A Day with a Homeless Dog

A Day with a Homeless Dog

Sunday, February 17, 2013

It's not their fault!

It is Sunday morning and I am getting ready to go visit my babies at the shelter. I am thankful for the nice weather and hoping it will bring in lots of adopters. It will be a busy day with many new dogs getting their glamor shots and also fun for a variety of dogs who will get to participate in play groups. Lots of great things going on, but there is one thing I haven't been able to stop thinking about - my boy Bronson.

Bronson literally brought me to tears last week. I can't even think about him without getting teary eyed. This boy arrived at the shelter back in November. Yes, he is another pit bull and yes, he is black. Poor guy already had 2 strikes against him. He couldn't go to just anyone because of breed restrictions in different cities - not his fault. Then he is black, which to many ignorant people,  is not unique enough and made him look more intimidating - not his fault.

So what happens to dogs like Bronson?  He sits in a shelter for months. He is continually passed up for different dogs, barely being seen.  Most shelters are filled with black dogs and often get unnoticed. The KCMO shelter is no different and the kennels are older, they are stacked on top of each other and the lighting isn't the best. Bronson was placed in a dark, bottom kennel because of his size and standards set by the Department of Ag. This of course made it even harder for him to be seen - not his fault.

The past month, Bronson's mental state started to diminish. He started to become more agitated because his lack of exercise. He was showing signs of stress, jumping and bouncy from side to side in his kennel. He would growl and lunge at dogs passing by his kennel. Potential adopters wouldn't even consider him because of his behavior in the kennel.  Months being stuck in a kennel changed Bronson - not his fault.

What people didn't get to see is just how much of a gentleman Bronson truly was.  Outside he would sit for treats and just look at you with that big smile, waiting for another. He let you love on him and thoroughly enjoyed the belly rubs. He was a people pleaser and all he wanted was his own people.  He wanted to be out of the shelter, but no one would give him that chance - not his fault. 

I'm sure you know where this is heading; we lost Bronson on Friday. I am super sad and super disappointed. Bronson was deteriorating more each day from frustration. A plea was sent out in hopes to find someone to help him. A rescue wasn't going to take him because he had become more and more aggressive.  It had been difficult to find him a family in the months he had stayed at the shelter. I am torn because of course Bronson wasn't happy living the majority of his life in a kennel. It wasn't fair to keep him locked up, hoping someone would come for him while he continued to deteriorate. I so badly was hoping for a better ending for him.

It wasn't Bronson's fault. He did not ask to be brought into this world as a black pit bull. He did not ask for ignorant owners to not take care of him or not reclaim him once he was picked up as a stray. It's not his fault there are breed bans in so many cities, which hindered his chances of getting adopted. Bronson deserved better and so do many others that are sitting in shelters right now. Bronson, I am sure is stress free now and I am going to miss his kisses today. If you get anything out of this blog, please let it be to ADOPT. Give a shelter dog a chance. They are most deserving of a home and you will be saving a life.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Jersey our Longtimer is Looking for a home...

It always amazes me how wonderful dogs end up staying at a shelter for much longer than I would ever expect.  There are often over 150 available dogs at any one time, so there is always a variety of dogs to choose from.  Unfortunately, some dogs just continue to get overlooked.  When you volunteer weekly like I do, you really get to see a dogs personality and know how fantastic they truly are.  Jersey is exactly that!
Today officially marks the 6 month anniversary of Jersey arriving at the shelter.  On August 10th, last summer, Jersey came into the shelter as a stray.  I would say a large majority of our dogs are strays and the shelter will hold the dog for at least 5 days.  The hope is that the owner will find him/her at the shelter and come to reclaim them.  Of course Jersey wasn't micro-chipped, so when his 5 days were up and no one came for him, he became available for adoption. 
Jersey came in as a pretty healthy dog, almost 50lbs, no heartworms and seemed to be in good shape.  Jersey is between 1-3 yrs old and is labeled as a pit mix.  When first meeting Jersey, he seemed like any other high energy dog.  He loved to be outside, he wants to get where he is going and was pretty friendly with any person he met.  There was nothing out of the ordinary that made me think he was going to have a hard time finding a home.  I would harness him on walks so he would be a little easier to manage.  He was very much interested in treats and knew how to sit.  He seemed very adoptable to me and I was sure there would be a family for him anytime.
Here we are 6 months in and Jersey is still waiting.  He is such the studly guy and totally loveable.  There was a short period of time when he was able to be in a foster home, but found his way back to the shelter.  He has been worked into play groups to see how he meshes with other dogs.  This is what was noted after his first inital playgroup:      
Jersey was an interesting dog. Played well with Abel, rough but good bite inhibition with play. However, the energy level of Starbucks set off Jersey. He was lungy and quickly escalated play to inappropriate behavior. Once apart he calmed and was attentive to touching and interaction with me, soft eyes etc.. I think he'd be best in a home with a medium energy dog. We need to determine if he's reacts to a certain look of dog or energy level. Again, Abel and him played and got along great. Starbucks kept wanting to play and run from Jersey. We will try more dogs with Jersey.

Today we introduced Jersey into a different playgroup to see how he would be with some different energy.  It was pretty positive and again we were able to see just how great Jersey is.  You can click this link Playgroup - Jersey and Jorge! to watch a short video of him interacting with a couple other dogs from today's playgroup.  

I wanted to help out my buddy Jersey and see if I could share his story.  He is another dog that has been overlooked and deserves the chance at a fantastic home.  I leave you with this video I made of him, showing off his awesomeness!  Please share his story and lets find him a home!