*PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST* 1/26/08
There is a dog at Marshall Animal Shelter that desperately deserves a chance. Eva, the ACO at the Marshall Animal Shelter wrote her story below and it's so moving.
This is the story of Angel, a dog that I personally think has been sent here as a little earth angel to teach us about unconditional love and the power of that love when it comes to survival against all odds.
It's not too late for this sweet girl and you can help ...
Please take a few minutes to read Angel's story, and if you can help her, please contact Eva:
Marshall Animal Shelter
607 E End Blvd South
Marshall, TX 75670
Pics of Angel, both before and how she looks today have been inserted in and just below the story. This is what rescue is all about, please help save this sweet, deserving girl ...
SAVING ANGEL FROM HELL by Eva Sepulvado
Angel is a red and white pit bull dog, really not much more attractive or less attractive than any other pit bull in East Texas. While her life's story is probably not that different from a lot of pit bull dogs that enter this shelter â€“ one thing about Angel stands out â€“ her unfailing love even in the face of starvation, abandonment and abuse. Angel is not a quitter and a lesser dog would be dead.
I first saw Angel during a welfare check on Rusk Street in 2005. She was in the bathroom with her 'Bunny' her current owner, she was barely 11 months old, and already pushing out her first litter of puppies. I'm not sure if it was the joy of new life or the '$50 bucks' per puppy this woman was so overjoyed about â€“ but each new life that emerged from sweet Angels womb was greeted with giggles and glee. Angel was normally a chained dog. She was only in the house because the value of a dead puppy was zero â€“ and each investment had to be watched and inspected as it emerged. Shouts of 'it's a boy' or 'it's a girl' echoed through the old frame house. Seldom have I felt such revulsion for my fellow humans.
It was almost a year later that I again encountered Angel. Her and her 'pack' of 5 other pit bull dogs had been staked out at an empty house. By the looks of it â€“ the house was in an advanced state of neglect, but construction was underway with lumber, tools and material stacked on the front porch. I recognized a few of the dogs, including Angel, who wagged her tail furiously begging for affection and attention. We made contact with her owner who indicated they were 'fixing' up the house and intended to move into it. I urged caution in leaving these dogs unattended for any period of time, soon after the construction stopped and the dogs disappeared.
Most life events are unpredictable and complicated, Angel's life was no exception. Angel's owner was moving to Longview and asked her friend 'Kat' to watch Angel. She told Kat she would return in two weeks and get her. Six months later, when Bunny had not returned for her dog, Angel was voluntarily surrendered to the Marshall Animal Shelter, where Kat then adopted her. It looked like her life was turning around. While still living on a chain most of the time, she was spayed and had a person who appeared to care about her welfare.
It was October 2007 when I saw Angel again. She was easy to recognize, her face is split by red and white with one ear straight up and the other flopping over in mock protest. She is again wagging her tail in a furious rhythm happy and excited to have a human approach. Her new owner (who traded some drugs for her) has been shot and is not expected to live. The next of kin caring for the dogs wish to have them picked up to spare the family the difficulty of dealing with the dogs and the possible loss of their loved one. Angel and her pack mate, a large steel gray female, look good. While they still live on chains, they are well fed, friendly and - thankfully - unscarred.
I wish I could say this is the happy ending for this girl, but alas the story is not yet over. As it turns out the girlfriend of the shooting victim shows up and demands reclamation of the dogs. Animal Control Officers familiar with the situation ask her why she would want the additional burden; these dogs were friendly, gentle and would make excellent candidates for re-homing or rescue. She is insisted that her boyfriend is getting better and he wants her to get his dogs. Several phone calls later, the dogs were released to this woman. She was told the shelter would be glad to receive these dogs should she have any trouble caring for them, as we knew she has two children, a boyfriend in the hospital and was unemployed. She advised us she was sufficiently able to care for the dogs and that's what she would do.
Fast forward, December 18, 2007, the phone call came in about 1:30 pm, the caller reported that his neighbor had two dogs in her back yard, one appeared dead, and the other close to it. As with all calls from the public reporting suspected abuse or neglect of pets in the community, we prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Armed with cameras and clipboards we descended upon the location in question and sadly found the worst.
An adult grey pit bull dog was lying dead, still attached to a chain, in this back yard. The dog lay 12 feet away from where I stood, every rib bone, hip bone and each vertebrae was clearly evident. Chained to the back fence, lying on a crumble card board box was a red and white pit bull dog. No tail wagging, no barking â€“ Angel could barley raise her eyes to beg for help. I cannot describe the rage that filled me at that moment. Words would not come to my lips. Automatically I began processing the scene. Taking pictures and looking for evidence. Empty bowls turned over were scattered about, no evidence of food or water anywhere and only one dog house for two dogs â€“ which was completely void of hay or blankets providing only minimal protection at best.
Angel had become a skeleton, her ribs and hips protruded from her course, dehydrated hide, her eyes sunk scarily into her skull in a desperate attempt by her body to remain alive by converting every ounce of muscle and tissue into energy to keep her heart beating and her lungs breathing.
We took our pictures and we collected our statements and we picked up the dogs and presented them to our veterinarian. "Malnourished to death - 0/10" was his official cause of death for our grey dog, and sweet Angel was "Malnourished almost to death - 2/10".
How do you explain what drives people. How do you comprehend the willful negligence, over the course of 6 weeks, of just not feeding your dogs? In court tears will be shed, mercy will be begged for, leniency will be requested. When these cries are voiced â€“ I alone will stand and be the voice of the two left to die, at the end of chains, uncared for, no food, no water, no thought â€“ just left to starve for no reason, no excuse. Help was offered â€“ a way out was presented and was not received.
Sweet Angel is still with us. Her chain has been removed and she runs joyfully around her kennel. She wags her tail furiously when she sees us and leaps on the kennel door begging for affection and attention, both of which she receives regularly and plentifully. She does not remember the days of misery on the chain in the cold without food, or if she does- she has chosen to forgive humans for being so thoughtless. Angel is now in need of a permanent home. One where she can live chain free and be a lap dog, one where she will be fed daily and her needs will be met with kindness and love. Angel has been to hell â€“ we don't want to send her back.
*NOTE from Leanne / Denise: We understand from Eva that Angel is growing sad being at the shelter for so very long. Can you please help this sweet girl?
Here's how Angel looks today. Please call Eva ASAP at 903-935-4530
Transportation from Marshall can be provided if needed ... please help this beautiful sweet and loving dog ...