Daring Moonlight Dog Rescue Stories

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"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way."

— Martin Luther King Jr, 1929 - 1968 American clergyman, humanitarian, activist, and leader of the African American civil rights movement

Moonlight rescue stories:

 

Oscar

For the first two years of his existence, Oscar was chained from dawn to dark in mud, feces, storms, heat and flies, all alone, and often frightened.

When his owners got home, often late at night, Oscar was brought inside to conditions ever worse. He was locked in a crate, in the garage, unable to even stand up.

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Speaking for Marley

Every suffering animal needs to be heard. Dogs try to be heard by barking, but most of the time their barking is silenced. They have no voice — they have no choice. Unless someone speaks for them.

Animal Advocates Society hears — and truly listens — to the voices of many suffering dogs. Marley was one.

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Betty and Jake

"Please, please can you help these two dogs penned their whole lives."

Betty and Jake were kept in this pen for years of long, very cold winters, and long, very hot summers. They did have food, water and some shelter. But they had no life. And then one day... they disappeared. Animal Advocates had Betty spayed and Jake neutered, both tattooed, microchipped and vaccinated, before finding them the kind of homes that every dog has a right to. Both loved swimming, especially Jake, but then what Lab doesn't? Without their rescue, neither would ever have known the joy of swimming, or the comfort of love.

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Jack

Puppy Jack tried his best to guard the drug house. Over the years Animal Advocates has been called frequently by social service agencies asking for our help with a dog that needs AAS's rescue services. We were called about a pup, tied to the door of a derelict drug house in Vancouver's Downtown East Side where there are many homeless people and many people who prey on them.

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Hunting dogs rescued from hunters

Animal Advocates has rescued many hunting dogs from the lonely lives many endure in dirty backyard pens. It's common for the dogs to be taken out for only the few weeks they are used to help the hunter hunt and kill, and sometimes for a bit of training.

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Bella

When she was still a puppy, Bella was put outside on a chain. She quietly endured seven years of heat, rain, cold, feces, and flies. Appeals for help for Bella fell on deaf ears - until Animal Advocates was told. We heard. Bella was rescued and was found a real home, where she was treasured, where she was an equal member of her family, where she went everywhere with her family.

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Alfie the Rottie

Four years yoked to scrap metal...

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Alfie

Put outside for being a puppy. Tied up for trying to escape. Muzzled for crying out of loneliness...

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Barney

For more than twelve years Barney endured a life of misery on the end of a heavy chain that he had to drag. Twelve years of mud, ice, snow, numbing heat, flies, feces, urine, terrifying storms, lightning and thunder.

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Beauty

Beauty the Black Lab was saved from backyard hell. "Eventually I could not stand it anymore. One day a friend and I put on our sunglasses and ball caps, and armed with chicken nuggets went to the house and took the dog for a 'walk'. Never to return her. In the car on the way to my house, she was in the back seat, wagging her tail, and alternating putting her head on our shoulders."

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Billie...

Thank you, everyone who did this for Billie.

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Brodie...

Animal Advocates Society got one of the calls it got so frequently and dreaded so much. A woman told us that her neighbours had been keeping their dog in a shed for years. The SPCA, saying that the dog had food, water, and shelter, left him alone in there... until his rescue angel came for him.

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Bruce

Another appeal to AAS, one of hundreds asking us to help an abused dog. "I live next to a dog who does not have a good life. His totally wrong name is Brutus. He is what you would call a 'yard dog'. A neighbour told me that he's been there for four years. He is penned alone outside all day every day, as well as every night. He's been left for up to 18 hours without food or water, and sometimes the water is frozen, so I sneak over and give him water..."

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Bubba...

Bubba gets out of prison.

"Finally I couldn't bear it anymore and simply removed him from the prison he had done nothing to deserve. I can't even describe to you the feeling that I get inside when I think of Bubba's wonderful life that AAS made sure he has now."

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Buddy...

Buddy was removed from his chain by a compassionate woman. "I am very pleased that there is an alternative to the SPCA. I have found so much frustration with their lack of 'doing something' whenever I called to try to ease the suffering of some poor animal."

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Cassie...

Chained and being bred, puppies in flies and feces, hidden in a filthy dark garage, Cassie hidden under a junked car, trapped by a heavy chain.

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Chance...

This dear old boy spent his life, possibly ten years, on a lonely chain in a dirty yard, below 40 in Winter and scorching in Summer. He howled at night for most of those years. Did anyone care? No one did anything until an AAS rescuer did.

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Cherie

If it weren't for a brave rescuer, sweet Cherie would have starved to death, imprisoned in a tiny crate.

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Cherry...

Cherry's cries were heard at last by someone who cared. Someone who went day after day to befriend and comfort her. Someone who was there for her when she was left behind. Someone who kept her out of a pound prison cell to be sold to anyone who paid for her, someone who kept her from being taken to an SPCA where she would be "adopted" out with very little screening, no home checks, and no follow-up.

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Choklit and Timber...

Chains, mud, filth, puppies, and loneliness. Not any more.

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Dante...

Another day at AAS, another call for help for a neglected dog. A beautiful Doberman cross pup was being kept in a yard at a drug house.

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Duffy...

Finally these two brave and terrified women did the humane and moral thing...they removed Duffy one day and they found him the home that he deserved.

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Ebby...

After years tied to a car under which she slept and sheltered from storms and heat, a nameless, plain black mutt was surrendered to the postal worker who saw her every day, and who was finally given her after much begging. AAS gets many reports of suffering dogs from posties, bless them...

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Eddy...

He was seen in the freezing rain, his tether was tangled and he stood there, his head down, drenched to the skin.

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Ellie and the duct tape dog...

Not only did the SPCA not speak for puppy Ellie, but by being the dog-police (pound contractor) they issued warnings to her owner because she cried loudly and continuously on her lonely chain. The owners then muzzled her and boxed her under the porch. The duct tape dog almost killed himself when he tried to escape his isolation on the end of his chain.

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Finnigan...

Finnigan spent the first two years of his life chained. (Yes, he was chained as pup, in rain, snow, and unrelenting heat, without adequate shelter, and with no positive human interaction.)

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Gypsy...

The call was like so many calls. A very ill old dog was going to be surrendered to the pound/"shelter" where she would almost certainly spend her last days in a prison cell before being put down. She had been seen for many years plodding along farm roads, her coat soaked and matted, her ears, filled with lumps of hardened bloody pus...

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Hap

Animal Advocates got an email about a chained dog that is sadly, still common. It was originally sent to the SPCA, but when nothing improved for the dog it was sent to AAS. As you read Hap’s story keep in mind that the SPCA is the pound in this place, and since it does not do home-checks before or even after its "adoptions", Hap's abuser might have purchased it from the SPCA.

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Harley

Bad winters mean there will be a lot of frozen dogs. Many get rescued. A young Rottweiler named Harley was one of the lucky ones.

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Jeep...

We got one of those phone calls that we have to brace ourselves to hear. It was from a single woman, elderly, in tears about the new puppy next door. The parents put him out on a chain a few days after getting him. A few days later, the children stopped coming out to play with him. So he cried his baby heart out day and night, only stopping if he thought he heard someone coming to him, or from exhaustion.

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Jelly...

Jelly lived the first months of her life on a concrete slab with no toy, no blanket and no one to pat her and tell her she was a good girl. She didn't know what love was as she had never experienced it but it was there inside her, buried deep just waiting for the chance to come out.

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Jerry...

...the drug house pup, left on his chain when the house was busted.

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Judith...

10 years on a chain. No blanket, toy, or bone. Often no clean food or water. AAS first saw her at night, lying in the frozen mud, being snowed and sleeted on. Lying in her own feces, surrounded by her own excrement.

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Lisa

Animal Advocates Society was called by four different people in this dog's neighbourhood, and all of them had called the SPCA, one for many years. She lived (if you can call it living), on this chain for eight to ten years, her whole world just the porch and a plot of dirt at the bottom of the stairs, which was covered in many piles of diarrhoea.

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Nermal...

I just wish to God that I'd taken him when I first saw him, but at least the last year or two of his life will help to make up for all the years of loneliness.

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Nova

The short, happy story of Nova's rescue. Nova lived, if you can call it that, of chained in a yard in minus 30 degrees Celsius in the winter, her water frozen, or non-existent. In the house she was not allowed in, the sound of parties and fights went common, so perhaps it was best that she wasn't inside with her "family".

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Purdy

I will never forget how the look on her wee puppy face changed as it dawned on her that the someone who was coming into her pitch-dark scary yard might be kindly.

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Ranger

Ranger was rescued from a grow-op, where he was penned in a small enclosure with concrete floor, visited only once a day to be fed, and then hit when he got excited and jumped up to see his human once a day. Animal Advocates brought him to my daughter and me for fostering, until he healed and could find a forever home. Of course, within a couple of weeks we knew we couldn't let him go...

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Sandy

Sandy was removed from her chain by compassionate women. We said goodbye to our smiling, golden little Sandy today. I held her in my arms and watched the light go out in her beloved eyes, and thought back to a Christmas Eve years ago when she came to join our family.

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Shorty

Shorty the Dalmatian's ears froze off. I am so glad to read about this at last because I know it is all true. I've had Shorty now for many years and though his cropped ears look pretty funny he doesn't mind because he is warm and happy after being sooooo cold ....and sooooo unhappy.

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Snow...

Neighbours told us that Snow was kept for years in a filthy side yard as a guard dog. The BC SPCA in this municipality had been called many times by many neighbours. The provincial Protection of Cruelty to Animals Act could have been used to help Snow. In fact, he could have been seized without a warrant because he was so clearly in critical distress. So too could have Animal Advocates Society's "Humane Treatment of Dogs" bylaws in this municipality have been used to help him.

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Sophie...

Sophie was a "balcony dog". Her "owners" thought she shed too much, were out 12 hours a day, admitted they withheld water so she "wouldn't pee so much", withheld food because she was overweight ( NO exercise!), forced her to live in her own excrement in the broiling sun and pouring rain. What did the SPCA say when complained to by the neighbour who was sneaking over with a ladder to climb up and give her water? To find out, and to see Sophie's Happy Ending, click the link above.

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These are my stories...

...of stealing dogs. Ten years ago my mother and I were at a family reunion. For seven days we listened to a dog near by screaming like it was being tortured day and night. The last day before we left I had to go investigate. A few doors down I snuck in to a yard with a young lab tied up to a stake in the middle of the yard. He had no shelter and was bombarded by the scorching sun during the day and the freezing rain at nights.

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Travis the tank engine...

The biggest Dalmatian we've ever rescued. A puppymill pup, probably bought for the kids, and then put on a chain.

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Tyke aka Separation Anxiety in Motion...

Tyke was kept in a garage for so many years that after he was rescued he became so hysterical if he thought he was alone again that AAS had him for almost two years while we helped him with his separation anxiety and searched for the right home. It doesn't get better than this.

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Zoey...

Written by Stephen West: After seeing the dog, it was ridiculous to me that Animal Control would be monitoring this situation. The dog was skin and bones, was covered with open sores, and appeared to be deaf and obviously being neglected. The neighbors said she had never been off that chain, ever. I chose not to wait for Animal Control. They have to go by the law, I don't.

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Happy...

New people and their dog moved into our neighbourhood last winter. The people moved in the brand new $700,000 house and the dog was put in the yard. She was an little old black and white mutt that they called (what else?) Happy.

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I got up closer...

...I saw that a pup was chained to a box and surrounded by mud and poop. I have been a dog lover all my life and thought most dogs in this country were well treated so I was really shocked and upset when I saw this little guy on a chain not far from where I live. I couldn't believe my eyes at first, but when I got up closer I saw that a pup was chained to a box and surrounded by mud and poop, there wasn't even a water bowl, he was drinking out a filthy puddle that had his own poop in it.

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I had a very nice policeman...

...at my door the following day. About 13 years ago I lived in (removed), next to people who did very much the same thing to their puppy. I had two dogs, a big fenced yard and a doghouse for the daytime when I was at work. The dogs weren't chained but had fresh water & food available. When I came home from work "the girls" came in the house, had dinner, love & usually snuck onto the couch at night, with morning hugs on my bed. This poor little puppy would see our life & couldn't understand why she wasn't treated like that.

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I had no choice...

...I had to move. We sold our house and moved on. I just wanted to thank you for addressing the issue of 'women who steal dogs'. I felt relieved to read that so many other women take this risk into their own hands, and especially to hear that others have gone so far as to move. Although I never stole the dog, here is my familiar story.

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I stole a dog...

...because the SPCA would not help her. It belonged to my friend's neighbour. These people got her as a pup, and immediately put her outside and left her there. She was about 12 weeks old, and small enough to squeeze through the fence to visit my friend. Unfortunately, my friend always gave her back. These people were drug dealers, and my friend was afraid to cross them, so the poor little pup always went back to her lonely yard.

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I too am "guilty"...

...of improving the lives of chained dogs and will continue to help them until my dying days. I'm so glad to see this thread on chained dogs. I'm including this information in a binder which will also include visuals of chained dogs, Vancouver municipality bylaws currently in place thanks to AAS, ordinances in place in various municipalities in the US, letters of support from veterinarians, dog behaviourists and the Alberta SPCA (provincial) and any other appropriate information, which I will present to City Council in both St. Albert and Edmonton here in Alberta.

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I would like to think...

...I'm an honest law abiding citizen. After all I once worked for the police dept and currently work for the Surrey School Board..both which ask for background checks. However I did commit a crime one time..but am glad of it. Here's my story.

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Release the Hounds

By Charles Montgomery, Vancouver Magazine, Sept 2000. Seventy-three-year-old "Ruth" has dime-sized bruises on her arm where a friend's German shepherd pawed her minutes before we met. She is alarmingly thin. When she walks, she seems to sway. Fragile. Not the kind of woman you would expect to leap a neighbour's fence in the dead of night and run off with his border collie. But Leap she did.

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