Dogs Rescue Mission
How a dog catcher’s indifference towards the abuse of stray dogs shattered my faith.
THE DOG CATCHER’S SHRUG
How I chased down a dog catcher’s van and rescued six frightened dogs that were going to their deaths.
A VAN FULL OF FRIGHTENED DOGS
After witnessing a tiny stray fighting to break free from a catch pole, I chased down the dog catcher’s van and rescued six terrified strays going to their deaths.
CHASING THE “DEATH” VAN
One morning, as I was walking to the shelter, I saw a tiny stray being dragged by the collar with a catch pole.
I started to run towards the van, yelling at the catcher to stop, but he just ignored me. The dog was struggling and fighting to break free, but the catcher threw him into the back of his van like a sack of potatoes.
I could hear the whimpers and cries as I ran.
The catcher saw me and just got into his van and started driving away. I desperately picked up a rock and threw it at the van hoping he will stop and confront me. He did.
“What you’re doing is inhumane,” I said
“They’re just dirty dogs,” he said. “We’re going to put them out of their misery. You think they want to live?“
The catcher was a tall, brusque man who could overpower any dog — especially a weak and skinny street dog. It was an unfair fight. He accosted me in a raging fury because of the rock, and I admit I was frightened.
Then I heard the dogs crying in the van, and my fear turned into anger. The catcher was shocked.
“What you’re doing is inhumane,” I said.
He insulted me and said I had no right to stop him.
“They’re just dirty dogs,” he said. “We’re going to put them out of their misery. How is that inhumane? You think they want to live?”
He threatened me and walked away. But I jumped in front of him, opened his door, and removed the keys. He tried to snatch the keys from me, but I yelled. There was nobody around — only a farm house a few meters away. He backed away.
I called Marian and told him to bring our van right away. The catcher threatened to open the door and let the dogs loose, but I stood in front of the door and refused to move.
When Marian arrived, we opened the door and there were six dogs shaking violently with fear. They were lying with their heads and ears down, and looking at us with terrified eyes that said “Please, don’t hurt us.”
The tiny stray I had seen had an injured neck from the catch pole. He was whimpering in pain and bleeding around his neck. I picked him up gently and showed the injured neck to the catcher.
“Is this how you treat a defenseless animal that probably hasn’t eaten or drank water in days?” I said, with tears flowing down my cheeks.
The catcher just shrugged his shoulders.
We hurried the dogs to our REX Clinic where our veterinarian attended to the injured dog immediately. He had to be given anesthesia because he was in too much pain. Fortunately, he made a full recovery.
I had read many horror stories about dog catchers and public pounds, and I’ve lead protests and petitions against their brutal tactics, but I had never confronted one in the act.
Even though we saved six dogs, it was a frightening and heartbreaking experience that has shattered my faith in my ability to change the way people treat stray dogs. I guess all I can do is continue saving them from the streets and public pounds.
Sadly, dogs are better off on the streets than in a public pound in Romania — probably any pound.
That day we saved six dogs from spending days in an overcrowded and filthy pound where they are starved, neglected, and abused.
It puzzles me how anyone could take pleasure in hurting a defenseless animal — especially one awaiting execution.
These dogs are homeless animals that struggle each day to find food and shelter. They live a lonely existence filled with pain and suffering. They are tragic.
Why hurt such an animal?
Why aren’t they shown more compassion? Why don’t people want to help them?
I may never get answers, and I may never prevent another dog catcher from hurting another stray dog.
But I can keep rescuing them, feeding them, giving them shelter and medicine, and I can find them a good home with a loving family. I can continue to fight to have these horrific pounds closed and renovated.
And that’s exactly what I intend to do.