The story of Lucy, a blin...
The story of Lucy, a blind deaf Manchester terrier with a bad skin condition is typical of dogs at Friends of Animals. She was kept in a small, flea infested cage for approximately 23 plus hours a day. I was a volunteer that started in October 20, 2010. While walking Lucy, I noticed she was shaking her head a lot and when we would stop she was scratching her ears. I mentioned this right away to many at FOA, but was ignored and told it was because she was blind and deaf. A few weeks later, again I told them that I felt she needed to see a vet. They said she had been seen and she was fine. After approximately five months, I told someone I was going to take her by myself to a friend who is a vet in the Marina. Then finally she was taken on 3/25/11 and her diagnosis was a bilateral ear infection. Medicine was given for her ears and her skin condition. Imagine this poor dog, being blind, deaf and having a very painful ear infection and scratching herself bloody, in a cage to defecate and urinate for 23 hours daily. This is when my conscience told me I must adopt Lucy and her cage partner, a 4 ½ lb Chihuahua named Hershey.
Hershey has his own story. When I walked him he was very bow legged, and not walking properly. I asked what was wrong with his knees or hips. “Nothing was wrong.” I was told, “He was just very old.” Well guess what? He is young. Not older than 7 years, and has two bad knees. My husband and I do not care and we love them both. We take great care of them. Lucy loves to go for long walks, she just needs to be on a leash every where except when in her padded area.
There is the sad story of Coco, an 8 lb dog that faced a horrific death. Coco was put in with a larger dog, which is nice but does not like small dogs. Everyone that worked and volunteered there knew this dog did not like small dogs. However, they put Coco there anyway, and you can only imagine what happened next. It is so heartbreaking, and there are more stories to be told.
FOA has a back area with approximately 35 dogs. In the summer it is very hot, and in the winter very cold and sometimes wet. In the rainy season last year they did not bother to replace tarps with big holes. Imagine the miserable life of these wonderful dogs that get very few walks and are living on concrete without any beds or even a small towel to sleep on. It took the kindness of a volunteer who spent $400 dollars for new tarps. Not a thank you was given. If anything they acted annoyed because she asked them to put it up as soon as possible, to give these dogs a dry home. Some dogs are so afraid of a caretaker, “the bully” that they shake and pee when they see him. It was reported many times, but he is protected by the board members.
Five regular volunteers who gave approximately 200+ walks a week were fired because they were too vocal about the practices of FOA. It is a shame, that these dogs have lost these walks because of the egos of these board members and workers. To think it is better to fire free, volunteers rather than make improvements for the well being of the animals is unconscionable. This is not to discourage any one from volunteering or adopting, on the contrary please go and volunteer or try to adopt these beautiful, sweet animals that need a good, loving home. Many of these animals have been living in cages for 23 hours a day for years. However, please understand the adoption process is very slow and antiquated. Many people give up and go elsewhere. Please be patient and do not give up on these animals.
Improvements could be done, but the board members are archaic and rigid in their thinking. Suggesting anything to them is hopeless. If you feel that they should improve the quality of life for these dogs, please call them or email them to let them know how you feel.