Last month (October 10 to be precise) I sent a court officer to the commercial property of a client of ours to post and execute an eviction order for a delinquent tenant. The tenant had fought the eviction for months but had finally contacted me to say the majority of his belongings had been removed and he was moving his business. I sent the officer out thinking that I was simply giving “official” effect to the order and having the remnant belongings cleared out. I never expected what would happen next.
I called the officer in charge of the eviction that day, to check on progress, and was informed that it had taken a team of workers 4 hours to clear the junk from the suite and, shockingly, that the tenant’s dog had been abandoned there, left behind amongst the trash. The officer, following protocol, had called animal control, and the dog had been taken into custody.
I was stunned… and upset. I knew what being sent to animal control likely meant for the pup, and I couldn’t help feeling responsible. When I told the story at home that night, family and friends reassured me that the dog’s fate wasn’t my fault – that it was just the result of the world we live in. They said maybe her owner would return for her, or maybe she would be adopted out; maybe she was old, or unhealthy or mean. But I couldn’t shake the way I felt about it. I couldn’t stand that I had caused this dog to be put in danger.
I went to work the next morning, after a long, sleepless night of thinking on it, and decided that I couldn’t just leave the dog there. I have two big dogs and three kids at home, so taking her myself wasn’t an option. I called animal control to check on her and found that she was a well-behaved puppy – only about 8 months old – a pit bull mix. They told me that Oakland County Animal Control policies prohibit adopting out any pit bull mix because of their reputation as attack dogs. Unless her owner came for her, or I could find a 501(c)(3) dog rescue group to take her, she would be euthanized.
I checked back with animal control every few days, first to see if her owner had come and then, when it was clear he wasn’t coming, to see if she had passed medical and behavior assessments. I spent weeks calling every rescue in town trying to find a place for her. The weeks went by and none of the rescues had room for her – they were already full of unwanted dogs. I became disheartened by the thought that there just didn’t seem to be any hope for her, and so many like her.
And then came Alicia and Chris. Two amazing women who have real lives, real jobs and real families, and yet still find time to help. Chris agreed to foster my rescue pup, and Alicia convinced Last Day Dog Rescue to pull her from animal control and add her to their website of adoptable pups. With only a few days left before she was scheduled to be euthanized, Alicia, Chris and Last Day saved her life. Chris picked her up from animal control and, no doubt understanding her new freedom, my pup showered Chris with love on the way out the door. Her name is now Delilah, and she is looking for a permanent, happy home. It is to that end that I am sharing my story with you.
Delilah is about 9 months old now, healthy, spayed, and very, very energetic. (See picture above.) She currently weighs about 35 lbs. and will probably grow to be about 40-50 lbs. I met her this past week and can tell you that she is great with other dogs and kids, and is friendly, affectionate and well-behaved. If you are interested in giving her a happy, forever home, please contact me at email@example.com or (248) 893-1405.
The Humane Society of the United States estimates that 3-4 million dogs and cats are euthanized every year in the United States. Please keep pups like Delilah in mind and help wherever you can. Encourage those you know who are looking to adopt a dog or cat to rescue one from animal control or one of the many fine rescue groups in our area. Support groups like Oakland Pet Advocates, who are working to convince animal control departments in our area to abandon outdated euthanasia policies (www.oaklandpetadvocates.org ). Donate $5 next time you are asked at the pet store, and help these and other fine animal rescues, who are educating people regarding alternatives to dealing with our unwanted pet population and finding homes for the millions of animals who are currently alone:
This Thanksgiving, among all of the other wonderful blessings in my life, I will be particularly thankful for the kindness of Alicia, Chris, Last Day Dog Rescue, and all those who give a voice to the voiceless.