I am writing this blog as I think of the sweet pitbull we had to take to the Peninsula Humane Society this morning. My friend found “King”, as I have named him as of now, wandering around her apartment complex in Pacifica as she was walking her own dog. Here is what her Facebook update said:
“PACIFICA RESIDENTS I found this pitbull at our complex this morning. Very sweet playful grey male pit with a collar, but no tags.
Managed to corral him in our apartments dog park, but spca can’t get here until 2pm and our maintenance man is very anti-pitbull and threatening to let him loose. I overheard him say to the spca he was going to let him out and whatever happens happens.
Please share and spread the word so we can hopefully reach his owner or come and get him before he’s let loose to run the streets.”
She had to leave soon and “King” followed her into the enclosed dog park area in her complex as the maintenance man came by. They spoke briefly as she was in a hurry and the man told her that he would let it loose from the enclosure. She even heard him speaking to the Humane Society threatening to let King loose and “whatever happens, happens.” I COULD NOT BELIEVE THAT!! My friend Qiana acted fast and took photos of “King” and posted an update about what just happened. Luckily, I only live over the hill from her and drove down to find “King”.
When we got there a young man in his early 20’s was in the enclosure and as we drove up we were already talking with my head out the window asking if it was his dog. He said no and I explained to him that the maintenance man doesn’t want the dog on the property. The young man points in the direction of a man approaching and says, “Yah, that’s him.” The man was walking up with a rope and as soon as the young man stepped out of the enclosure the maintenance man quickly started to rope the fence door closed as an added barrier so “King” couldn’t escape. The man seemed to want to have NOTHING to do with the dog.
King was very sweet but clearly stressed. The young man brought back a bowl with some water and I took my water bottle out of the car and would refill it through the slats in the fencing. My 11 year old daughter and I were petting “King” through the fence and trying to give him love as he was scared. My daughter and I were talking about how well cared for he was because he was in great shape, trimmed nails, and had a collar but unfortunately with no tags. The maintenance man overheard us talking and he interjected with, “Well! He can’t be THAT well cared for if he is out here endangering people AND himself!!!” I said, “Sir, as a pitbull owner this dog here is a sweet dog. Sometimes dogs can get loose and not because the owner did it intentionally.” The man did not respond to me and I was quite happy as he walked back to his car and just watched us from 15 feet away.
I called the Peninsula Humane Society for an ETA. It was only 9:30 in the morning and they were due to be there to get “King” at 2pm. I felt I couldn’t leave “King” there as I really felt he was in danger and that the maintenance man was going to let him loose after I left. (Qiana felt the same thing before she left for work.) He seemed to be anti-pitbull. I felt irritated by him but he, like most people, may have been affected by the negative stigma these poor dogs have to endure. When I was speaking to the Peninsula Humane Society I made sure to speak loud enough so the maintenance man could hear me from the “safety” of his own car that had the window rolled down. He heard me say, “I just want to get the dog out of here. He is stressed out. I will try and get him in my car to bring down there.” I hung up the phone and told the maintenance man that I was not going to wait any longer for the shelter to pick “King” up and will take him down myself. I passed by his car window and said, “I’m getting my leash! He’s coming with me.”
My daughter undid the knot from the rope on the fence door and I went in and leashed him up. He was very strong. I would estimate him to be at least 80-90 lbs. He was beautiful with a big block head and so very gentle. He was happy to come with us and literally jumped right into my car! I knew from that action that he was used to car rides! My daughter jumped into the passenger seat and was petting him and giving him love trying to calm him down. He was heavily panting from being so nervous. We pulled away and headed to the shelter. By the time we got there his legs were shaking slightly. I got him out and he peed immediately and we approached the “after hours” area to drop off animals and it didn’t’ look inviting at all. It is great that the shelter has this option but I didn’t want to leave him there. He was sniffing around and he could hear the other dogs barking. I couldn’t bear to put him in one of those double sided kennels and I noticed a doorbell. My daughter rang it and a woman in scubs answered the door.
I introduced myself and told her the situation. She explained to me the process when animals are dropped off. Their owners have 4 days to claim them. If no comes to get the animal they will then undergo a medical and behavioral assessment. They do not adopt out dogs with cancer or diabetes or those that show any form of aggression. If a dog doesn’t pass those tests then they will be put down as they are considered unadoptable. I asked her how many Pitbulls they had in the shelter right now and she replied with 56!! Most shelters in our area are filled with Pitbulls and Chihuahuas.
As we prepared to surrender “our King” we had our moment. I hugged him and petted him to let him know he was loved. He sat beside me and although nervous stayed by me. I looked in his eyes and told him everything was going to be ok while petting him and holding him tight. He licked my face as if to say thank you. My daughter was taking photos and petted him as well and gave him hugs and I held him because I think he weighed more than her! Lol.
As we watched “our” gentle giant walk through the door he glanced back at us and walked over to us again. We petted him again and then he walked through the door and the woman closed the door behind her. My daughter and I took about 4 steps towards the car and she said, “MOMMY!! I DIDN’T WANT TO LEAVE HIM!! THIS IS SO SAD!! I DON’T WANT TO LEAVE HIM HERE!” As tears streamed down her face I held her and told her that he was a well cared for dog and that his owner will be looking for him and we did the right thing. I told her that maybe, for whatever reason, if his human doesn’t come for him than maybe we can step in and take him home. Her eyes lit up and we sat in the car for an hour and waited for the office to open so we can fill out a potential adopter form. We will be the first people they will contact if “King” ends up in the adoption zone. In the meantime we continue to pray that his owners that must surely miss him be reunited with this sweet boy. He really is a great dog!!!
Pitbulls are the most euthanized breed in the country!! These dogs are so misunderstood mainly because of the horrible humans that have not been responsible owners and put the dog in danger. Please take time to visit a shelter near you and volunteer and get a first hand experience with this breed. I promise you, if you are currently afraid of Pitbulls, a meet and greet with one will change your view.