The Inside Story
Do you ever wonder about the story behind some of the dogs
you see on our website? The ones who go from being adoptable to "Adoption
Pending" to "I Went Home!"? If so, read on to find out the "inside story" on
King, Ina, and Koa!
This year, an email went out to the leaders of a number of
dog rescue groups about a sad situation involving German Shepherd Dogs in
Connecticut. Could any of us help? The only response from a group saying that
they could help came from GSRNE. We were the only hope for the following dogs
and though we knew they would be project dogs and a lot of work, we couldn't
turn our backs on them.
|Last year, some German Shepherd Dogs (as well as a few
other breeds) had been confiscated by the authorities during a drug raid in New
England. When the authorities arrived and checked out the property, they were
greeted by around 7 dogs and some puppies! But what a sad sight: all of the
dogs were chained to filthy boxes ("dog houses") where feces hadn't been cleaned
up for some time. All of the animals were dangerously thin, covered in fleas,
flies and ticks and all had been terribly neglected. Included in the group
were some German Shepherd Dogs, some Chow Chows and a Pit Bull. They were all
very thin, filthy animals, filled with parasites, ear tips bitten away by flies.
And I was told the smell was terrible.
Can you imagine being chained to a box with no water most
the time, fed infrequently, flies buzzing around your face and biting you most
of the day, every day, for years? Ticks and fleas would be crawling on your
body, giving you diseases: mosquitoes would feed on you all the time. You would
endure the heat of summer days while chained to your box with little in the way
of relief, and huddle into a little ball of dog on the freezing cold of winter
nights with nothing to help keep you warm. There would be no companionship to at
least make you feel better. To top it all off, all of the dogs were intact, and
the dogs were bred once in awhile to provide puppies for the owner to sell. Who
knows the fate of those puppies - we saw the fate of the adults.
What these animals went through was enough to make them all
nasty, vicious animals. But as a testament to their breeds, they were all
friendly dogs to everybody who handled them!
|The local shelter received all of the dogs at once. They
cleaned up the dogs, de-wormed them, fed them, kept them warm and dry, and
treated their wounds and insect bites. Normally, dogs would be placed once this
part was over. But the shelter was told that they had to keep all the dogs until
the owner's trial occurred, which included animal neglect charges. That took
SEVEN MONTHS to occur! The shelter people did everything they could to make life
better for the dogs in their charge - they were wonderful people! But the fact
was, the dogs were still in the chaos of a shelter, not in the stability of a
home. When would their lives change for the better?
Soon, as it turned out, the owner was forced to sign the
dogs over to the city pound. The youngest GSD puppies found homes immediately
via the shelter. But the older "pups" and adults didn't fair as well, and the
city needed them out, hence they asked for our help. These Shepherds ranged in
age from 15 months to 9 yrs. That is when that fateful email went out to
different groups, looking for help.
GSRNE took in the GSDs you've seen on our website: King,
Ina, and Koa! Taking in multiple dogs at one time means that GSRNE must spend
significant funds all at once. We check the dogs for parasites, diseases,
infections, joint problems, etc. and we treat anything that needs fixing. All of
these dogs needed to be spayed/neutered, too, and that cost. And sometimes dogs
need boarding too before going to their foster homes. This gets VERY expensive
when multiplied by 3 all at once! Victoria, our Foster Home Coordinator, found
foster homes for the dogs, though, and we got them into their foster homes
fairly quickly. They needed to feel the love of people like you!
||As it turned out, expenses were not to stop here. Poor 9
year old King almost died shortly after his neuter surgery. He became very weak,
lethargic, and stopped eating. His foster parents RUSHED him to Tufts Veterinary
School Hospital where he was diagnosed with a tick disease seldom seen this far
north, but does occur in southern CT, where he'd been. This tick disease,
Babesia, is TERRIBLE and can kill dogs, but only after making them very sore and
extremely ill. His foster parents, Ronie and Edie, spent days and nights at
Tufts to be with King, and I swear that is what helped King to pull through his
illness. It was touch and go for days of hospitalization at Tufts, but he pulled
through. He has a wonderful temperament and we breathed a sigh of relief when he
started eating and moving around again. His bill cost GSRNE thousands of
dollars, but he is a great dog and was worth every penny! (His pictures just
don't do him justice, either - he's a beautiful boy!) His foster parents adopted
him and we were thrilled! King may be Koa's father.
|Koa had various minor physical ailments to work on - his
issues were emotional ailments from such neglect all his short life. He was one
of the older puppies who grew up at the shelter. This can be extremely difficult
on a dog. He was very, very scared when he came in and needed months of work.
After the dedicated work of some volunteers, the wonderful, sweet animal he is
showed through, and eventually came through all the way! Dedication to his
welfare by GSRNE volunteers was something to behold! He's SUCH a sweet dog it is
hard to believe he came out of such hideous circumstances.
||Ina is our little 3-4 yr old female. We believe she is the
mother of Koa. This dog was perfect out of the box, except for some physical
ailments GSRNE treated (and she was spayed)! How ANYBODY could neglect a sweet,
sprightly, well-behaved, friendly dog like this, nobody knows, much less
*severely* neglect a dog like this! Little Ina took her entire life in stride,
though. And she settled into her foster home like she'd been there all her life,
and never came back out - they adopted her!
Thank goodness GSRNE was there to help these dogs! It's our
members and supporters who make a difference in the lives of dogs like this. The
dedication of their foster homes, of their evaluators and transporters, the home
visit workers and all the effort by our foster home & adoption coordinator made
this entire rescue effort possible. And YOU made their care and adoptions
possible! You couldn't find three nicer dogs to help!
But none of this could have happened without massive
amounts of funds on hand - on these 3 dogs alone, GSRNE had to spend thousands
of dollars to care for them properly. We have always provided this kind of
comprehensive care to our dogs, which many rescues just can't do or don't bother
to do. We feel it's important to treat a creature's illnesses, instead of
ignoring their issues and hoping somebody else will care for them. GSRNE cares
for our dogs!
|But this kind of big financial outlay for dog intake and
care isn't unusual - many dogs coming into GSRNE need this kind of financial
help. And right now, truly, our funds are very, very low. Will you help? We are
now facing a probable $4000-$5000 bill from Tufts Veterinary School to provide
back surgery for one of the sweetest female GSDs you'll ever meet, a dog that we
placed years ago and just got back. We will be having a fundraiser soon to help
with her care.
We have other dogs to see soon too, and each of them will
need somewhere between $150 and thousands of dollars of help. We're so low
we'll have to start refusing aid to these dogs, then who will help them? Every
dollar we raise goes to the care of the dogs, as nobody in GSRNE is paid
anything. But we're very, very low.
So, I am inviting each and every one of you stop, pause,
and think about German Shepherd Dogs. We all talk about how we love them! Now
think about the dogs on the web site, and the ones we're taking in now and
tomorrow and tomorrow. Will you help them? Or will you hope somebody else will?
If not you, who? If not now, when? They need your help NOW.
If not you,
who? If not now, when?
that you can still make a tax-deductible donation to GSRNE so that we all
can continue to help the dogs!
|Thank you all - the rescue community is a powerful force
when we all pull together - let's save some fabulous German Shepherd Dogs,
together and show the world that the Good Guys outnumber the Bad Guys!!!