For the past couple of weeks I have been covering one of our contracted cities while their regular officer is anticipating the birth of her first child. It's a little different than how we do things in the county, but I'm liking it. It's a nice break from working in the shelter.
Yesterday I was at my first call to pick up a raccoon that had been hit by a car and was dragging himself around a business parking lot. After I got him loaded up I got a call for two loose dogs that were reportedly trying to break though the CP's (calling party) fence. I was about 20 minutes away.
I was headed there when I got another call that the two dogs had broken through a fence and were fighting with another dog. This was from a different address than the original CP.
I arrived at the address for the second call. I was approached by a neighbor who said she was the one who called. She lived behind the dog owner's house and she heard the fighting. He son looked over the fence and saw two strange dogs fighting with the dog that lives there.
I went to the gate and didn't hear anything. I noticed that the porch light was still on. I heard the neighbor say she already knocked and nobody answered the door. I banged on the gate to see if the dogs reacted. No sound. I pushed the gate open half expecting to have dogs charging towards me. Nothing. I entered the backyard and closed the gate behind me calling to dogs. Any dogs. I saw the hole in the fence where the dogs had come through. It led back out to the huge field that the very first CP had reported the dogs had been running loose. I walked further into the yard. I saw the dog house and looked inside. Empty.
The landscaping bark next to the back door was strewn all over the lawn. The wall in the corner of the house was smeared with blood. But no sign of the dogs. i walked further back in the yard and back of the house. That was when I saw the dog, a Australian Cattle dog. He was laying shaking on the cement step in front of the bedroom slider. Blood was pooling under his neck and leg. He was wet and covered in blood and dirt. His eyes reflected fear and confusion. I approached him talking softly. When a dog is injured it can be unpredictable. He didn't move, just shivered. The neighbor's son poked his head over and asked if the dog was ok. I told it was pretty bad. I asked him if he knew who the owners were, did he know their name or a phone number. Nope. The dog didn't have a collar on either so no tags with phone numbers.
As I was heading back to my truck to get some dry towels to wrap the dog in I called dispatch. I had them check for owner information, phone numbers. Nothing. This is where one of the important reasons for licensing your pets comes in. Had we had current licensing, I would have at least a name and phone number for the owner. Usually with current licensing there is also an alternate phone number. I may even have a dog name. But right now I had nothing. The neighbors next door and across the street weren't even home so I couldn't get any information from them either. Before I left I posted a notice to the garage door for the owner to give me a call.
I told my dispatcher what the situation was and that I needed to transport this dog right away. She would let the medical staff know I was on my way. I wrapped the dog in the dry towels and carried him to my truck.
En route to the shelter I got a call back from Dispatch. I needed to take the dog to the ER Vet Hospital, we don't have a vet today. The ER vet is close to the shelter, so it wasn't too much out of the way.
I arrived at the ER vet and got him checked in. I told them what had happened and that this dog IS owned, but I didn't have any owner information. The vet staff want s to know how to proceed. In other words who is responsible for authorizing treatment ie: who's paying the bill. I told them again that there is an owner, we just haven't been able to get a hold of them yet. They gave him pain meds and the tech started shaving the fur around his wounds to see what they would be dealing with. Even she was commenting on how chewed up he was.
I left the ER and headed back to my area. I had other calls backing up. But the dogs that had done this were still on my mind. I finished a couple of calls on my way back to that neighborhood.
I drove around the neighborhoods surrounding the field that the dogs had been seen in and had made their escape through. No sign of them. I then went back to the street where it all started, where the original call came from. I spoke with the original CP. She told me that the dogs were two very big white pitbull looking dogs. she wasn't sure really what breed, as she has a pitbull herself, but they were big and both were white. She said the only thing that kept them back really was that she has two fences and even if they got through one they wouldn't get through the other. She also said that later she heard someone in the field calling dogs. She thinks it was the owner. I told her to give a call back if the dogs are loose again or if she finds out any information about who owns them. I gave her my card.
I went back to the injured dog owner's house to revise the notice with the vet hospital phone number. I noticed that the neighbors across the street where now home. I talked to them and found out the dog owner's name and that he usually gets home in a couple hours. I explained the situation to the neighbors and the gentleman remembered the logo on the side of the dog owner's work truck. He thought that the owner may be a manager or partial owner of the company. After a quick Internet search, we had the owner on the phone. He was truly concerned about his dog and i gave him the number for the vet and address. He would call them and head over there right away. the neighbors even said that the owner really cares a lot about his dog.
I don't know how the dog is doing, I got busy with other calls. I'm pretty sure that the dog will be ok.
That is one of the difficult things about this job is we don't always know the outcome of cases like this as we often don't have time to follow up.
As for the dogs that did this. Well, I'm going to keep a look out for them. If these dogs will break through new fence boards to get at another dog. they will probably do it again. Stay tuned.