I don’t even know how to start writing this post. Maybe I should start at the end.
There is no happy ending.
Here’s what happened – and it’s horrible.
Eight days ago, on Sunday morning, my family was at my parent’s house. They live in about 20 minutes from me in a nice family-oriented neighborhood. We were out front and my parents were complaining about their across-the-street-and-one-door-down-neighbor. The house is owned by a very old lady who lives in a nursing home, and for a few years, it was occupied by her irresponsible grandson. The house has been abandoned for some time. Basically, he trashed it and then moved out. The windows upstairs have been open for months. The bushes are overgrown. It smells.
My husband, Erik, got curious and he and my mom and my kids wandered over and strolled around the house. A few minutes later, they came SPRINTING back across the street, announcing “We have a problem.” My mother was holding back tears. I thought one of the kids had hurt themselves.
I sort of wish that had been the case.
They found a dog – a German Shepard mix – locked in an enclosed porch off the back of the house. It was without food and water, living in its own excrement, and gravely malnourished. It was obvious that it had been eating the fiberglass insulation which it had ripped out of the walls. We called the police and filed an animal control report. We also gave it water and a little bit of food through a rip in the screen (we were afraid to give it too much food after it had obviously been so long without any.) The worst part is that the dog never barked. The house is situated on a corner lot. So many dog lovers live on the adjacent blocks, and any one of them would have taken that dog in; fed and housed it until they could find a good home for it. Instead, this awful person just abandoned it there.
For eight days, there has been a neighborhood effort to feed the dog while we waited for animal control. I’ve been following up with the city twice a day, for eight days. Eventually, they filed a report. Eventually, they filed for a warrant to take the dog. And then Monday morning, the porch was unoccupied.
We have no idea where the dog is, other than knowing that the city didn’t take her. She was there Sunday evening. We hope that the owner came in the middle of the night (as he occasionally does,) opened the door and just let her out. We hope to find her, but we don’t know that we will.
It stormed here last night. The whole time, I wondered about that dog. If she’d found a place to hide. If she’d found something to eat. If she was scared of the thunder.
I’m angry. I’m angry and I’m sad and I am very, very tired.
I tried to do the right thing. I waited with decreasing patience for the city to come and rescue this abused dog. While I waited, I got increasingly upset about the whole situation. Sunday night pushed me over the edge. I am not just going to sit here and do nothing.
The unscratchable itch to do SOMETHING has led me to reach out to my author friends. I’m still getting donations together, but I can tell you this much. In a few weeks, there will be an on-line fundraiser for the Humane Society. Because the young adult author community rocks, you will all have the opportunity to bid on several absolutely AMAZING sets of signed books.
Actually “they rock ” doesn’t actually begin to describe the YA author community, because the winning bids? They’re going to be parlayed into even more money – more details forthcoming, but we have $1,000 in matching funds for the aggregate of the high bids from Carrie Ryan, author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth Trilogy, to be made as a donation to her local humane society. Additionally? Those winning bids? They’ll translate into volunteer hours that I’m ponying up for the Humane Society of Indianapolis.
I didn’t save this dog. I tried. I failed. I don’t know if I can get over that.
I do know that there are thousands of others out there just like her. I can save some of them. WE can save some of them. I hope the auction will do just that. Stay tuned for more details, and if you have a dog, give them an extra scratch today.