Late this afternoon as I was just pulling into my home, my phone rang with a familiar name on the screen. Debbie Hines, friend and foster care coordinator. Her calls are frequent so I didn’t suspect anything abnormal and certainly the arrival of puppies at the shelter needing a foster was nothing unusual. Especially considering my only foster puppy left this morning. It’s just fate that the day one leaves, others arrive needing me. Happens all the time. And it’s just as well as staying in the routine of daily puppy care keeps me in the puppy groove. If you can’t start your day cleaning up puppy poop you haven’t lived! Sure, I’ll take them! Debbie pretends to give me a choice but she and I both know that I won’t say “no”.
Shortly after, the puppies arrived. Debbie not only calls but she delivers…or at least to me since I’m on her way home. How’s that for service? Not unusual for me to come home to puppies or kittens waiting for me. Debbie delivers these little gifts even when I’m not home so it can be a fun surprise to arrive home and see what new babies I have acquired.
As we pulled each scared puppy from the warmth of the crate, I saw tiny scrawny, stomach bloated with worm filled puppies of who knows what breeding. They made short order of surveying their new home in the large kennel that sits in my warm cozy garage before jumping into the food bowl. They were obviously starving!
So my question, as it often is even though the answer is rarely reassuring was where did they come from? Debbie’s answer “a box at a bus stop.”
How after all these years and all the answers to that same question I can admit to being surprised or aghast but honestly, its frickin’ freezing outside, a wintery mix of rain and ice and temperatures forecasted to drop into the teens tonight. Who in their right mind would leave a box of starving puppies no older than 5 or 6 weeks in a box at a bus stop? That answer is easy. Sadly easy. Someone not in their right mind. Someone who doesn’t care. Someone who doesn’t have the wherewithal, or energy or speck of compassion to drive to our shelter and bring them to a safe place.
Why does this happen over and over again is a question I can’t answer. I assume that whoever chose this approach to ridding themselves of the burden of these sweet puppies thought dumping them at a bus stop would be easier than having to answer a few questions about where the puppies came from and why they weren’t wanted. Gosh, those are just too imposing of questions I guess.
Sure people feel guilty bringing animals to our shelter…any shelter. I’m sure some feel embarrassed. Some surely feel that they don’t want to have to deal with the staff who will need to know if the puppies belong to the person bringing them or if they were found (like in a box at a bus stop). Some are just looking for the easiest way out from under the responsibility.
All of that is disconcerting. But what’s more disturbing is that there is someone out there tonight who left those puppies there and doesn’t care one lick what happens to them. I don’t like living in a world where people like that exist. I really don’t.
These puppies are safe and warm and curled up in a pile now after having filled their bellies (not sure how they found any room in their bellies for food considering those same bellies are full of worms…which I’ll clean up tomorrow…happily.) I have no worries for them as we will find them homes for certain. And I’m extremely thankful and proud of our humane officer, Trish who saw the box as she drove by and on a return trip by a little while later saw the box still there and out of curiosity (and probably out of her sheer experience with too many such boxes) stopped to see what might be in that box. Even her experience couldn’t stop her from being a bit surprised by what she found. But thankfully it was Trish that drove by and found them when she did! They are lucky puppies and I’m lucky to have them and get to care for them until they are healthy enough to find homes forever.
While I make a concerted effort to not waste any of my energy dwelling on the negative and I sure am happy they are here with me, I’m going to allow myself to hope that someone is out there losing a little sleep for having been so heartless in leaving them in a box at a bus stop. I’d like to believe that possibly a sleepless night might cause them to think and act differently the next time they have such choices to make but I’m probably being naïve to do so…but I can hope can’t I? I have high hopes for these puppies regardless!
Update: Puppies did as expected and expelled a bunch of worms last night but are doing well today, active, eating, and alert. And to top it off I have added 4 more puppies to my foster ranks today. But this time they were brought all the way to the shelter, fat, sassy and dirty…but not left somewhere in a box or worse. I’m so greatly appreciative of the woman that brought them to us…so guess this has been a lesson for me too. While often I’m frustrated by people who show up with unwanted and unplanned for puppies BUT now I’m just going to be appreciative of the fact that didn’t dump them!
Categories: Animal Neglect and Abuse