Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Warning for Small Dog Owners

I just wanted to let y'all know about something that happened in our neighborhood and hopefully prevent someone from having to go through a similar situation.

Over the weekend several of my neighbors discovered, to their horror, that somebody had opened their gates and their dogs were gone. At first we all just thought that some kids had probably done it, and that the dogs were probably running somewhere in the neighborhood.


But, search after search turned up nothing. Plus, it was odd that only the small dogs were missing, and one of the families actually had a lock on their gate - which was still intact - so someone would have had to have gone into the yard to let the dog out.

Anyhow, one of the families put up signs offering a reward for the return of their dog, which ended up being the exact right thing to do.


As it turns out, the dogs were all stolen by a group of teenagers who steal small dogs to sell to dog fighting rings as "bait dogs." Fortunately, one of the perpetrators had a girlfriend who was pissed off at him, and when she saw the flier with the reward offer, she decided to cash in.


What followed was a series of clandestine meetings in parks where all of the neighborhood dogs were returned (in exchange for some reward money.) One of the neighbors figured out where the dogs were being held and called the cops.


We all figured that would be the end of it, but apparently the police couldn't do anything because the teens claimed that they had found the dogs and were just waiting to take them to the animal shelter the next day.

Anyhow, my neighbors have decided that it's just too dangerous to let the dogs be out in the yard unsupervised anymore - I can't believe the world has come to this.


It just horrifies me! I can't imagine losing a beloved pet under those circumstances, and I'm soooo glad that all the dogs were returned.

Soooo... if you own a small dog, I guess the lesson here is to be careful!









30 comments :

  1. Ugh! I've heard about this before, and it just breaks my heart! I guess it's a good thing that our Boxer has separation anxiety and REFUSES to be left outside by herself. And the few times we have given her access to the yard when we were not home, she hopped our 6 foot cinder clock wall. So now she stays safely inside! As someone who has worked with animals and at shelters, I generally always recommend keeping your dog INDOORS unless to go potty or while you are relatively supervising. I've also heard many stories will sell those stolen dogs, especially purebreds. Pet owners, beware!

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    1. Wow! Jumping a 6 foot wall is impressive! I completely second the thought that animals should be kept indoors!

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  2. How unbelievably fortunate for the dogs & their caretakers. And, yes, supervision when outside is critical for small dogs. Not only theft, but I'm sure coyotes aren't far away from where you live. They will prey upon both small dogs & outside cats.

    The neighbors should contact the local shelter & if they won't pursue it, check with Best Friends, BAD RAP or HSUS. Let them know that the police refused to pursue this. Also, letters to the Editor of local papers or blogs about Pets in your area. Maybe even TV stations' news departments. Get the word out to as many people as possible. Those kids are likely to move to another area & the outcome may not be as fortunate for all involved.

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    1. Yup - we often have coyotes in our area, as well as foxes, raccoon, skunks, and even the occasional mountain lion or bear.

      Those are all most excellent suggestions in terms of spreading the word. I almost sent a notice to the local TV news tip line, but figured I should check with my neighbors first to make sure they were OK with it.

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  3. I just can't believe that! That's so outraging!

    I second the idea to write letters to editors of local papers. Also, if there are neighborhood watch groups that meet, I'd suggest making this an item on their agenda, both to keep an eye out for the future, but also to bring awareness to the parents of these teens.

    This just really angers me. I'm a parent of both teens and a young adult. I know when one of them is going off course. The parents of these kids "know" in their hearts that their kids are not goody two shoes. Until these kids are legal age, the parents are equally responsible for their kids' actions.

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    1. Well... to be honest, in this neighborhood there's a reasonably good chance that the parents could be drug runners or who knows what. OK... that's not fair - the vast majority of the people here are wonderful folks, but I do live in one of the poorest parts of Denver, so it wouldn't surprise me if the parents were up to no good too.

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  4. Seriously? Stories like this make me really, really hate people. Ugh. Sometimes I think we deserve the extinction we seem hell bent on creating.

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    1. Ha! Well, that is one way to look at it. A few years ago CatMan and I saw a documentary about dolphin slaughter in Japan and we both had very similar comments about the fate of humanity after viewing that!

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    2. The Cove in Taiji, Japan? Great & important film. The slaughter continues, unfortunately. BTW - someone or several someones are mutilating & killing dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico - shooting them, cutting off their flukes (tails) and cutting off their lower jaws. It's under investigation, but short of catching them in the act, nothing is going to happen to the bloodthirsty monsters doing this.

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    3. Yup, that was it. It's just horrifying what people are capable of.

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  5. bloody hell, poor little pooches, that's just awful.

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    1. I know... I'm just so glad it turned out OK.

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  6. There is no excuse for something as horrendous as this. I'm glad at least in this case everyone got their dogs back.

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    1. Me too. My poor next door neighbor was completely distraught. Since her husband passed away a few years back the dogs are literally her lifeline, and I just couldn't imagine what she was going through.

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  7. They don't just use dogs for this (any small animal is at risk, including kittens), although small dogs/puppies are probably the most common. In the areas in which dog fighting actually ocurrs in a medium to large city a lot of people will own pit bulls, because the people breeding them will sell "extra" ones. And people buy them in those areas for protection.

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    1. Denver actually has a pit bull ban, which I have mixed feelings about. It's not the fault of the dog that people breed them for fighting, and pits can be wonderful pets if properly cared for. But all too often you hear horror stories about aggressive dogs attacking people, and other animals. Anyhow, I think it's safe to say that the best course of action is to keep small pets inside!

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    2. My city hasn't enacted a pitbull ban, but it comes up every year or so. I've met/seen many pits that are good dogs. What annoys me is the news stories you see/hear of pits hurting/killing people are actually because of bad owners, not because of pits "natural" instincts. Example - do not leave any animal alone with a baby, no matter how well behaved. They are still animals, and not people.

      I know what area of my city dog fighting occurs because of the number of pits in the area. What really frustrates me is that local government of a mediumish city is unwilling to actually acknowledge the problem - they do have certain laws or codes that are obliquely related to dog fighting but never is it mentioned as an actual problem. If you want to get rid of drug trafficking, you need to get rid of dog/cock fighting and other illegal gambling also. And you also have to acknowledge all are related problems. (not discounting other things are related to drug trafficking, and not saying making drugs illegal is also morally right.)

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    3. Wow. To be honest, I haven't got a clue what our local laws are in terms of dog fighting. I guess I just figured it was a primitive activity that went out along with things like shooting entire herds of buffalo... apparently I am a tad bit naive in that assumption!

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    4. Did you miss the whole Michael Vick horror story? You should check out the website of BAD RAP, a pitty rescue & advocacy group in Oakland. They are awesome & helped rehab several of the Vick dogs.

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    5. I do remember the Michael Vick thing - I guess I just thought it was an isolated incident. I just can't wrap my brain around the entire concept... it's so hard for me to believe that there are really people out there who think this sort of thing is OK.

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    6. Well take that back. There IS a local ordinance that mentions dog fighting and bans it. Of course there are ordinances that basically outlaw TNR in my county too.

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  8. That's why people giving away "free" puppies or kittens need to ask questions of any prospective owners. If someone won't give up something as basic as a phone number, it's a bad sign.

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  9. People are just awful. It makes me so sad to think about all those dogs that did not have a happy ending, and all of the owners wondering where their pets are :(. it does seem a bit ridiculous that dogs can't be left outside unsupervised. Having said that, I don't think we've ever left my parent's collie unsupervised in the garden, more through fear of her escaping/accidentally being let loose than anything else. Also, she likes to be where people are, so is pretty permanently supervised!
    i'd never considered quite how many wild animals there are in the US to potentially harm pets! My cats are outdoor cats (and we have no dogs)...but the biggest wild animal we're likely to encounter is a fox, and that is relatively unlikely, as they are usually put of coming in to gardens where we are by the smell of dogs and humans (not so in the big cities, which have lots of urban foxes).

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    1. I think the wild animal thing depends a bit on where in the US you are. Here in Denver we are very close to the mountains and all of the wildlife that lives there. Plus, we have an extensive system of greenbelts along all of the rivers and streams which flow from said mountains directly into town... so it's sort of like a wildlife superhighway!

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    2. We hunted all of our big animals to extinction centuries ago...although beavers may be re-introduced. We still have deer, though, because they are edible and apparently fun to shoot... (Although lack of natural predators means they are now destroying moorland in Scotland...sigh..)

      So, although in principle it sounds really cool to have big predators etc near by to marvel at, I'd either a) be scared or b) forget to be cautious and get eaten...

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    3. Well, they are a mixed blessing to be sure, but the incidence of wild animal attacks is incredibly low. I think most of the argument for killing them comes from ranchers who don't want them killing their animals. But sanity seems to be winning in these parts. Actually there is much more wildlife in the city than there was when I was a kid. I'm not entirely sure if that's because people are more tolerant, or because we're disrupted so much of their natural habitat that they have no place else to go.

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  10. We haven't had too much trouble around here, dog fighting happens in the city, but out here there have been a string of attacks on horses. One was spray painted all over, the other was set on fire. There is little respect for life any more in some groups of people.

    When my boys were young I took them to the humane society to get a puppy. We picked out a black lab mix (I think every dog has lab in it nowadays). We weren't allowed to take the dog home because Halloween was the following week. Who takes two young children to pick out a family pet then makes it a sacrifice on Halloween?

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    1. Good lord... I just can't fathom the human who is capable of doing such things.

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    2. Local shelters here also don't adopt out black cats or dogs around Halloween.

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