A couple of weeks ago a small group of us headed to Chicago to learn more about how the Safe Humane Chicago Court Case Dog program works. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that Milwaukee has Court Case Dogs that have been locked up for over a year with no end in sight. We are interested in learning how to make their lives better.
The Court Case Dogs are held at Chicago Animal Control, so a rescue friend asked Susan, one of our group if she could do a favor and transport a dog that was on the kill list there. Ruby had been deemed "vicious and aggressive" and had been turned down by other rescues so her chances of survival were slim to none.
We had a good chuckle on the way home. It was ironic that we had been sitting on the ground getting kisses from the Court Case Dogs (pit bulls) but little "vicious" thirteen pound Ruby, sounded ferocious when you approached her crate. But as most rescue people know, small dogs get stressed quickly in shelters, and it is usually not an indication of their real personality.
Susan took Ruby home for the night. In the morning, it didn't take Ruby long to warm up to Susan and her husband and within just a few hours Ruby was sitting in an ex pen enjoying the sunshine and the company of Susan's other dogs on the outside. She had kennel cough but other than that she was a happy, wiggly butt little girl once she was out of that crazy madhouse of barking dogs, stress and people that were afraid of her.
Susan transported her to her new foster home that afternoon. Unfortunately, Ruby's health took a turn for the worse and she came down with a serious case of pneumonia. She had to be admitted to the emergency vet clinic where she stayed for two weeks. She again became very stressed. But who wouldn't when you are in a strange place, you have pneumonia and it hurts to breathe?
Please take a minute to watch the very brief video at the end of Ruby's stay at the clinic. This is Ruby with the vet techs at the clinic.
Maybe it's time to rethink shelter procedures for testing small, shy dogs. How many have slipped through the cracks because they were labelled something they aren't?
Ruby has recovered and has now been adopted and is reportedly doing great with the grandkids. She is one lucky girl! Thank you to the good folks in rescue for knowing that small, scared dogs rarely do well in a shelter setting and any determinations made on their temperament should be thrown out the window.
Ruby is very glad you were watching out for her.