Tuesday, December 07, 2010

sign of the times

A recent email:

Hi there,
I had the sad task of surrendering my Pitt bull mix Prada Jane to the Pinole Animal Shelter. I recently lost my home to foreclosure. I advertised on Craisglist, Facebook, and friends and family but could not find a home for Prada Jane. I am now concerned that she will be assessed as unsuitable for adoption because when I brought her in, she was shaking with fear. It was heartbreaking to have to do this.

Prada is by far the sweetest dog ever. Even my friends who are not fans of dogs, find themselves falling in love with her.

Prada's profile: Black and White Pitt Bull mix (not sure of the mix), 2+ years old, 65 pounds, Spayed in 2009
Responds to commands "sit", "lay down", wipe your feet, (stops at the mat on her way into the house), "pillow" (she goes to her pillow)

Thanks in advance for your time.


.... Yes, she's in our barn tonight. Although our hearts are still breaking for both the dog and her human .....

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for giving her a soft place to land. She is beautiful!

who wouda thunk it?? said...

I thank God right here and now that my home is secure and my happy dogs are sleeping in their beds. With tears in my eyes I read this post through several times.Donna and Tim, you are angels to so many! I hope Prada's owner is safe also, and on the road to recovery real soon

Anonymous said...

Bless your hearts....you guys are angels!

Happy Holidays!

Dianne said...

Thanks, that totally repays me for my contributions to The Barn. I have tears in my eyes, what a gift of light to start the holiday season. We see so many of these surrenders at WARL and we have stepped up our efforts to provide medical care to the pets of folks who have to make these kind of difficult decisions. My thoughts are with her owner as well.

Pauley James said...

Heartbreaking.........thank you for getting Prada Jane!

Joel said...

That's great that Prada is doing well, but unfortunately her situation is not unique.

When a stray or backyard dog comes to a shelter, often it's unfortunately the best deal he's ever had. Regular meals, a roof, and at least some human interaction. Although the shelter is not a long-term solution for any dog, a lot of strays improve at a shelter.

Different story for owner surrenders, who are very nervous and stressed due to their downturn in fortunes. They are much more likely to deteriorate at a kennel, and exhibit the classic "unadoptable" traits.

Anonymous said...

It is truly frightening in this economy to have dependents of any sort (pets, children, elderly parents, etc...). It is a blessing that BadRap is able to help in this instance. There are a lot of incredible people and organizations out there but the scores of people losing their homes or unable to put food on the table (or in the dog bowl) is growing at a pace that is unimaginable. May we all be inspired to help however we can, even in the smallest of ways, by observing all that BadRap and others are doing for each dog and person that they help. I'm continuously inspired after reading this blog, although it is simply heartbreaking and scares me terribly knowing that it doesn't take much of rough patch to knock the majority of us "middle class folk" into the same situation that Prada Jane's owner is in. Prayers are free and I'm sending mine up.

Linda said...

Thank God you took her. What a sweet girl. She's only one of many, but at least she's safe. I hope her human knows you have her?

Donna said...

Agreed 100% Joel.

In Prada's case, her kennel card read "Owner Surrender," which is somewhat misleading. Imagine how compelling it would be if shelters posted "Foreclosure" on all the cards of pets that lost their homes this way.

I regret not informing everyone in my post that - Yes - her owner knows that she's safe and was very grateful, as you can imagine.

And as promised, I pointed to a doggy bed and said, "Prada, go to your pillow," and she did just that. We'll use her known commands often as she settles in to give her some sense of consistency and familiarity in this upsetting time.

All we could think was, "What if this were MY dog?" Argh. It twists stomach knots to know how many Pradas are out there.

Anonymous said...

I'm SO glad you were able to take this girl and it's nice that you can feel sympathy for her former people as well. I, on the other hand, don't feel as much compassion for that woman. She left her dog at the Pinole shelter, where her chances of getting adopted and out were practically nil. Would this woman ditch one of her kids when times got rough? I would sleep in my car before I'd ever let one of my dogs go. I'm committed to them, for life, not only because I love them but because I'm the only safety net they have in this world.

Leslie-Ukiah said...

I am only a volunteer and do not work full time at a shelter, but I deal with a lot of owner surrenders. I used to have so much anger with people "throwing away" their dogs. Those people still do exist, but far more are people like Prada's owners that loved their dog and had no other options. I had a mini meltdown this summer, not because of the overwhelm at the number of dogs, but because I just could not take one more grown man holding their dogs in their arms and sobbing as they had to surrender them. It's easier on us to hate the people, but you can only feel these people's pain and it gets very overwhelming. It is a shame that more landlords did not step up in this economy and start accepting pets. They could have really made a difference in this disaster.

LilliGirl said...

:*( I'm so glad you are there for her.

Diane said...

OH my gosh! The waterworks started before I got to the part that says "she's in our barn tonight". I need to learn to read faster!

Best wishes to Prada's owner for better times in 2011. Rest assured she will be loved and well cared for.

Anonymous said...

Now that was a sad story with a happy ending! Thank you guys for taking this very lucky dog in! I am sure her owner is more than extremely grateful.

Meredeth said...

So very glad her owner had the foresight to contact you and that you went down there and got her. What a sad situation for all involved. Definitely teary-eyed over this one. I hope both Prada and her owner land on their feet real soon.

Joel said...

Donna, there is a pittie at the Berkeley shelter right now that is an owner surrender, but we've noted on her card that she has been surrendered because the couple apparently are getting a divorce.

She's a little pudgy, either the couple spoiled her or they were too busy fighting to walk her. But she seems to be doing OK in the shelter so far.

It's unfair, but an owner surrender often is networked harder because those dogs usually don't sustain their mental health in the shelter for very long. So a dog that used to be in a home gets more attention than a dog that's never had a home.

My wife and I have two dogs. One of them might do OK in a shelter. The other one would have a nervous breakdown after about a half hour.

Anonymous said...

That barn is worth its weight in gold....as are your and Tim's hearts.

Thank you for finding room for one more little angel.

Too bad you couldn't have built a bigger barn.

s&b/mty

Samantha Laine said...

Grandmother Earth and Grandfather sky be with Prada Jane and her Mom.

Love-A-Bull said...

This breaks my heart. The thought of giving up my dog kills me and thinking about him waiting for me to come back makes me want to cry.

I can't imagine having to do this. Unfortunatly this sort of thing happens all the time and most of the dogs are not so lucky as Prada.

-- Sarah and Blackie (safe and sound in a warm home...thank dog)
www.iloveabull.com

Dianne said...

@Joel and all, let me tell you a sad story with a happy ending. We had an older (8 yo) pittie mix surrendered to us because the man's mother tried to poison her. She was so depressed we weren't sure she was going to make it. I took her to an adoption event and had to bring her back to the shelter because she panted the whole time, and had cut her lip on the way over in the van and wouldn't stop bleeding. Of course, the staff and volunteers all fawned over her, and eventually she settled into her skin. She's now in her forever home. Fortunately we had the resources to give her the time she needed.

Tina Clark said...

I can only to imagine the feeling of having to give up your dog. I'm so glad that Prada is safe with you, and that her guardian knows this. I recently met a man who was surrendering his dog at a shelter and he was in tears. I kept track of the dog, networked her, and she was adopted, but I deeply regret not getting the man's contact information so I could tell him she was safe.

Doc Sinister said...

Thank you for saving her.

Anonymous said...

Thank-You Badrap,looks like Santa worked his magic a bit early,,,Blessed you are Pranda Jane, ,,,and if your out there reading this blog,,,HUGE hugs to you, Prada's Mom. Know she is safe and in good hands.

Millie - Ft Myers, Fl said...

And I just read an article about not being so judgmental...but, I'm sorry, I have to agree with anonymous, especially since my husband and I went thru our own foreclosure last year. We have 2 AmStaffs and 3 pit mixes (all rescues) and with 5 dogs let me tell you it was difficult to find a rental, but we did it and giving our dogs away was NEVER an option. Thank you for saving this girl, and I have no doubt that SAVE is definitely the word. Bless you

Clare said...

People don't realize how strong self-preservation is in dogs. Our white pit bull Clare lets us know if she isn't tucked in correctly at night; God forbid she should ever find herself in a shelter. However, we don't know the stresses others are going through and what is do-able for one person is absolutely impossible for another. Thank God for Bad Rap and all the kind people who make their work possible.

Kirsten said...

Thank goodness she's with you guys now. That story broke my heart. x

The Foster Lady said...

I have a foster elderbull here, Nino, 10 years old, pulled from Manhattan ACC in August because his family had fallen on hard times and had to go to public housing, where dogs over 40 lbs are not allowed. Lucky for Nino, he was pulled; even luckier that I found an adopter for a 10 year old dog who will be going to his new home after Christmas.

What would I do if this were me? I lost my job two years ago (now working again) and spent some serious time thinking about moving to upstate PA to a trailer with my dogs and living on cat food with my early Social Security check as my only means of living out my life. Sad to sad, some people would not even have that!!!!

Judge not.....but I would probably put my own dogs down before ever taking to a shelter.

You are right Diane...I'm so proud of my contribution to The Barn. Wish there were more 'Barns'.

T2 - My life with pit bulls said...

Thank you for taking a little of the bleakness out of this world for the dogs you help and those who love them. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I am afraid I have to agree with the 2 people who aren't all that sympathetic to the people - where there's a will, there's a way. Dogs are family. They suffer as badly as your six year old child would.

I was unemployed when I ended up with a foster dog who was going to be killed. I pretty much lived in a garage for six weeks until I found a place that would take her, and then I moved.

Now the foster dog is in a good home where she belongs, I have an amazing job and no regrets. I would have lived in my car too if I had to. With my own dogs years ago I know I would have lived on the streets with them unless I found someone directly who could care for them properly.

It can be done. That's all.

Donna said...

I want to point out that Prada's person tried everything we would've suggested, but was faced with being turned out on the streets.

I personally don't think it's realistic to ask people to live in their car or a garage so they can keep their dog(s). Maybe if you're young, childless, healthy/strong, and have a network of support - sure.

But so many people going through foreclosure have to think about their childrens' well-being, as well as maintaining their personal hygiene so they can hold down their jobs and get back on their feet.

The multitude of individual stories and challenges are endless. People are struggling with high anxiety and depression, rejection, shame. To say "Now you should live in your car and make it work for you and your family" is too much of a stretch. IMO we have to extend our compassion to people in many of these situations or the dogs have taught us nothing.

tmom said...

I disagree. My dogs ARE my children and, just like most mothers, giving them up is not an option.

Kirstan said...

We took one under much the same situation recently - she did not hit he shelter first - I took her immediately after verifying the story. Mom, 5 kids, living in a Habitat for Humanity home and buying it - was homeless. Took this puppy from a yard known locally for 'dog shows' (um, no not 'shows' but 'matches'). Vaccinated, fully socialized, bombproof. She is blue and, at the time, unspayed. The woman did NOT sell her or list her on CL but begged and pleaded for help with her as she had an insurance agent (thanks neighbor) on his way out to 'see the place'. We took her and keep in touch with her owner and kids. They will prove to be integral in all of our combined efforts to end this type of horrible situation for owners and dogs forced to separate. Thanks for taking Prada.

Donna said...

thanks for this news Kirstan.

the foreclosure cases seem to be bringing us closer to the realities these dogs face than ever before.

Prada's person has written to ask if "it's appropriate" to ask for an update on her progress. of course it's okay. she's fine .. misses her people it seems, although seems to be forgetting about looking for them ... still goes to her pillow when asked .. may have found a new family.

all of it - so damn bittersweet.