Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Dog Without a Name: Stray fighting dog, Mid-City New Orleans

Abandoned fighting dog, New Orleans, originally uploaded by kfoz.

Yesterday afternoon I got a message online from Karen Gadbois, who had just received an email via the mid-city list serve from a woman who was trying to get someone to respond to an awful situation. A pit bull had attacked her neighbor's dog, had been subdued and was now tied to a tree in her front yard. She had called the LA-SPCA but was worried when no one answered. (They have voice mail to catch any calls that are missed if they are on the phone already, but this worries people.)

I called and said I'd come by, take a look at the dog, and if he seemed okay, maybe drive him over the SPCA or to ARNO.

I have to say, I've never seen an animal in this condition, except in photos or after several weeks of treatment. At first, I didn't even think he was a pit bull. His snout was too fleshy. But I quickly realized it was swollen and scarred. He was missing fur all over his body, either from fighting or mange or both. He was bleeding from the top of his head, where he'd been hit with a brick as they tried to get him off the other dog. There were cuts and scars all over his face, in particular, but also other parts of his body--and he was very thin and unneutered.

I said hello. He wagged his tail, but kept still. I talked to him for a while, then walked around behind him to see how he'd respond. He didn't move. The LA-SPCA arrived and an officer approached. When she went to get equipment from the truck, the dog took a few steps toward me, then went back to the tree. We decided not to use the dog catching stuff. He gave the officer a polite kiss, then moved to me, placed his front paws carefully on my tummy and looked into my eyes. We walked together to the truck and he climbed in on his own.

I wish I had a picture of the look in his eyes before we took that walk together.


Betsy said...

I wasn't quite ready for my first morning's cry yet when I came over here.

Karen said...

Thanks Ken for seeing that dog off to the SPCA with some dignity.