We are overjoyed to share that we have FINALLY captured Number 2 along with all of her 5 young puppies. Over the last two days, we were able to pick up all of the puppies just in time to avoid the impending freezing temperatures. The capture was dramatic as most of our urban feral ops tend to be. We’ll post more about the actual capture in the days to come. For today, a quick summary and look at what is next for this momma, affectionate known as Number 2, and her puppies.
A lot of our feral rescues result from an emergency situation. There was some casual talk about planning to pick the puppies up, but that quickly escalated with reports of both the arctic vortex in the weather forecast and a for sale sign that went up one day after I learned of the dogs’ location. Generally, mother dogs are not going to tolerate a lot of traffic near their puppies – which is exactly why Number 2 chose a boarded up empty house to have her puppies under. And conversely, generally, real estate agents are not going to appreciate a barking, snarling dog blocking the way to the front door of their showings. I witnessed that first hand when Number 2 ran off a real estate agent. We did not want anyone to run Number 2 and the puppies off. We did not want to have to track them again! We were afraid of losing them and were worried for their safety. Time was suddenly of the essence – Operation Floppy Ear was launched.
As we were making our preliminary plans for what to do with the puppies, Dr. May’s mom graciously volunteered to take care of them and to help socialize them. As a rule, it is best to keep puppies together until they are 8 weeks old and that’s our current plan. Momma May is currently hand feeding the puppies to teach them how to eat and making sure they eat every 4 hours. Those are some lucky pups.
As for their momma, Number 2 was also captured and is recovering at the clinic. Number 2 has lived her entire life on the streets. She has never been touched or handled. She is truly an urban feral dog. As the neighbor so apt put it as he shouted to us from across the street, “you are never going to catch THAT dog – she won’t let anyone get near her”. Then he stood out on his sidewalk stunned and amazed as she took hot dogs from my hand. Another win for nitrates.
Now, I do not purport to be such an amazing dog whisperer as to walk up to a completely feral dog and have it eat out of my hand (but I am slowly working on that). What the neighbor didn’t know was that Number 2 and I have a long standing relationship. We already had a bank of trust to work from. This is a point that Dallas Animal Services (DAS )should make note of and we will come back to this point later…
After a long dramatic day for Number 2 that included magic cheese, watching me snatch up her crying puppies from under the house, luring her using her puppies as bait, and then finally, catch poling her, Number 2 woke up at the unfamiliar vet clinic a caged animal. I visited her the next day, she was completely shut down and looked terrible. As I was expressing to Dr May my concern for how bad and painful she looked, Dr May reminded me, Tasha looked the same way for several days after we picked her up. That thought both sadden and inspired me.
Tasha started as a fearful, untouchable, survivalist dog. She analyzed everything –she was a calculating, nervous mess, an escapist to the point of injury. After months of rehabilitation, she is now well on her way to becoming a balanced, happy, domestic, adoptable dog. She has a smile in her heart and a bounce in her step. If we could turn Tasha after all her years of negative experiences with humans and Animal Control, there is great hope for Number 2. After we have a little time to assess and to work with Number 2, we will look for appropriate resources to help rehabilitate and foster her.
Capturing Number 2 and her 5 puppies has ended the reign of Tasha’s long running urban feral dog pack. We can only hope that the legacy of Tasha, and all the dogs from her dog pack, is to change to the archaic and ineffective Dallas Animal Services field services policies.
Back to this year’s pack, I am super please that we were able to intervene early for Number 2’s puppies and that will allow us the opportunity to place all of this year’s puppies into loving homes.. It is a proud moment for me and our little underground rescue. But as I was proudly patting our little rag tag team on the back for capturing the elusive Number 2 and her puppies, the Universe sent us a humbling message. With the last puppy loaded in the car, we drove towards 12th Street. Two loose dog ran in front of us as they crossed at 12th Street and South Rosemont. Not ONE block, we did not get one block before we saw more loose dogs! The universe was clearly reminding us that our job is not done until there is change at DAS.
If you are an animal lover, please continue to help us change policy and procedure at Dallas Animal Services. We will keep sending updates and action items on our progress with DAS, the animal commission, and the city council. We will have some actionable items soon. In the meantime, please help us spread the word and help us find fosters and forever homes for this year’s pack dogs: Number 2, Puddin’, Cissy, Merle, Lura, Rudy, and Frankie. We currently have 8 pack dogs from Tasha’s pack in our care (if you add in Tasha). If you would like to donate to Number 2 and the puppies’ vet bills and general care – please click our paypal donate button. Every little bit helps.
All of these puppies are going to grow up to be big dogs. Number Two weighed in at above 65 pounds and the baby daddy is probably a good 75/80 pounds. A little more time and we will have a good estimate for their age and size, but we are currently estimating them to be about 4 weeks old which makes them really big puppies. They come from a long line of REALLY smart dogs!
We have one other dog from Number Two’s pack that is looking for a home. Frankie is full grown at 2 years old and weighs in around 15 pounds. He was found partying with the pack in hot pursuit of the affections of Number 2. He will be ready for adoption in the next few weeks – he is a really good adorable guy. Find more about Frankie posted here.
For more puppies pictures, check out the gallery of Operation Floppy Ear puppy gallery
If you made it all the way to the end of this post – you are a dog lover and advocate – thank you!