Yesterday, at about 6pm, I received a message, asking me if I would help this adorable puppy pictured here. She was apparently 4 months old and started having seizures. The hard part of the information was she lived with a breeder. The breeder didn’t want her…you can’t use a dog with seizures. During the seizures she was urinating, which is pretty common. So, they put her in a wire pen in the grass in their backyard and left her there. It was in the 50s yesterday evening and the sun had gone down and the ground was wet from a day of rain. I could not stand the thought of her being outside over night but I wasn’t overly worried about seizures because we have had a lot of dogs with seizure disorders, although not quite that young.
Todd and I got in the truck and drove 3 hours to get her. She apparently had a seizure right before I picked her up. The volunteer that got her from the breeder said that she looked lifeless and was laying in the grass. She was in much worse shape than I thought she was going to be. She was lethargic and laid on her side, seemingly unable to hold herself up and her little tongue was poking out. I knew that she was going to need to head to the emergency room. She had 3 seizures during our drive. We drove back to Richmond and I took her to the animal hospital. We arrived around 1am. I carried her into the ER wrapped in a blanket and they took her straight back to the back. That was the last time I saw her. They couldn’t control her seizures, her respiratory system started failing and a few hours later she had passed. This was the only picture we have of her from when she was in our care.
This whole situation makes me very mad. In finding out more about the “breeder” I learned that they are very wealthy and have plenty of resources to have treated this dog themselves. They are AKC registered and follow the letter of the law. The laws for dogs are so weak that this situation isn’t actually illegal. What seems cruel and inhumane to me, is legal. There is no law that mandates that you have to take your dog for medical care and there is no law against putting your dog in the backyard. She had her legally required shots and enough space and access to water. No one was physically abusing her and when I called the authorities today to talk more about it, basically there was nothing to be done.
I tell people all the time that I prefer to adopt but if they insist on buying a dog to be very careful about the breeder that you select. Go to their home and see where they live and see where the dogs are kept that are used for breeding. Fathead came from a breeder and I didn’t do my due diligence at the time. I did see where the dogs live and I did see the nursery so I felt pretty good about it. I have stayed in touch with the breeder and see her getting medical treatment for her dogs and I know she wouldn’t have done this to a puppy. But I didn’t know that at the time of buying him and I don’t know how I could have found that out. I was lucky that Fathead came from a person who actually cares about the dogs. How do you find a reputable breeder??? AKC means nothing. The size or condition of the home means nothing. Basic shot records mean nothing. None of it means anything if they can carelessly throw out their puppy like a piece of trash to die in the yard alone.
This one has me really upset. Is it because I got very little sleep? Is it because I had to see through what the actual owner of this dog should have had the nerve to see through? Is it because I left this situation to come home to a house full of other dogs who need my help and care because their owners cast them off or threw them away? I don’t know what it is about today that makes this so much harder for me. Maybe I am just fed up. I get that for some people these are just dogs. Around the world we have wars, extreme poverty, violence, etc., so in the grand scheme of things, what is this puppy? But for me, I see it as the exact opposite. If people can’t show compassion to a defenseless, sick puppy. If they can’t have the decency to let her even die indoors. If we can’t show compassion to the smallest of us, then how are we ever going to address these bigger issues?
We have all of our dogs cremated for this rescue but we were going to have her cremated in a group cremation where we did not get back the ashes. But…that didn’t sit right with me so I had to change my mind. She is getting a private cremation. Her remains will be put in a beautiful wood box with her name on a metal plaque. She will come home to me and will join my other dogs who have passed away. I needed her to be wanted even in this last act. I couldn’t have her go her whole tiny life with no one wanting her, having no real home. So this is her home. We are her family and she will spend the rest of her days with us.
I will eventually stop crying about this. And I will move on to help more dogs. And I will encourage people to join me in writing their local/state/federal officials to strengthen the laws. But Luna and her story will always be with me. Hopefully it will make me stronger.
Love you LUNA!!