When a man came in looking for "Milo" who he'd seen on the website and asked the employee is he was still there, the man replied "Yes" while shaking his head "no." It seemed like a defense he'd picked up over time to tell people the dogs they were looking for were either no longer around or waiting to be put down. It seemed like a cruel joke and he apologized, saying to the man, "Sorry, I was just trying to be cheerful. I really don't know unless you have an ID number."
(Save Whitney here.)
After some prodding questions about how long the dogs stay and where I could find the ones at risk, I was told that "well it could be anywhere from 3 days to 2 months," and "I don't know anything about that." I was confused but realized something very sad was going on here. All of the dogs had been admitted within the last few days; they had so little time to be found and rescued. These dogs who looked so happy and full of life had to be put down regularly, and the staff who clearly knows a lot about this process, was simply not able to talk about it anymore.
Most of the dogs I saw had been picked up off the street so they didn't seem to mind their spacious warm cages, food, water and friendly visitors. One (named Bear) was even being adopted on the spot. I remarked at how cute he was and his new owner said triumphantly that Bear was coming home with him. This made me really happy as I quickly did the math in my head and realized that at least 2/3 of these great dogs would probably find homes.
Not surprisingly, all but 2 of the dogs in the whole place were pit mixes. It was like heaven for me as I walked through wishing each and every one of them could come home with me. They wiggled their bums and wagged their tails, their eyes brightened up and they licked my hands through their bars. Some jumped and romped around seeming to say "Please pick me!" I felt sad for the ones who looked too tired or scared to even try to sell themselves; they had been worn down by the constant barking or constant visitors or the brusque nature of the employees who couldn't possibly comfort them all.
One dog was being admitted while I was there. He was a tiny tiny white pit mix named Lex. When the employee tied him up to the wall while he went to ready his cage, the dog shook and quivered by the wall. I knelt down to hold him and he jumped into my arms and licked my face all over. This lucky guy was destined to find a home, I thought. He was the smallest adult pit mix I'd seen and so charming.
Here are a few pictures I was able to take of Lex, along with a few I got of his neighbor, Tyson. Lex and Tyson are exact opposites- and show the diversity of this great breed. Tyson was 70 pounds and probably mixed with a Great Dane, while Lex almost looked like a 30 pound white bunny rabbit. Somehow their outward appearances can change so much, but their dispositions could not be more similar. Both were wiggely waggely mushes.