Last night we got a call from Suquamish that a dog was down. Our rescue is still listed in Kitsap County phone books
It was below freezing already, so he covered it up with wool blankets and called Kitsap Humane who told him not to move the dog and that they would pick it up. He waited for hours and realized that no one was coming.
I missed his original call and wasn’t going to call back but I figured if someone was calling so late it must be important. Thank God I did.
Turns out that Kitsap Humane told the police dept that they weren’t going to be able to get out there until the morning so the dog would’ve frozen to death if something wasn’t done for him quickly. Too bad that they didn’t tell the person who found him in the woods this.
Through the magic of Facebook networking I found that Suquamish Police had posted that a blind deaf 15 year old Dalmation had been lost on the 28th so I posted the contact info and Suquamish Police Chief Mike Lasnier and his men swung into action.
They sent officers to the owners home to keep them calm and Det. Sgt. Mark Williams and Sgt. Tom Nance went and picked up Freeway and brought him home.
Turns out the reason he wouldn’t walk is because he was blind and scared, and the reason he didn’t react to the elder who found him is he was deaf. He lost quite a bit of weight but he is happy at home now making up for a few lost meals.
For those of you who aren’t aware Suquamish is a tribal area and they are spiritually connected with the people, land and animals and they take great care to honor all of them.
Anyway, after that I have been getting calls all day about dogs out in the cold, most without shelter.
I have to tell you I can not just go onto someone’s property, that is against the law.
The best way to handle it is to call 911 and ask for Animal Control. If the dispatcher tries to tell you it is not an emergency ask if they would like to be tied up outside in freezing temperatures with no way to defend themselves and then ask to speak to their supervisor if they still refuse to comply. I would also suggest that you ask for their law degree or Bar # if they want to continue to analyze the law.
In my mind I can not think that someone would be so mean, cruel and ignorant to leave an animal outside with no shelter but it is happening right now as you read this. I’ve seen it many times.
Before you call though there are some things you need to keep in mind:
There are certain dogs who really really love to be outside, namely Snow Dogs: Huskys, Alaskan Malamutes, Anatolian Shepherds, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Chow Chows, German Shepherds, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, St Bernards, Samoyeds, Great Pyrenees, Karakachan Bear Dog, Kuvasz, Keeshonds, Newfoundlands, Norwegian Elkhounds, and Tibeten Mastiffs, just to name a few.
They were bred to be outside, and most likely will burrow into the ground or snow and be as happy as they can be, so know your breed before you make a call.
I would prefer they be kept inside but I have seen 2 of these breeds dig through an actual wall to get outside to play out in the snow, and I mean through the wall.
Then there are farm animals. Most are kept inside of barns or coops, and will do fine. Most owners who love and care for their animals will add extra heat sources, and extra blankets to take care of their animals. They also add extra feed and are very cautious during the colder times like this.
It is also harder to do anything about abuse to livestock since we have decided that “If we eat it, it has less value then our pampered pets” so the laws regarding their care make it nearly impossible to help them until they are frozen to death into the ground, unless the local authorities are trying to garner donations or have an axe to grind with a livestock owner.
I know I’m a big one for saying we shouldn’t anthropomorphize our animals, (yet I paint my dogs nails dress them up in ridiculous costumes and feed them with forks and spoons) but animals do suffer, they have fear, the ability to love and obviously they are wrapped in skin with nerve endings and are susceptible to the elements just as we are.
We make an “agreement” with them to care for them and tend to their needs once we bring them into our homes, and that agreement should be honored. If the owners won’t do it then you have a moral obligation to help them.