This is a curious place, this City of Dallas.
Overnight we got a notice about somebody in Pleasant Grove setting a puppy on fire and the City of Dallas Police looking for the bad guy or guys.
We also got a note from the City of Dallas Animal Services that, unless someone steps up, FIVE dogs might be killed today. Been at the shelter too long. Haven’t been adopted. System says kill ‘em to make room on death row for more healthy unwanted animals. [That's Tonka. He's NOT burned -- but he's just as threatened. More on him later.]
I’m no theological student of moral behavior, not a university professor paid to analyze human tendencies to do right or wrong, but, good grief, why work to save one when you’re also prepared to kill five? Or more? How do you square that?
In one part of town, it’s a horror that someone tries to kill a puppy; in another part of town there’s a whole system set up to bring unwanted animals into the “lab” and stick them with the Death Needle. People shrug and say, “Too bad” and go on with blissful, willing ignorance as the bodies stack up.
The reaction to the horror of one and the lack of a reaction to the horror of the other bewilders me.
Here’s the burned dog story. And, seriously, there’s a creep or two running loose in Pleasant Grove.
LOOKING FOR THE BAD GUYS: Dallas Police are looking for information in this case of a 4-month-old Lab-terrier puppy – about 9 p.m. on April 4 someone poured lighter flood onto the dog and set him on fire. The police say the bad guy or guys also tried to hang the dog after the attack.
[Larry aside: This would not seem to be the kind of person you want walking free in your neighborhood. If you know who did this to the dog, call the cops. Make the world safer.]
A news release from the Metroplex Animal Coalition and DFW Rescue Me says the dog is burned over 60 percent of his body. He’s been named “Justice” and 60 percent gives him some lousy odds. Many things can go wrong – infections, organ failure, etc.
The press release says, “When officers arrived on the scene, they found the puppy badly burned and hiding behind an air conditioning unit. Police contacted Dallas Animal Services, which in turn contacted DFW Rescue Me. A volunteer with the group immediately transported the puppy to an emergency clinic for treatment.”
The release quotes DFW Rescue Me President Jim Wenger as saying he’s “cautiously optimistic” that the young dog will survive. If Justice lives, he’ll need surgery to repair damage.
The puppy has been named Justice in honor of another Pleasant Grove dog who was set on fire – Justice and a female dog named Hope had to be euthanized after being set on fire on April 4, 2009 -- yes, the latest burning was on the anniversary. Jucory Davis and Lefferreio Sudds, then both 17, plead guilty to felony animal cruelty. Sudds got 4 years in state prison; Davis got 45 days and jail and 10 months probation.
You may also recall that in April, 2006, DeShawn Brown set the dog Mercy on fire in Carrollton. He got a 4-year prison sentence for felony animal cruelty.
DFW Rescue Me will need financial help paying for Justice’s treatment – go to www.dfwrescueme.org. The group will update Justices condition on its Facebook page, according to the news release.
ON THE BRINK OF DEATH: This dog is 5 months old – just about the same age as Justice. Nobody – that we know of -- has tried to hang him or burn him His name is Tonka and he’s a Pit mix.
He’s described by Dallas Animal Services as a “very gentle fellow who’s eager to please.”
That means, I guess, that later today when they get ready to kill him, he’ll probably help them by not struggling. He’ll perhaps be enjoying what he thinks is a loving petting on his head and shoulders when the sting of the needle surprises him.
I don’t know if they put the dogs up on an exam table to give them the needle, but he’ll probably be gleefully lifted onto it – he’ll be expecting a hug and a pet on the head but he probably won’t be expecting that sting of the needle.
Just like Justice didn’t expect the scary flames after the mean SOB poured lighter flood on him.
Tonka and four other dogs are VSP – Very Special Pet – animals on the death list for today at Dallas Animal Services. They’ve been at the shelter for 45 days and drawn no interest from potential adoptors in a city of 1.2 million people. (We were told about 20 minutes ago that Paws In The City had room to take 3 of those VSP dogs and some other group took a 4th dog. Tonka is the "left-behind" dog. They're getting the needle ready.)
If you’re interested in Tonka, or any animal at Dallas Animal Services (there are hundreds of them eligible for the needle), here are your contact points:
Adoptions or info: Catherine.firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or call 214-671-0249 or 214-670-8312. Rescue groups already know to contact Mark Cooper.
AND IN CARROLLTON: Suburbs aren’t immune to pressure. This morning, the note from CARE (Carrollton Animal Rescue Enterprise), reads, “HELP...We are getting desperate here. All 5 dogs are still in our shelter and no one has made an offer to pull one of them. Please if you have room, consider one of these great dogs. Many have pledged donations through Joe's Animal House. The shelter will have any of these 5 altered and rabies-vaccinated if a rescue pulls one. WE are over full with more than 70 dogs and cannot hold these great dogs any longer...Please Don't let this be their last day....If you can help call or email us.”
Yep, Death is having a gleeful day around here.
That smiling dog may be dead by sundown. Here name is Geneve. You may recall her from yesterday’s Readlarrypowell.com. Family moved and couldn’t take her, so they turned her over to the city shelter.
Call 972-466-3420, or email CARE@cityofcarrollton.com.
THE PRESSURE MOUNTS AND COLLIN COUNTY RESPONDS: We’ve featured Collin County Animal Services critters for some time. Last night we got a note from Collin County Animal Services volunteer coordinator Miranda Fick announcing that CCAS is running a two-hour special today to help empty some cages at the overcrowded shelter.
From 10 a.m. to noon today, you can adopt an animal for $25 – that fee includes spay/neuter, vaccinations and microchip.
MID-AFTERNOON UPDATE: The CCAS shelter continues to be full of dogs. More have been coming in, we're told. And the adoption special ahs been extended to 6 p.m. today. Follow things on Facebook HERE.
You can see the inventory by going to the Facebook page HERE.
Be interesting to see how many people scurried to the shelter for a 2-hour bargain adoption.
CONTEMPLATIONS: The contrast of trying to save one little puppy while lining up others to be killed has bummed me out considerably.
I’m concerned that the fact that this crime didn’t become public until a week after the crime – that may mean a forever-cold trail in the hunt for the creeps. Seriously, somebody in Pleasant Grove knows who did this. And surely they don’t want this kind of SOB wandering the neighborhood looking for another animal to abuse, or a kid to bully, or a door to kick in or a woman to assault or a kid or old man to knock around.
OK, I’m going to go think for a while. There may be a second edition of Readlarrypowell.com later today. And, you know, while the bad guys have to be stopped, so, too, do the good guys who are just following the system. It’s going to take a united community effort to stop the senseless killing in North Texas animal shelters.
Unless, of course, it’s just too much trouble for good people to unite against bad policies.
Where do you church-going people stand on the matter of “all creatures, great and small” getting the needle day after day at animal shelters? You in this thing at all? OK, I’m done. For a while.
I may have to start a church for animals and animal people. Not that I’m worthy, but, sheesh, something’s got to happen to help the helpless. That’s how desperate things are.
Help me off this soapbox before a board breaks and something snaps other than my brain.
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