Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bobby and Andy



Now they've got names.

I wouldn't say they're warming up to people but they do seem more relaxed in their environment as long as no one gets too close to them. Three feet is safe. Any closer and their heads lower and they freeze and they're ready to bite.

A staffer got bit this morning.

They can't be collared so they can't be walked. Someone tried to get one outside with a catch pole but the pup was instantly in such fear and desperation that it twisted onto its back, struggling, and started bleeding out its nose.

So, now, when one soils its kennel, a staffer sets up the kennel directly across with water, blanket and treats. Then both kennel doors are opened. The pup, sniffing the treats, slowly walks out of his dirty kennel, but only if the person is well back away, and walks into the clean kennel with the treats.

I know at least for that moment, alone with its treats, the pup must be happy but I can't capture that happiness on my camera because the pup doesn't trust me and it especially doesn't trust my camera.

There has been some good news, though. One staffer was able to entice one of the pups to tentatively pull a treat out of her hand after she sat quietly and calmly outside its kennel door for a good long while. It's a small thing but it's a good sign.

There's a plan afoot at TAS to do something special with Bobby and Andy, to try to save them. Everyone is crossing their fingers that it'll work out. Hopefully, there will be some news about this by mid-week and I can spill the beans but until then, give a thought to Bobby and Andy when you say goodnight to your dogs tonight.

Continued here.


Ian said...

Sad but encouraging that they`re going to be given a chance.
Makes you wonder what happened to them at this young age that they`re so fearful.

Heather B said...

that staffer knows what she`s doing. Choose to Touch is a great way to start any `fraidy dog on its way to trusting humans again.
Good work. And keep going with these babies , please. They deserve a break.

Anonymous said...

Fred, thanks for that update on Bobby and Andy.

A pox on those who made these puppies so scared.

But bless those TAS staff that are trying to save them, especially the staffer that sat patiently, offering a treat. Paws crossed here that those little guys will be given a chance and that, one day soon, they will be able to go for a walk.

That, in itself, is a challenge, as volunteers and staffers come and go, and it may be hard for TAS to assign one person to win their trust and train them on leash.

Nowhere here am I reading that their reaction is any different from a fear-biter, say, from a puppy mill situation, that is not used to human interaction. My own senior dog could not handle boarding at the vet's, and requires home visits by trusted humans.

Looking forward with tentative hope to a TAS plan to normalize these little guys. Please let the staffers know we appreciate what they are doing.

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't want to be the negative one, but putting my heart aside, my head is saying these dogs should be humanely euthanized. There is no saying that their temperaments aren't at least in part inherited. These are big, powerful dogs. At best they would need an extremely experienced owner, for life, even if they do come around enough to adopt out.

I hope the plan works, I really do. But if it doesn't, then I would cut your losses and expend the energy on dogs that have a chance of fitting into society without the risk of seriously injuring someone.

Anonymous said...

As Ian noted in the next post (about Charlie), one person's trash may be another's treasure.

Probably not for a family with kids that wants a Golden (or a Portuguese Water Dog), but on the original thread, there are indications that these young fear-biters could be turned around and rehomed with the right person.

It would be interesting to know whether the THS rescues are related to these puppies.

Fred said...

redstarcafe, the pups were found a few blocks away from the location of the THS seizures. Can't make any promises but it seems likely they are the sons of the two adults.

Speaking of which, the male adult is now up for adoption from THS, unaltered. He's listed as a 6 year old Mastiff.

Heather B said...

Oh for heavens sake,
Why the hell would they let a dog go out the door without neutering him?
Is that their usual policy? And as for Anonymous` suggestion to kill these pups, I don`t think so Tim!!!
There is someone out here that can and will be able to `handle` these boys. If I didn`t have a house full already , I`d be in my van and on my way there to apply for either one of them. And I would adopt them for life, mine and theirs. Perhaps a large breed rescue has a spot to foster them.
Give your head a shake,A!

Fred said...

Heather B, if you can explain the thinking behind why THS would adopt out a rare breed dog without first neutering him, please let me know.

Cosset said...

Bobby and Andy are so lucky to be at TAS. I couldn't tell from your post if they are feral or were abused. Sometimes a good foster can work wonders in cases like these. At least TAS looks like a fairly low-stress environment for the dogs (unlike most shelters).

We all know that most other shelters would take the expedient approach voiced by Anonymous, which IMO is not the ethical approach. There's no reason these dogs won't come around in time.

Anonymous said...

The Sun article mentioned that the adult male from the THS bust suffered from recurrent nosebleeds.

Anonymous said...

Heather B. I don't know who Tim is, so ?. I'm only being realistic. Well, well, no room at your inn for these dogs? So let's hope "someone" will step up, since you can't. Yes, my head is shaking. Hopefully "someone" is jumping into their van to save these dogs, right now.

I hope I'm not reading about any people maimed by these dogs down the road, and cries for "breed bans" and stronger laws that hurt all of us. Not every single one can, or should, be saved and damn the consequences. It's about making responsible decisions. Hopefully "someone" will make the right decision, whatever that may be.

Anonymous said...


If these dogs are dangerous, it is *very* unethical to release them to the public.

You say there is "no reason these dogs won't come around in time". What exactly do you base that statement on? How could you possibly know that? I hope you're right, but it's much more likely that they won't come around enough to be adopted out. The reason being that there IS such a thing as dogs that are too far gone and/or have such bad temperaments for whatever reason that they are DANGEROUS, and the ethical thing for all concerned is humane euthanasia.

Big hearts are great, but not to think with. Are you stepping up to take them? Are you the "someone else" that will do it?

Fred said...

Okay, the temperature in the comments here is getting a bit warm and while I love a good discussion, I've seen too many on-line "discussions" go south too quickly so, to all who want to continue commenting, with respect please.

Anonymous said...

I've gotta think that, since that the fila portuguese/mastiffs that THS rescued and is now offering for adoption (the unaltered male, at least) may coincidentally be the parents of the puppies, there's gotta be a connection re: temperament. They look the same, they have nosebleeds, they were caught in the same neighbourhood. So, if THS can turn around the unaltered male, with no qualifications on the website as to temperament (you know, their colour system), how can the pups be unequivocally unadoptable and candidates for euthanasia according to our Anonymous poster?

If the pups were at THS, would they also be offered for adoption so soon (after a little socialization, of course). Or is Rocky the dad as solid as a Golden and ready to go home? Apparently so, since there's nothing on the website to indicate otherwise so I guess one would have to phone up to see...And what about the dam?

They could be totally unrelated, of course. I guess the 40-ish guy at Moutray Street could shed some light on the origin of the pups..

Fred said...

redstarcafe, when I called THS about the Fila, the person who answered said that the male up for adoption did have behavioural problems but she wouldn't go into detail. She said I had to go to the shelter if I wanted more info.

If THS had the pups, I doubt they'd risk offering them up for adoption just yet, as they haven't the dam. I've met the "father" and he's very very different behaviouraly from the pups.

To be fair, I don't think anyone suggested that the pups at TAS will always be unadoptable and thus must be euthanized. No one wants that but that outcome is always in the back of everyone's minds.

But, as things stand, these two pups still have a chance.

DogsDeserveFreedom said...

Good luck with them. Keep us updated!


Anonymous said...

i am the owner of the red car and the one that found the dog.the humane society was called but we were told to call animal services as they c(W)ould not help....animal services were then called and they would also not help as this obviously abused animal was not deemed a "threat"to the public...we then called police and within five minutes they were was not until they requested animal services to attend the scene that the poor dog was picked up .....

Fred said...

Anonymous, maybe all the animal control officers were on other assignments, maybe there was some miscommunication, maybe you got some grouch at TAS on the line who didn't have his morning coffee yet.

I don't know the specific details of that call but it's part of the mandate of TAS to pick up animals at large whether or not the animal is a threat to the public.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the 'owner' of these dogs, who was most certainly running a puppy mill, been charged yet?