Get Delilah home!I’ve seen several stories like this–a dog befriended by a soldier. This dog is name Delilah and this soldier is from Houston and part of the Texas National Guard. They’re so lose to their goal of just $4200 to get Delilah to Houston. Five bucks. It’ll make a difference. Let’s bring them home!


The Hairless Dog

April 16, 2009

Do dogs just seek me out? I was fixing my fence that had been tagged over the weekend when a dog walked up and stared at me. He has less than half his hair, isn’t neutered, has several sores and is underweight. Dammit.

I’d seen him in the neighborhood over a week ago—but at that time he wanted nothing to do with me. Well, not yesterday. Yesterday, I was his best friend. He gladly let me put a leash on him, feed and water him, and put him in the garage.

After about an hour, I went out to check on him and he’d busted out of the garage (if you saw my crappy-ass garage, you’d see just how easy that would be). I walked down the street and found him and he happily followed me back home. I put him in a crate in the garage, gave him more food, a treat and a Benedryl and went to bed—thinking about what I’d do in the morning.

Well, morning came and I decided to take him to my vet. If mange was his only issue (and likely heartworms) and he was young, I’d treat him and try to find him a home. If he was an old dog and had a long list of ailments, I decided I’d put him down and end what must be pure agony.

Well, other than being extremely unattractive, he’s a nice boy and young and in pretty OK shape. He has demodectic mange, which I’ve read about but don’t really have experience with. So the vet is treating his mange and hanging on to him for now.

He looks like he’s probably mostly black with white feet. He’s tall and maybe a lab/pit mix, but even the vet couldn’t tell. Because of the hair loss, he just looks like a really wrinkly, old fart dog. We’ll see how he progresses.

One more bit of proof that Houston’s City Pound, BARC, is truly a disaster.

BARC’s head vet, “Dr.” Eunice Ohashiegbula-Iwunze (Eunice Ohashiegbula-Ozuzu), had her vet license suspended in New Jersey after she provided poor care that lead to the death of three dogs in 2003-2004. Oh, and she failed to mention it on her employment app with BARC. Apparently, a couple of years before, she also received a fine associated with poor care and poor record keeping.

Houston, the fourth largest City in the country, and this is the best we can do? How many times have I asked myself that very question when thinking about BARC?! Yeah, it’s a lousy job. But it’s also a job where you have a chance to make a difference and bring an ailing and backward program into the current century. It’s an opportunity to be a hero, a leader, a forward thinker. But the City of Houston hires an incompetent butcher and two-time loser? Houston animals and Houston tax payers deserve better.

I was so happy to read more about the outcome of some of Michael Vick’s pit bulls. I am partial to pit bulls because I think they, and other power breeds, are misunderstood. People take advantage of their strength and their loyal nature. I fostered a pit almost two years ago and he was an absolutely perfect boy.

Anyway, it looks like there may be some happy endings for these pups in the SF Bay Area at BAD RAP as well as some at Best Friends Animal Society in Utah. Best Friends call them Vicktory dogs.

Mortgage Mess Reaches Pets

January 26, 2008

I just ran across this story on about pets falling victim to the mortgage crisis. The story is out of California. The story discusses that a large number of pets are being turned over to shelters because their owners face foreclosure and must move. Unfortunate for the people and very sad for the pets that have no control over the situation.

The reporter mentions that some people have been forced to move into apartment complexes that ban certain breeds. My assumption is that this is probably insurance/liability related. When I was shopping around for a better homeowners rate a few years ago, I discovered some insurance companies target certain dog breeds. A couple of companies I spoke to required a rider to cover my Rottweiler.

Choosing to bring a pet into your life shouldn’t be taken lightly. It shouldn’t be an impulse decision. While pets can be great fun and rewarding, they can also be difficult and expensive. When people are in financial straits, it’s often the pet that will suffer. Based on info from the ASPCA, the cost to own a large dog for its lifetime is $22,120. Sounds low to me. One day, I’ll calculate my pets’ annual expenses. It’s more than a $30 bag of dog food every couple of weeks. Consider financial stuff before you bring a pet into your life.

When I was in college, I saw a woman and her two kids walking down the street with their dog who was off leash. The dog ran out in the road and was hit by a car. The people stopped, but then decided to walk away, even though the dog was still alive–laying injured in the street. I jumped out of my car to help, then started screaming at the people because they didn’t have their dog on leash and now they were walking away from their dying dog. I remember the woman saying they didn’t have any money to help their dog.

I can’t imagine not being able to afford medical care for my pets. I know medical costs for treating an animal that’s sick or injured can be prohibitive. I’ve put together a list of organizations who help people and organization who are trying to help sick or injured animals. Maybe this information will help someone.

So back to that dog by the curb–he was a shepherd and he was beautiful. A passer-by helped me move him out of the street and over to the sidewalk. I waited with the dog as he struggled to breathe until animal rescue showed up. I helped load the dog into the truck. I’m sure he was euthanized as soon as he arrived at the shelter. I’m so sorry I couldn’t help him.

Read a bit about where he stands and how he’s voted on animal-related issues. While I appreciate his anti-war stance and am impressed by his campaign’s guerrilla marketing tactics, his record with animals is deplorable.

All I’m sayin’ is know where your candidate stands on *all* issues before you vote.

Mike Markarian, President of the Humane Society Legislative Fund and author of the Animals & Politics blog, is doing a series of posts about where the major presidential candidates stand on animal-related issues.

The first posting in The Presidential Files series about Mike Huckabee was disturbing. Be sure to read about his alleged family history of cruelty to animals and the suggestion that as the governor, he obstructed justice.

Markarian has also covered John Edwards.

I look forward to reading about all of the candidates.

My Husband is Learning!

November 14, 2007

I’m so proud of my husband. He saw the Humane Society’s full-page ad in USA Today urging Wendy’s to stop using eggs from chickens confined to battery cages. He said he’s seen a photo of the cages and it was awful. 

I reminded him of a time at the grocery store when I wanted to buy eggs produced by cage-free chickens and he said no, they’re too expensive. Well, he’s changed his tune now. He wants eggs from happy, free chickens.

Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?! (Don’t tell him I said that–especially since I’m 2 years older than he is!)

When I moved to Houston as a kid in the late 70s/early 80s I remember thinking how weird it was seeing people selling stuff along the side of the road. On a Saturday afternoon along FM1960, a road on the north side of Houston , it was common to see things for sale like fudge, bar-b-que, crafts, seafood, as well as animals–puppies, kittens, rabbits, birds. I’d never seen anything like that before coming to Houston.

It’s taken 25 years, but the powers that be in Harris County have *finally* decided it’s a bad idea to sell animals by the roadside. It’s about damn time.

If you see someone selling animals by the road in Harris County, report it. Call 281-999-3191.