Update on the rescue of 48 dogs

Many of you that shop in our store have been following the story of 48 dogs that were seized near the Gorge from a “breeder” who was not giving them food or water. In a perfect example of why you should never buy a dog off the internet, this woman had a beautiful website showing glossy well muscled dogs, living in a family setting. In reality, a mixture of 48 dobermans, rottweilers and shepherds were living in a terribly neglected state, some living in such confinement that they couldn’t stand up or walk properly. They were emaciated and dying. There were injured lactating females with no puppies…
Our friend and longtime Green Dog customer, Bobbi,  has her own small dog rescue (recently becoming a nonprofit org), as well as being involved with Dogs of the Gorge, a small nonprofit that helps to support the efforts of the tiny shelter in Goldendale Wa. When these dogs were seized, they went to the Goldendale shelter, which comfortably houses about 15 dogs. With 48 more, in desperate shape, their situation was dire.

These animals could legally be fostered, but could not be adopted, or even transferred to other shelters as the seizure was involuntary and the court case had not yet been decided against her. We did the best we could to rally donations at our register and through Facebook and by trying to get the word out to other rescue groups that foster situations were badly needed (one of these organizations made a generous donation of $$ to have them all spayed and neutered). We donated more than 600 lbs of food and 20lbs biscuits, as well as a variety of donated items from our great customers who dug out old stainless steel bowls, beds, shampoo, etc to help out, and a few that donated bags of food.  I believe we raised over $1000 at the register (thank you to everyone that chucked your change in there – it really added up, combined with a very generous $500 donation from one of our regular customers!). Meanwhile, the owner had hired a lawyer to try and get the dogs back (!) and we eagerly awaited the decision. The good news is, the case was decided against her, so the dogs can now be adopted out.

Here’s an excellent update from our friend Bobbi:

In follow up to the 48 dog rescue…….. thanks to the outpouring of donations, due in large part to Green Dog’s connections, networking and their devoted customers, the dogs have received the care, food and attention that they so desperately needed.  Many of the dogs were placed in foster homes and most of those foster parents have adopted the dogs into their forever homes.  There are approximately a dozen dogs still available for adoption.

Of the 48, there were two more challenging dogs that I’ve brought into my pack at home, for rehabilitation.  There was a small white female shepherd, who upon arrival could barely walk, due to severe muscle atrophy of her hips/back leg….. I assume from a life spent crated.  She refused all human interaction, running and hiding in fear.  When a lead was placed, she would attempt to escape at all cost, even if it meant choking herself to pull away from the human.   After 24 hrs at my place,  with one of my “therapy” dogs, I discovered that this shepherd is a puppy, likely not more than 12-18mths old.  “Shimmer’s” been with us for 5 wks now, and is fully integrated into the pack.  She is a hilarious goof-ball…… full of play, personality, attention to her human and endearing affection.  She is entirely off lead now and acutely responsive to verbal ques.  While she is beauty from the inside out, gaining weight and pain free, she will need lifelong supplements to preserve her bone and cartilage integrity.  Her spine appears more level and aligned all the time, however there is obvious deficit that is noted when she runs…..the hind legs moving in unison, like a bunny hop.  It doesn’t slow her down nor infringe on her delight of being.

The second dog, a female doberman, between 2 & 3 yrs old, was labelled a “human aggressor” upon arrival and after a couple of weeks at the shelter, she was still considered a high bite risk and potential  liability.   I named her Angel, in an attempt to shed the negative connotations.  This dog struck me as a forgotten one, left behind who had withdrawn into fear and emotionally shut down.  After a couple of sessions with her at the shelter, she was accepting my touch, but with apprehension.   It was as if she’d lost consciousness with how to be in a body …. always statuesque, stiff and catatonic-like, when not cowering in a corner aggressing at human approach.  I transported her to my place for rehab approx 3-4wks ago.  It’s been a gift to gain this girl’s trust and watch her awareness open up and her life unfold.  She’s quite the athlete, hiking and running by my side.  Her internal battle between fear and courage was so tangible, as she’d waffle back and forth, but she made daily strides in her progress.  An unexpected derailment occurred in her rehab with me.  She’d been spayed on Monday, 8/23/10 and by the following Friday she was hemorrhaging to death internally, not from any surgical complication but from Von Willbrandt’s disease.  In simplistic terms, it is a congenital bleeding disorder, akin to hemophillia.  Dobermans have a propensity for this disease and it’s usually discovered when they have surgery (spay) or suffer trauma.  I live in the foothills of Mt Adams, so it became quickly apparent that a local veterinarian having the necessary supplies or surgical team if needed was out of the question at midnight.  I gave her fluids to buy us time, and drove her into Dove Lewis Emergency Hospital in Portland.  They suspected Von Willbrandt’s immediately, though were still not certain that they wouldn’t have to do surgery to find the source of the bleed.  They gave me two estimates:  $3000.00 at the least, and $7000.00 at the most.  They supported any decision, particularly since she’s a dog in rehab, that I’d only brought home a couple weeks earlier.  There was no decision…… she was my responsibility now, had given me her trust over the preceding weeks and up to this point, every human in her life had given up and quit on her in one way or another.  Learning from the veterinarian that beyond this crisis, she could lead a whole and healthy life, I asked them to proceed with transfusions of blood and clotting factor, and was grateful that I got approved for Care Credit as I waited in the hospital’s lobby.  She remained in ICU over the next 2 days and was discharged to me on day 3 with her blood counts holding.   Since this ordeal, Angel has broken through many barriers….. she’s tapped into relaxation and  joy, can’t get close enough to her human, has discovered toys and is learning to play with the pack.  While she still has a challenging  journey ahead in her on-going rehab, she’s been quite the inspiration, with amazing courage, and a sweet innocence.  As I can no longer put off the inevitable and apply for non-profit status for my own formal rescue, it’s name shall be “Angel Eyes Dog Rescue.”

What I want to express to you, by imparting Angel and Shimmer’s stories, is GRATITUDE.  Everyone who gifted these 48 dogs with food, money, treats, supplies, time or energy in any form is a part of their story, and a part of the turning point in each of their lives when humans no longer quit, but care.

2 Responses to “Update on the rescue of 48 dogs”

  1. Leigh

    I too would like to know the outcome. I have one of the dogs from this ‘breeder’. A rot that was a mere 65 lbs when I got him. He had an ear infection, tooth infection and an eye infection (and lost the vision in that eye). He was terrified of everything and everyone and even bit two people out of fear. He had no idea what a toy was and relieved himself wherever he may be standing. He is now very loving and happy. He’s 106 lbs and food is his favorite thing besides being loved on. He still has nightmares nightly but they seem less traumatizing than before. I just always wanted to know if that woman ever paid for this. Deplorable in every way. I’m glad I could help one.

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