A few weeks ago I transported a dog named Barkley to rescue out of New York City Animal Care and Control (NYCACC). He was seized by law enforcement; for what we are not privy to. He could have been present in a home where the occupant was arrested or taken when his owner was evicted.
Barkley was a beautiful older Dalmation who had not been cared for well. He was thin and bony with sores and growths all over him. Although he was nervous during his transport, he was wonderful in my car, quiet, and gently affectionate. When he got out of the car at Pets Alive he was so happy.
I had noticed on the way up that he had a cough, likely contracted at NYCACC. He didn’t cough often but when he did, it was a liquid cough that came from deep within – not a good sign. He immediately got the veterinary care he needed with aggressive treatment for an upper respiratory infection that had turned into pneumonia, but Barkley was an old man in poor physical shape and his illness had progressed quite far. Despite the best efforts at treatment from some of the most skilled medical personnel I know, he passed away last week from his illness.
It disturbs me incredibly that dogs in such extreme need of care – just basic, loving care and protection – lack for it in the shelters of my home city.
Today I met another dog who may be bound for the NYCACC here in New York City who I know won’t give her what she needs to get better. I don’t want to see her get sick and end up on the kill list, so I’m hoping that there is someone out there who can help this dog before she enters the shelter system. This is Blanca.
Blanca’s owners were having relationship issues and separated, with the wife taking custody of Blanca. To get revenge on her husband, who loves Blanca, she put Blanca in a kennel and starved her. Blanca is skin and bones and has sores on her hindquarters from being kept in a small crate.
The wife has since been arrested for animal cruelty and the husband has retaken possession of the dog. He is horrified by what has been done to her and is struggling to get her weight back up – but he has no permanent place to live and a child to take care of. For her own good he is trying to place Blanca with a new owner so that he can get his life back together. His dedication to his dog is such that he sleeps in his car with her, because she is not allowed where he and his child are living. All he wants is for her to be safe, but he can’t do what he’s doing for very much longer.
I met Blanca today and she is a fantastic dog. She is a spayed mixed-breed female, two years old. She was very friendly to me, a stranger, and licked my face. She let me touch her all over and handle her paws without problems. She has lived with young children and cats and really loves the company of kids. She likes and plays with most dogs. She knows some commands, loves to play, and loves tummy rubs from her favorite people. She is housebroken and crate trained. I was evaluating her hoping to take her in, but with six dogs in my studio apartment I didn’t think I could take her in without compromising the care of my own dogs – I have learned that 6 is just about my personal limit.
I know that there is someone out there for Blanca who can give her what she needs – a safe space to recover and put on some weight and be a happy young dog again. In her compromised physical condition I am afraid that if she enters the shelter, she will not make it out, another victim of he illness that pervades the shelter. Please help keep Blanca from becoming another NYCACC statistic and spread the word. I know there is someone out there who would love to give her a home. If that someone is you, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will put you in touch with the owner. I am willing to assist in any way I can. I have tremendous faith that New Yorkers can do for this dog what our shelter very likely will not.
UPDATE Thur, Sept 20 5pm: Blanca is still available and the situation is growing more desperate. Please help if you can.
UPDATE Sat, Sept 22 2pm: I have been trying to handle this by passing on offers to help to her owner, but that’s not working: her owner is overwhelmed. He’s working, trying to find a place to live, taking care of his young daughter, and sleeping in his car with his dog, so that is very understandable.
I am going to take possession of Blanca on Sunday night. I will be taking her for vetting first thing Monday morning (10:30 appt) and then trying to place her ASAP, as I currently have 6 dogs in my studio apartment and a landlord who is rather unhappy about it. I know she has lived with cats but I don’t know how she is with other dogs – looks like I’ll be finding out!
I have a few people interested and I am hopeful that I can place her quickly. Thank you all for caring about Blanca.