wa2s Films Captures Moving Dog Rescue on the streets of houston with forgotten dogs of the fifth ward
December 31, 2015
It was pure pleasure to meet up with our friends from Forgotten Dogs of the Fifth Ward, Kelle, Cynthia and Brittany! This is the 4th time in a year’s span that we’ve filmed in Houston and it feels like coming home to family.
I jumped in the car, cameras in hand, ready to ride along for the morning feeding route. I asked Cynthia how many dogs they typically feed on any given day. She said that they feed anywhere from 40-60 stray dogs on one feeding route.
This day was rather cold though, so many could have been keeping warm in shelter. Cynthia also let me know that probably only about 20% of the dogs they feed are ones they see repeatedly. They do keep track of those dogs and make sure they remain in good condition and if they are in jeopardy or injured, they will pick them up.
The question is always “why can’t you pick them all up and how do you choose which to take?” and the answer is not cut and dried. Dogs that are injured or need immediate care are picked up, however, without a foster immediately available, many dogs that are doing okay must be left because there is nowhere to place them. The rescuers themselves can only house so many dogs. Thus the feeding, so these strays can at least have a good meal. This is the dog we saw within 2 minutes of leaving the parking lot.
We stopped to feed a few other dogs but then came upon these two. Cynthia had not come across these dogs before but they were hanging out just outside the fence of a bus company. The dogs were very interested in the food that Brittany gave them, though the black one was a bit more shy that the bigger tan/white one.
While the dogs ate, the gates to the bus company opened and Jose, the owner came to talk to us. These dogs turned up 2-3 days ago and Jose had been feeding them. He has a 10-acre ranch and he wanted to take the dogs and give them a wonderful place to live, but he wasn’t sure how to go about it.
Kelle offered to have Forgotten Dogs of the Fifth Ward pay to spay and neuter the two dogs so that they could go live the good life on Jose’s ranch. The black mama dog was older and has had many litters of puppies, so she’ll be relieved to be off the streets for the remainder of her life. The bigger tan and white dog is a lover and will be happy to have a safe space to roam in.
The details of the spay/neuter are being arranged this week. It’s not too many times that they find a good-hearted person that wants to pull dogs from the streets, but Jose is one of them and has saved two dogs from their sad existence in the streets of Houston!
Our next stop was to feed what is left of a pack of dogs that live on their own, among lived-in homes, on a dead-end street.
Cynthia and Brittany have been feeding this pack for a while, and pulled one, Addison, whose health was in jeopardy. She is now on her way to being fully healthy and adopted!
We arrived in front of the house where they hang out but we didn’t see any puppies or the mama. This was of some concern to Cynthia because she has so reliably found them there.
When we were finishing up with the Husky you'll hear about next, 2 puppies did come looking for food but kept their distance, so they are okay. This is one of them.
In the meantime, a beautiful mama Husky made an appearance. She came to see what we were doing on her street, but ran back down to the end of the court. Kelle, seeing what a beautiful dog she was, called to her and I watched in amazement while the gorgeous Husky ran back up the road directly to Kelle!
It was clear that mama Husky had recently had puppies as her teets were red and swollen. Kelle was very concerned that she could have mastitis. We followed mama to the end of the court to see if Kelle could find her babies. She used an app that plays puppies crying which has worked in the past to have a mama take Kelle to her puppies. She looked under cars and RV’s and in the bushes to no avail.
No puppies. Mama was howling as if in mourning for her puppies, whatever happened to them. It was heart-wrenching to hear.
This beautiful dog was not afraid of humans and was very interactive which could mean that she’d been dumped. She had been loved by someone, sometime in her life.
Could we not find where her puppies were hidden? Were they stolen, sold, or had died? This we did not know. One thing Kelle did know is that she had to take this mama Husky to the vet and get her off the streets. Meet Maxine (Maxie). Look how beautiful, though so skinny, she is:
Kelle loaded Maxie into a crate in her truck and we were off to Gulfgate Animal Hospital to have her checked by a vet there; we saw Dr. Kathy Palmer. The wait wasn’t long and Maxie behaved very nicely in the lobby.
Once in the examining room it was determined that Maxie weighed only 34 pounds, though a resident of the street she was found on had seen Maxie looking very healthy and an appropriate weight a couple of months ago when she turned up; she will be well fed now and has plenty of room to gain weight and fill out.
Blood was drawn to test for heart-worm. Heart-worm is a devastating parasite spread by mosquito bites and though easily prevented by a caring owner, it is difficult and costly to treat for those dogs on the street that aren’t lucky enough to have the preventatives.
Dr. Palmer came and checked Maxie, in particular her red and swollen teets, which now were leaking milk. What she determined was that Maxie had not nursed her puppies in anywhere from 1-3 days and with nowhere for the milk to go, it was building up.
Fortunately there was no infection! What Maxie needed was food and a lot of TLC. The best news was that the heartworm test was negative!