K911 Dog Rescue Saves Weeks Old Puppies & South side Street Dogs Use Night Vision For Their Searches of Homeless Dogs
Day 6 – August 5 – Houston
Deanna Vollano, Producer
6:45am was call time for the hand-over of Rita Hayworth to Arthur Yoria and her forever home! Rita had been bathed, de-wormed, de-fleaed and given first shots by Forgotten Dogs of the Fifth Ward, so she was ready to go! Can’t imagine that puppy being left behind on the streets; thank goodness for Arthur and the assistance of Forgotten Dogs of the Fifth Ward! Later that evening we heard from Arthur and his parents were thrilled with their new addition! We look forward to updates from Arthur on Rita’s progress.
Then we began the morning feeding route with Kelle, Yvette and Cynthia of Forgotten Dogs of the Fifth Ward. On our way to pick up an injured dog we stopped to feed a few strays and in the process, came across 2 dogs, a white on and a black one that someone had seen being dumped about a month ago. Since then they’ve been elusive, but today they were sunning in a parking lot and we went back for them. Kelle and Yvette identified them as indeed the dumped dogs. The 2 dogs were not too difficult to secure and they joined us in the car for their freedom ride! Salt and Pepper were happy to be off the streets, and Salt was a lapful for Kelle!
We proceeded to a location by the train tracks where an injured dog they named Ranger has been staying for the last week or so. The plan was to pick him up and get him well. However, the dog was not in his usual spot. We searched through the brush and woods looking for him but he was nowhere to be seen. Yvette couldn’t imagine that he had gone very far because his leg was injured. But after an exhaustive effort, we had to move on. We did find out later that Yvette, Kelle and Cynthia went back to look again and found Ranger in an old trailer nearby. And it turns out “he” is a “she!” So this dog is now on her way to getting well!
We then proceeded to find Mr. Woolsworth to give him some breakfast. He knows the car and followed us until we stopped to feed him. He’s pretty skittish and doesn’t come too close, but he does know that with this car comes food! We stopped to feed him and almost immediately we were joined by a bundle of puppies! They came from the schoolyard under the fence, they came from a house, and there were probably 7 dogs with us now. There was no plan to pick up any of these dogs on this day as many of them were owned – but stay tuned for an interesting turn of events with this group of dogs.
Our next stop was to check on a family with a mama dog whose puppies were believed to be under the house. Kelle crawled under the house with a flashlight searching for the puppies from 2 locations around the house and didn’t find any. In the meantime Yvette was assessing mama dog and wondered if she was actually still pregnant. Kelle was arranging a visit to the vet and checking mama dog when she felt puppies in her belly. There were no puppies under the house because they weren’t born yet! Kelle arranged for the family to take mama to the vet to be checked and gave instructions on what to do when the puppies were born. Forgotten Dogs of the Fifth Ward does an amazing job with outreach in the community. They educate and assist families, and help them be better pet owners.
Our final stop was the saddest of all. The week prior Yvette spotted a dog in a yard that appeared to be unwell. She briefly observed the dog and intuition told her that what she was seeing was late stage distemper. We stopped by the house to check on the dog and talk to its owner about options. We pulled up to the bright yellow home and found the dog on the front porch. He was twitching uncontrollably and tried to bark but it wouldn’t come out right. Per Yvette this was indeed late stage distemper. This family had previous dogs that had all passed away due to distemper as well. Yvette spoke with the mom who owned the dog and she agreed to allow Yvette to return for the dog on Friday to have him euthanized. This dog was in very poor condition and had no quality of life. It was a very difficult conversation but witnessing this sick dog was so distressing that this was the only answer.
That evening we met with Erika & Sandro Gamez of Southside Street Dogs in Sunnyside. The dogs all hide out during the day so we set out to see what we might see in the evening. Around 8pm it was still dusk and the light allowed me to photograph this one dog that they fed. After that our light ran out quickly. It was time to switch to night vision filming on the video cameras! We stopped by a house where we had seen 2 dogs tethered to their dog houses back in March when we were here; we wanted to check on them. It was so dark that it wasn’t easy to see what kind of shape they were in compared to March, but Erika said that they are getting thinner. Apparently there is an owner of these dogs, who keeps them at that house.
We proceeded to comb the streets for dogs in need of food and we found a few. Erika and Sandro have done an amazing job cleaning up their neighborhood of stray dogs; so much so that we had to look for dogs in a neighborhood across from theirs. It turned out to be rather quiet in the streets as far as dogs go, but it was getting late and safety was a factor, so we left the area and looked in on some of our dog friends from our March visit. We saw a completely transformed Moma, who was rescued from her deathbed by Erika and Sandro during our March visit. She’s happy and healthy now and is being rehabilitated so that hopefully she’ll be able to be adopted. We also saw Dharma, who was picked up on the same street where Moma’s rescue occurred. She is doing well after surgery on her hip. Erika and Sandro have affected huge changes in the stray dog population of Sunnyside; they care enough to make a difference!
Houston Musical Artist Arthur Yoria Falls For Stray Rita HaYworth While Filming Music Video About Stray Dogs In Houston & Other Tails From The American Stray Dogs tour
Day 5 – August 4 – Houston
Deanna Vollano, Producer
This day was nothing less than magical for WA2S, Arthur Yoria and Rita Hayworth.
This morning WA2S set out with Houston musical artist Arthur Yoria (who is working on the sound track for Operation Houston) to film a video to go along with the original song RUFF LIFE which will be the closing song for our Houston Documentary. We had a neighborhood in mind however sometimes life affords you opportunities that can’t be denied.
As is typical when we spot a stray on any route we are driving, we pulled over at the sight of 3 dogs. Oddly, Tom, John and I each saw a different dog at first glance! The smallest of the 3 dogs was interested in us and came to see what was up. We didn’t see the two others until they made their getaway down the street and around the corner.
When we realized that we had pulled into an old “club” or “banquet facility” depending on which sign you believed, and looked around, it was clear that this would be the set for the music video for #RUFFLIFE. As the gear was set-up Arthur kept our stray nearby with the smell of what was left of a breakfast sandwich.
This little gal was just beautiful – a mixed breed, but on the smaller side. She had beautiful eyes and a lovely colored coat, though she was covered in fleas. We knew she needed help and I took to the phones trying to reach one of the Rescues we film with as this puppy could not be left behind. She was young, only about 8 weeks old we found out later, with her whole life ahead of her…. on the streets…. or maybe not!
She was the perfect actress for the role of stray dog in the video and over the course of the filming, as often times happens on the set; the musician falls for the actress and vice versa. Arthur could not fathom completing the shoot and leaving his adorable co-star behind to life on the streets with an uncertain future. Arthur decided to rescue this stray off the streets of Sunnyside in Houston. The obvious name for our starlet was Rita Hayworth!
I reached Yvette, with Forgotten Dogs of the Fifth Ward, who was happy to help us care for Rita Hayworth and ready her for a new family. We met Yvette, who took the puppy with her and bathed her, gave her shots, de-wormer and is now flea free as well. We can’t thank her enough for taking time on such short notice today to meet us and care for Rita Hayworth! WA2S is filming with Forgotten Dogs of the Fifth Ward in the morning and Yvette will bring Rita Hayworth so that Arthur can take her to her new home!
Besides an awesome stray dog rescue, which is truly the highlight of the day, we filmed for what will be an amazing music video to the song that is now called “Ruff Life (Rita Hayworth).” It was a magical day!
Day 4 – August 3 – Houston
Deanna Vollano, Producer
Our first day in Houston afforded WA2S the opportunity to follow up on one of our favorite dogs from our March trip, Big Boy. We met Angela Simon at Abbott’s Animal Clinic in Northwest Houston, where Big Boy is staying.
In March, Angela Simon alerted WA2S to a group of stray dogs that lived in a pasture that she passed by every day. We met her there to investigate. We found 2 mama dogs, their children, one litter of puppies and the others, toddlers. The dogs co-mingled on the land with horses and it seemed a peaceful co-mingling. The dogs had shelter, and Angela fed them every day. Big Boy was in clear need of some assistance but it was difficult to find help. WA2S introduced Angela to TERR (Treat ‘Em Right Rescue) which is a bully breed rescue, and they worked together to remove Big Boy from the pasture.
Big Boy has been boarded at Abbott’s Animal Clinic for 89 days thanks to the generosity of Angela Simon. He came in with heart worm for which is in treatment, and a skin disorder that has been rather difficult to control. Angela likens it to some kind of allergy that he can’t get rid of but hope to control. They’ve tried many different medications; he’s been on prednisone but this isn’t a long term solution. Other solutions are very expensive, so it’s been a difficult road trying to find the best option.
Angela shared with us the trials of saving one dog at a time, which sometimes, is all one person can do. There are good days and bad days for Big Boy; there are days that Angela would rather just go home than stop to visit Big Boy, but when she sees Big Boy’s face light up she knows it was the right thing to do. She is certain that the right forever family will find Big Boy....some day.
For more about Big Boy and the Houston Stray Dog Issue:
Operation Houston http://www.WA2S.org/operation-houston