Category Archives: Wayward Dog
It was only a matter of time before we made it official.
Over the past few months, I have been working closely with my friend Chris Sailors, owner of Kennel Creek Pet Resort, to find new families for several dogs.
In addition to working directly with some dogs, we have also networked (with your help!) other animals on behalf of individuals and other rescue organizations.
At some point, Chris and I decided we were spending so much time figuring out which dogs we could help, how to help them and how to promote the efforts of others in animal rescue that our project ought to have its own name!
That’s how the Wayward Dog Foundation was born.
The Wayward Dog Foundation is a non-profit organization based in the state of Kansas. It exists to connect pets and people through adoption and to support the efforts of other animal welfare organizations.
In order for our Foundation to be a success, we will also need help from people in the Kansas City community and beyond.
I have consistently been amazed at the encouragement and support my blog readers have demonstrated for any project on which I have embarked. I hope that you will find this endeavor worthy of the same.
Right now, I just ask you to help me spread the word about the Wayward Dog Foundation and also share the stories of the people and pets we seek to help, as I share them with you.
Our website is not finished just yet, but you can like Wayward Dog Foundation on Facebook!
If you are located in the Kansas City area, you are also invited to attend the Foundation’s very first event.
Beer Paws and Kennel Creek are holding a “revenge party” for Kansas City Chiefs fans next Sunday. You can help us root for our hometown team, enjoy free halftime snacks and enter a raffle benefiting the Wayward Dog Foundation. Admission is free.
Several years ago, a man in his seventies took a chance on a less adoptable dog.
It was a good choice.
The blue heeler mix only had three legs, but he didn’t realize that. He just hopped around, rolled in the grass and wagged his stumpy tail.
The dog called Augie became the man’s best friend and constant companion. Although not the only pet in the house, Augie was special. He was the one who would follow the man around the house and out to the mailbox, even as time and illness began to take a heavy toll on the man.
At the beginning of October, after about five years together, Augie’s best friend passed away.
The last few months were rough on everybody in the house. And on top of everything else, Augie got a bad case of fleas that caused his skin to become inflamed and a lot of his hair to fall out.
Augie is in a safe place now. His hair is growing back, and when he gets to go outside, he still loves to roll in the grass and interact playfully with the other dogs and people with whom he comes into contact.
But Augie is lonely. His best friend is gone, and the more conventionally attractive animals he used to live with have been adopted into new homes.
Augie deserves the same. His extended family loves him very much but circumstances prevent them from being able to take him into their homes. He needs someone else to help.
Can you or someone you know open your heart to this special dog?
I met Augie last weekend at Winding River Kennels in Kansas City. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but he is truly a wonderful dog with a big “smile” and super friendly demeanor. He is very people-friendly and seems to just love being in the company of other dogs. Please share his story wide and far. Potential adopters may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s a wild dog problem in Detroit.
Rolling Stone, Bloomberg News and other news sites say so.
And they’re making it sound really, really bad.
The number 50,000 keeps getting tossed around – as in 50,000 stray dogs roaming the streets of Motor City in packs.
In the video below, you can apparently see a few of the Detroit strays, including one dog so cold and hungry it goes cannibal.
Of course, Detroit’s wayward dogs are reported to be mostly pit bull mixes, which, sadly, only ups the scary factor for some people.
I’ve never been to Detroit, but the idea of dogs of any breed going feral in masse has always freaked me out. It’s a large part of the reason I originally founded this blog. Rolling Stone reporter Mark Binelli gets why this notion is so freaky:
The image of wild dogs overrunning neighborhoods of a major American city is more than just a disturbing metaphor for our national decline – as with much of what’s happened in Detroit, it’s also a warning from the future for the rest of the country … Part of the reason the dogs have such free rein is that so many humans have left.
But is Detroit really turning into a stray dog city?
While there is no real debate over the fact that the bankrupt city has a significant stray dog problem, some actual Detroiters do suggest the situation has been sensationalized. And although my heart will always be with the cause of wayward dogs, it’s important to hear out both sides.
The rhetoric amplifies Detroit’s predatory caricature, but experts challenged the portrayal of violent dogs preying on people, saying most abandoned dogs actually avoid people.
Besides the overinflated number, the story heavily trades upon emotion and affection for animals, which — partially thanks to Sarah McLachlan — stirs up the kind of emotion that can cause someone to not think critically about what’s really going on.
Add that emotion to the general attitude toward Detroiters, that we’re all a bunch of a lifeless savages with zero regard for anything and anyone, and you’ve got a typical “Detroit is crap” story.
So, what do you think?
Leave your thoughts about Detroit’s stray dog problem in the comments.
If you know someone involved in animal rescue efforts in Detroit, please feel free to put me in touch with them. I would love to keep learning more about this issue.
What would you do if you found this at your neighborhood park?
Fortunately for this little shepherd mix, when my friends stumbled across him a few days ago they did more than hurry past and try to forget about the sad sight.
They contacted animal control.
That’s not always an easy call to make. The shelter in Kansas City, Missouri, is not in good condition, and although euthanasia rates are down, not every animal makes it out of there alive.
For these reasons, my friends weren’t thrilled to send the pup to the city pound, but they weren’t in a position to tend to his immediate needs.
They did the right thing.
And again, they did not simply turn their backs when the truck drove off with the stray animal.
They recognized that to survive the shelter, this dog would need allies on the outside.
So, they shared his picture and story on social networks and lost pet forums.
They called up the shelter to see how he was doing.
They even went to visit him.
My friends would really like to adopt this dog, but at 45 pounds he is slightly too large for the rules set by their apartment complex.
They say he seems to be friendly and sweet, and the shelter estimates he is between 6 months and 1 year old.
Today, he is officially available for adoption from KC Pet Project. His identification number is 19425723.
Please share this dog’s story with anyone you know who may be interested in adopting him.
What do you do when you find a wayward dog?
Read more about the experience of finding this dog at ginchy!
Yesterday, I shared a picture of a frightened pit bull mix who is missing part of her upper lip.
As I predicted, “Angel” still has a beautiful smile.
Angel is off the streets but still needs help. Here is her story, as told by Julie, the Midwest Adopt-a-Bull volunteer who helped catch her:
I came to know “Angel” under sad circumstances, and I am now as motivated to find her a quality foster home, more than I have ever been in my life, about any dog. Angel was seen roaming in a neighborhood for several weeks but would avoid people, noises, cars…anything that made scary sounds or moved too quickly. She had come to trust a neighbor who was giving her food and water whenever she would show up here and there, and would return nightly to sleep outside the bedroom window, next to house in a safe corner.
The lady contacted me over the weekend, and we set up an action plan to try to get her to a safe place. Long story short, after an hour and a half getting to know Angel, feeding her treats, and moving ever-so-slowly, we were able to get her in my car for a trip to the vet.
She is the most tolerant dog I’ve ever met, turning away as the neighbor’s feisty chihuahua snapped and growled at her…Allowing me to carry her into the scary vet office lobby….Shaking and panting from her nerves, yet licking my hand when I gave her a treat. This poor girl needs help and needs it fast.
If you or someone you know can help Angel, please leave a comment or contact Julie at jtischer77(a)yahoo[dot]com.
A familiar, fleet-footed brindle mix laid nervous eyes on me last Friday.
As if I could forget the original inspiration for this blog – chronicling the wayward dogs who cross my path – there’s always Stella.
She’s the wily boxer/pit bull/greyhound dog who gave me a workout on at least three occasions last summer when she escaped her backyard and took a joyrun past my house.
When I saw her the other night, she wasn’t far from the home I took her back to in the past. That was good, because with both Luke and foster dog Charlie Machete in tow, I could do no more than entice her to follow me, which, of course, she didn’t want to do.
My gut says Stella made it home that night. However, it was disappointing to note that – unlike in the past – she didn’t seem to have any ID tags on her collar.
In Kansas City, wayward animals found wearing a license can get a free ride home from animal control, provided the owner can be reached.
If they didn’t get home some other way, maybe that rule helped the pair of wayward dogs encountered on Indian Creek Trail by the KC Pittie Pack the very next morning. Although they wouldn’t let us get close, those obvious dog buddies did appear to be wearing collars and tags.
They turned tail when a member of our dog socialization group handed her own animal to a friend and took two steps in their direction.
I’ve added all three of these dogs to my 2012 wayward dog count. Over halfway through the year, we’re up to two “saves,” four “sightings” and one unsuccessful “chase.”
Honestly, I would love to not have to update that list ever again. But it’s summer – high time for escapes – and there’s that whole pet overpopulation problem that continues to dog this and so many modern cities.
What do you do when you run into a wayward dog? Have you seen any lately?
Want to adopt a formerly wayward dog? Check out the Adoptable page for information about my foster dog Charlie Machete and several other available dogs.
A little, lost dog refused my help on Monday night.
For the first time in months, Zach and I happened upon a wayward dog. It was around 10 p.m. We were driving past Loose Park.
On the residential side of the street, our eyes picked up the silhouette of a small dog or puppy. He sniffed, then he’d trot down the sidewalk. He was wearing a collar with about four inches of extra material or the remains of a leash he’d chewed through. I never got close enough to tell for sure.
Zach pulled over. I jumped out and pursued the little black dog for several blocks, but every time I got within 10 feet, he’d look at me and run faster. Eventually, I lost him in the darkness as he ran away from the busy street and into the park.
I don’t know what we would have done if we’d caught the little guy and he didn’t have a microchip or tag.
No doubt we would have called upon our friends in the local animal welfare and rescue network – a community that could always use support.
The last time we captured a wayward black dog, the first person we called was Britton Hunter.
Through her organization Friends of KC Animals, she helped us get Charlie Machete fully vetted, neutered and implanted with the microchip that ultimately saved him from euthanasia last month.
Friends of KC Animals, a liason between local shelters and rescue groups, helps thousands of animals across the Kansas City metro every year and is leading the movement to get a much-needed new shelter for Kansas City, Missouri.
This summer, the leader of another local group stepped up to help us when he heard that Charlie Machete’s adoption fell through.
Mike Kitchens and his new rescue organization Midwest Adopt-a-Bull have added our longtime foster dog to their program and are helping us maintain his good health and networking him with potential adopters.
Through its volunteer network, Midwest Adopt-a-Bull provides a second chance to dogs by getting them out of shelters (or worse) and into foster homes where they receive love and socialization until they are adopted forever.
Both of these organizations are desperate for help right now.
According to Britton, Friends of KC Animals is currently running so low on funds that the group may have to go on temporary hiatus until it can gather more resources.
Midwest Adopt-a-Bull operates on a razor-thin budget, as well. That group’s biggest need right now, though, is for people to open their homes to the dogs in its foster program.
Can you help?
Donating is easy – any amount you can spare can be put to good use.
Fostering is rewarding – for you and for the animal whose life you help save.
I urge you to join me in supporting these two wonderful organizations.
To make a contribution to Friends of KC Animals, just head to the group’s donate page.
To get involved in fostering with Midwest Adopt-a-Bull, head to that group’s website and fill out the application to foster – or adopt. (Monetary donations help, too.)
Dogs like this are why I started this blog:
Zach’s mom happened upon this sweet yellow lab not long ago in her neighborhood. He had no tags or microchip.
She kept him for the night, and luckily his owner recognized him in her front yard the next day.
My parents also kindly gave shelter for a few hours to a smaller neighborhood dog that went wayward around St. Patrick’s Day.
It’s awesome that our families made the effort to help these lost dogs, especially considering our mothers were each very privy to the many months of challenges Zach and I endured after taking in the stray Charlie Machete.
I’ll always try to help a dog in need if I can. But I’m honestly glad I haven’t recently run into any wayward dogs I didn’t recognize.
They’re out there.
Their pictures pop up in my e-mail, on Facebook and even on my Waldo street corner.
I saw a woman posting that lost dog flyer yesterday.
A few pink signs also recently appeared, reminding us that waywardness isn’t reserved just for pet dogs.
My heart goes out to anyone whose pets have gone missing.
I hope kind souls recognize the animals as someone’s beloved and help them home.
Spreading the word helps – in addition to all of the usual spots, feel free to post pictures of lost or found pets on the Wayward Dogs Facebook page or Tweet me @crystalwayward. (This goes for readers everywhere, not just Kansas City.)
Together, we can save lives.
For a big list of helpful tips on what to do if you find or lose a pet, check out the Adoptions & Services section of hspca.org.
Sometimes, helping a wayward dog get home isn’t that big of a deal.
If you’re a fan of Wayward Dogs on Facebook, you may have caught a recent status update about me stopping to help a neighborhood dog before work.
That dog was Tara.
She’s a tough tank of an elderbull who lives around the corner. She belongs to a retired couple who take her for a walk along the Trolley Track Trail every afternoon.
This pit bull type dog was found wandering a dangerous street in Kansas City in her younger days. She landed with a rescue group and eventually with my neighbors’ daughter. They took over Tara’s care when their daughter was deployed in the military.
When I saw Tara trotting down the street without her people I knew something wasn’t right, so I pulled over.
When I knelt down and solicited her, she just cocked her head and turned in the other direction — toward home.
I followed her in the car, arriving in front of her house about the same time that her owner screamed around the corner in his truck. His face was stricken.
“Have you seen Tara?”
“Yes!” I said and pointed to where she was just emerging, nose in the grass, from behind a neighbor’s house.
He leapt out of his truck and ran to her.
Although Tara probably would have made it home on her own — and if not, she is licensed, wears an ID tag and is microchipped — I was glad I stuck around to make sure she got back with her people.
Have you ever helped a neighbor dog get home?