Introduction by Jean Furs. Article by PETA’s Ingrid Newkirk
I receive a great deal of animal welfare and advocacy literature in my mailbox because I support several animal welfare groups. I do a great deal of reading before I decide to post or write in my blog.
Today I read an article by Ingrid Newkirt from PETA about an old dog that was found curled up in a chewed up plastic doghouse with no bedding in it. The dog surely had spent the last eleven  years of its life there. It didn’t matter that the temperatures that night would be reaching well into below zero and no one had thought of this dog.
I’m going to share this article which came from PETA’s Animal Times Issue 3, 2014 because of the overall dept of sorrow I felt for this lonely dog and so many others that share the same fate. There is something gravely wrong with our government, judicial system and the human condition to allow neglect like this to continue. We need good people to stand up to our legislature and demand change for animals who cannot speak for themselves.
“The pen stunk, and I could see piles of his waste everywhere.
He moved stiffly, sniffing his way, treading carefully, Probably arthritis, I thought. His coat was dull and dirty. His ears bore faint scars from the previous summer when he hadn’t been able to escape the biting flies drawn to his feces. I put some food near him, and he stopped, sniffed and bend his head to the ground, taking a while to find it. I realized then that he had been navigating by smell and familiarity. He was blind. His eyes oozed pus from an untreated infection.
He once had been a puppy, played with, fussed over. But there had come a day, not far into young life, when he became too big, too much trouble. And that’s when he was put in the pen.
In the beginning, he must have howled and jumped at the gate, sure that it was a mistake, that someone would come and let him out. But, except to be given water and food once a day and told to “get down,” he saw no one.
There must have come a time when burning frustration was replaced by the realization that he was never going to be let out, that this was his whole world: four solid fence walls and a gate through which he could stare out if he wished-although since he was stuck at the very back of the yard, there was little to see.
“A what point, if ever, did he just stop hoping.”
I talked to his owner as I filled the box with straw, trying to make it more comfortable for the cold night ahead. I knew I had to get the dog-Sam was his name- out of there, but nothing was illegal about his setup. The law says we can treat dogs that way.
Leaving Hell Behind
Two days later, Sam’s owner called to say, “Come get him.” it took a while to coax the old boy through the gate; he wobbled and shook because of painful joints but also because he couldn’t see where he was going and had not been through that gate in more than a decade.
He was out of his box, his little square of dirt, and away from the bitter cold. But he was old, blind, deaf, arthritic and terrified of the outside world. We gave him a delicious meal, the opportunity to sniff the grass at his own pace for as long as he wanted to nap and loving caresses before he left this world. If there is a heaven, Sam is now in it, and if there is not, it’s a blessing that he is no longer in hell – aching, lonely, neglected and cold.”
Support PETA’s Doghouse-Delivery Program, What You Can Do To Help.
PETA’S doghouse program delivers vital shelter and bedding to dogs who might otherwise have nothing but an end table or overturned barrel to protect them from the elements, and PETA’S fieldworkers are often able to get dogs spayed and neutered and obtain other veterinary care for them – sometimes even persuading their guardians to let them live indoors. Visit PETA.org/Doghouse to sponsor a doghouse.