911 operator dispatched an animal control officer but had no idea how long it would take. I wanted to bring the dog to the vet immediately so with the help of a lady who was just passing through I put the puppy in my pet stroller and we began walking her to the vet, our vet is only a few blocks away. Several times on the walk to the vet I feared the dog had stopped breathing and I knew she was near death. The lady I was with wanted to name her Baby and was more hopeful about her condition then I was.
When we got to the vet's office my regular veterinarian wasn't in so we had to see a doctor I had never met before. She took one look at the dog and after checking her vitals said she was extremely dehydrated and weak with very pale gums. The vet said she was near death but I asked for x-rays to see if there was perhaps a fixable problem. X-rays revealed no injuries but just a very shrunk intestine, based on the puppy's appearance and the x-rays the vet told me she almost definitely had parvovirus. Her prognosis was very grave even with treatment, which would cost at least 1000 dollar and held a very slim chance of survival. By this point I was nearly crying and the animal control officer had arrived at the hospital. The vet and the officer both advised that I let animal control take over. The officer took my name and explained that based on the advice of the vet they would have to euthanize the dog. Since she was not my dog I wasn't allowed to stay with her during the procedure, which I still feel badly about.
Baby was a very young dog who should have had many happy years ahead of her. If her owner had only paid for a few simple vaccines, available for a very low cost in several nearby locations, she would still be alive. What is even worse then not getting her the vaccines is the way she was dumped though, like a worthless piece of trash, even if the owner could not afford vaccines or vet care there is simply no excuse for that. He or she could have brought the dog to the local animal shelter so she wasn't afraid and alone.
In the days since I found Baby I am feeling really down about people in general. As most readers of this blog know I live in New Jersey, fairly near Manhattan, in a highly gentrified area that can be generously described as up and coming and more realistically described as rough. While in many ways the area is improving thanks to the sky rocketing real estate prices in Manhattan and swankier areas of Jersey City, there is still definitely some crime here. Just a few weeks ago a young police officer, Melvin Santiago, was tragically shot and killed at the CVS just a few blocks away. The lack or respect for life and the violence is very depressing.
However, if I focus on the bright side of things I acknowledge that several of the people in my neighborhood were very concerned about the puppy. I was able to tell a few people that didn't know before the Mayor's office has low cost veterinary health services. Hopefully they will tell others and it will do some good, often this information is only on the internet and doesn't reach the people who need it the most. When I lived in Brooklyn I used to see mobile low cost vet clinic vans, but sadly I don't see them in Jersey. After the incident the lady who went to the vet with me and who had taken my number texted me to ask how the dog was doing. She was pretty upset she hadn't made it but told me she was happy to know there were people like me who still cared. She isn't a pet owner but she told me that she plans to do some volunteer work with animals now and I gave her the information for the local animal shelter.
Baby ? 2014-July 29, 2014