So if my diatribe about St. Louis’s general ass-backwards-ness upon learning that we had lost out on Ikea wasn’t loud enough or shaming enough, here’s take two.
Yesterday our little watchdog Shenanigan was at the front door as he always is, observing his little kingdom and occasionally barking at cats, dogs, squirrels, bikes and children.
So cute, so precious.
Then Shenanigan alerted me to a poor, skinny little collarless dog slinking down the sidewalk across from our house. Not so cute or precious anymore (as he should have been).
This guy bolted when he saw me but ran behind the neighbor’s house and ended up cornered by a fence. He was so scared he tucked his tail, laid down and wouldn’t make any eye contact with me. Even though he was so skinny, he wouldn’t eat the dog treats I had brought. At first. I gave him a little space and he finally came around. He figured out I just wanted to help him and he let me put a leash on him. So now it’s Thursday night at 6:30, Shenanigan is out of his mind barking at this dog and so we take him the Humane Society. There was no microchip but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the Humane Society no longer euthanizes unless it is a temperament issue. This guy was so sweet and easy-going that I know he will find a great home with people who will love and care for him.
However this is the 6th dog that JT and I have found with seemingly no one else to help it. That makes me sad for St. Louis. And mad. Our residents don’t always care about spaying or neutering. They don’t seem to have a problem with giving their family pet the boot when the going gets tough. Some of these animals are kept by a family but they are not pets — they are chained up in the backyard to be “guard dogs” although I’ve never quite figured out how they’re supposed to protect anything beyond the 8′ radius their chain extends.
During our time as foster parents for Stray Rescue we saw firsthand a lot of these issues and more. (You can read more about all our foster dogs here). Dogs that have had acid poured on them. So many dogs with gunshot wounds. Dogs with embedded collars. Sometimes I really hate people. So I’m going to say it again: St. Louis you can do better. Get it together, go out there and be somebody! Somebody who cares about animals.
To be fair, great strides in animal cruelty & abuse prosecution and prevention have been happening. St. Louis recently created a task force and now has a full time animal welfare officer. (See article/video here). But the fact that we have to have a task force kind of tells you the situation here in St. Louis.
So that’s the last of my ranting for the week. Go home, have a great weekend and give your pups a hug for me. Cheers – CT
I’m with you about chaining dogs in the backyard. It’s pointless and cruel. Our city has an ordinance against tying/chaining a dog in a yard, and I think it’s about high time every other city passed an ordinance like that.
I think there are ordinances about it in STL as well. The problem is that these ordinances are not always enforced. Hopefully by having a full-time animal cruelty officer now they will be. St. Louis has also proclaimed our pet owners to be “pet guardians” to try and change the language and actions of treating our animals like beings and not property.
Way to save a little furry life (again)! The more people become aware of these issues, instead of turning a blind eye, is the only hope for change.
Jess I wish you lived back in STL so we could have our Sunday volunteer times at the shelter again. That was so much fun. Remember when we thought someone broke in and all we had was Opal (giant white deaf pitbull), a bag of dog shit and a cell phone as our “weapons” against the intruder? I agree with you about people needing to look at this issue and really see it. It’s so easy to ignore and then not have to deal with. Thank god for Randy Grim.
You are such a good person Courtney! Keep up the great work my friend!
Thanks Erin — just think you were a part of the first one — Keith Richards! Doesn’t that seem like forever ago?
Thanks for posting this. In the past month I have seen to stray dogs and tried to help them but they ran away. It is nice to know others are helping as well!