With realities as they are, deciding which dogs to put to sleep - which pit bulls especially - is a daily chore that no one looks forward to in any open admission shelter. In Oakland, the decisions are usually made in the evening so the dogs can go to peace in the morning, altho' sometimes it can take days of exploring options. We've joined the staff with some of this burden and it's a responsibility that weighs heavy. Some of the questions that need to be answered: How many pit bulls are in the kennels right now? (OAS keeps room for 13 adoptable pit bulls + five kennels for BR) How many new pit bulls are about to become city property once their stray holds end? How many do we think we can place this week? Can this dog's health or behavior issues be resolved in a shelter setting? Do we have a foster home?...a spot for a compassion hold?
It's easiest when decisions are cut and dry; harder when the dogs are what we call 'grey area dogs' ... meaning, they're not the strongest ambassadors due to minor behavior or health issues or both. The gray area dogs keep me awake at night rolling over every possible possibility we can invent....And in the meantime, more and more dogs & pups keep coming in the door.
This little girl was a very gray dog for more reasons than her coat color: A bad knee. She's probably going to blow one (crap. or both), and need an expensive surgery. That's an easy one - She needs to make room for the healthier dogs that are coming in. But, I can't do it. I mean, lookit her. Sometimes you just need to wait a day or three, and let Fate have a say....
...So, an email comes in yesterday marked "URGENT!"... A fan of the breed all the way in NYC wants to help a needy shelter dog immediately, for a Christmas gift that's being presented today. Do we have any needy dogs that need a special sponsor?
Do we? and how.
Yes Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus. Meet Lolo, a wonderful girl with a wonky knee and a good friend who believes in the spirit of helping pit bulls, even those she's never met.