THANK HEAVENS FOR FRIENDSIt is common to receive rescue calls over weekends and holidays but this one had a different “feel” to it. Enjoying the 4th of July in Ventura, I was looking forward to the remainder of a wonderful weekend when I noticed a message on my cell phone. It was from an animal control officer at an East Bay city shelter. This is not an uncommon occurrence but the time of the call (Friday, the day after the 4th and early evening) gave this one a feel of urgency.
“Hi Mary, this is Officer Tom and I need to talk with you about a wonderful older boy named Butkis that is here at the shelter. I am trying everything to find him a place as his time here is almost up. He is a great dog, he is good with other dogs, loves people, and is very affectionate. He likes to play ball with me. I did give him a bath. He has one eye that needs help but otherwise appears healthy. If you can possibly give me a call I would like to talk with you and if there is anything you can do to help him, I would be very grateful.”
This wasn’t a typical shelter notification of an available animal . Although by the time I received his message, it was after hours, he had given me his private email. I notified him that we could talk at the end of the weekend when I returned to the bay area.
On Monday the officer gave me lots of additional info on Butkis. He was microchipped and his original owner had become unable to continue to care for him and had given him away. The new owners had made no attempt to locate him during his stay at the shelter. It quickly became apparent that a special bond had developed between Butkis and his friend and that he was trying everything to see that he was not euthanized.The decision to accept an older dog into our rescue is a difficult one. We have many dogs in foster currently that are waiting for homes. What are the odds that he will find a home when competing with younger dogs? Although older he had some wonderful qualities going for him……he was good with other dogs and great with all people. That made him more adaptable and hopefully adoptable than some currently waiting. Perhaps the field had been equaled. Further negotiations continued with Officer Tom. If he could get him neutered, we would give it a try. There was no hesitation, Butkis was coming out.
Several days went by and I had not heard that Butkis was ready for pick up.
Then the phone call came. Not only was had he been neutered, his broken tooth had been pulled, blood work had been done, heartworm testing completed and all his vaccines brought up to date. Officer Tom was going to personally meet me at the shelter to do the transfer. His vacation was starting the next day and he was determined to get Butkis taken care of before he left.
He introduced me to Butkis and then I watched them take a short walk together out on the shelter grounds under a tree where they spent a few minutes together. Then they walked back and the leash was handed to me. As he walked away Butkis struggled to get back to his friend.
Animal Control Officers see the worst of the worst in the human animal connection. It is important that they have as many successes as possible.
We were honored to be a part of this one.
P.S. He is a great dog.
Mary Aiken, NorCal Bulldog Rescue
Update: Butkis is now living the good life with his dedicated foster mom as a spoiled house-dog.Tweet