We had quite an adventure this weekend. Well Pet Humane in Chamblee (bless them for all that they do) called to say they had a newborn dachshund puppy who had been found on the road by a policeman. Could we help?
Vikki, Ivy, and Karen went into crisis mode. You have never seen such determined efficiency. They turned into puppy-seeking missiles.
Luckily, we have a new mama, Sugar Dolly, in our foster program, who came to us about-to-pop-pregnant from animal control. Karen is her foster mom, and we decided to see if Dolly would accept this baby. Vikki and Ivy went to get the tiny thing in Chamblee, and took it down to her in Griffin.
Sugar Dolly let that little boy join her party immediately, giving him a good tongue bath. But he couldn’t belly up to the bar — he wouldn’t nurse. Karen fed him from a syringe for day, and then he suddenly caught on, perhaps from the example of his new litter mates. He’s doing great now, sleeping in a puppy pile (as he should be).
So how does a 2-day old puppy end up in dachshund rescue? Once he was out of the woods, I decided to find out.
As the story goes, a gentleman called WellPet Humane around midnight over the weekend, saying his chocolate smooth-haired dachshund was in distress giving birth. She had delivered one puppy, but it had been hours since then, and she was struggling. He said he could feel the other puppies moving around as mama’s body was trying to birth them. The folks at WellPet told him to bring her in, but he said he didn’t have enough money; he only had $200. (Note: WellPet is a low-cost practice.) He said he would wait until the morning, when he wouldn’t have to pay the emergency fee. They told him that it WAS an emergency, and they strongly recommended bringing her in. He was quite emotional, and said some unpleasant things to the staff.
He brought her in the morning. She was quite far gone by then, in bad shape. One puppy was stuck in the birth canal. Examination showed that the puppies were probably dead, and mom wasn’t far behind. WellPet recommended euthanasia, if he couldn’t do the ceasarian that was needed. He refused, because he wouldn’t (couldn’t?) spend the money. He had brought $60 with him, not $200. In pity for Jasmine, they somehow worked out a payment plan, and took Jasmine, the mama, in for emergency surgery. The man left.
Jasmine died just a few minutes later, while they were prepping her for the operation, and did not respond to resuscitation. The puppies were all dead. The WellPet folks called the man to tell him.
At about this time, a policeman saw someone throw a small object out of their car. Curious, he pulled up and saw that it was a tiny newborn puppy. WellPet Humane was the closest veterinary office to the site, and he took the puppy there. Of course, they put 2 and 2 together and figured out that this was the puppy who had been successfully born before Jasmine started to struggle with the birth.
What upsets me most about this story (and believe me, there are a LOT of things to be upset about), is that this person, knowing he could not provide medical care for his dog, still bred her. I can only speculate that he thought breeding these puppies would be a “free” way to make a little money. And in a perfect world, I guess that would have been true.
Clearly, we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a world where dogs sometimes need medical assistance to give birth, and medical assistance isn’t free. We live in a world where every day, thousands of dogs in the metro Atlanta area, INCLUDING PUPPIES, are killed because there are far more dogs than there are homes. Yet people still choose to make a few more puppies, so they can make a few bucks (Newsflash: it isn’t even profitable if you do it right, with vaccines, dewormings, mama pre-natal care … and that’s for a non-eventful pregnancy! If there are any issues, forget profitability!) The man said that this was Jasmine’s third litter.
The other thing that upsets me is that the man, while professing his huge love for his dog, crying and shouting abuse at the WellPet folks, left her body behind at the vet AND tossed her puppy out the window as though it were garbage. He wouldn’t even spend $7 at the pet store for the puppy formula it would take to keep her baby alive. He didn’t take her home to bury her in his yard. Is that love?
By the way, YES, it is illegal to abandon a live puppy on the road. Or anywhere. But that is someone else’s battle to fight. We can take care of that puppy, give it its vaccines, its dewormings, and all the love of a foster home and a litter of brothers and sisters. And then we can find a forever home for him.
As for that man, I can only hope that someone who reads this is in a position to figure out who that guy is, and how he should make reparations for his callous cruelty to that puppy. I wish he had to make reparations for what he did to the mama,which in many ways was more cruel and callous, but his neglect of her isn’t actually illegal.
The missing piece of the story for me, now, is the name of that Chamblee policeman who saved that baby’s life. I have a message in to the lieutenant who led the shift that night. That policeman cared enough to carry a tiny, 5-ounce spot of brown fur, with closed eyes and ears, to the people who could help him. Because DREAM has a puppy we would like to name after him.