After settling in the first crisis was a German Shepherd brought into the clinic near death. This boy was severely overheated and unresponsive. The poor guy died almost immediately on arrival, too far gone and too damaged to be revived. The young police officer who brought him in was clearly distraught. He did his best when he found the dog and rushed him in to our clinic. Trouble was, he found the poor dog in a crate in the back of a police van. In the police lot. Under the supervision and control of the Bahamas Police.
I was out on the road when the dog came in, but when I returned I had the body pulled from the cooler to make sure all details were documented. The dog, weight 54 pounds, had an internal body temperature, 35 minutes after death and after being in the cooler, of 110.4 degrees F. Normal body temperature for a dog hovers around 102 degrees. This poor guy had been cooked and died of a combination of the heat and asphyxia.
The initial police account was that the dog had been turned over to the police for training. The dog was placed in the back of the van, probably on Sunday, left closed up in the heat and forgotten. An investigation is underway as the Police Superintendent has been notified. We will see what, if anything, happens next.
The next call was to a residence where neighbors reported two dogs in poor condition and a third dog dead in the yard. Ventoi and I rolled on that one in the Bahamas Humane Society Animal Ambulance.
We found a fenced yard in the suburbs of Nassau with a huge chain link fence. Two German Shepherd dogs came barking to the fence. The residence was empty.
One neighbor pointed out the dead dog laying, bloated, in the side yard. His two buddies look a bit lost.
The conditions in the area the dogs lived in were less than ideal.
Once they settled down the live dogs seemed to be ready for some company.
Next call-a report that kids were hanging and torturing dogs in an old hotel in downtown Nassau. I rolled on that case with BHS Animal Care Manager Kirk Duncombe. We met our source near the hotel and hiked on in. This is what we found-and no, this is not Aleppo or Beirut. This is downtown Nassau, in easy sight of the fun-in-the-sun of Atlantis and Paradise Island.
Here is our little girl.
We left with our new friend and headed back to the BHS. There she got a nice clean crate, vaccines, a thorough Vet checkup, fresh water and a good meal. Correction: This poor girl is named Bridgett and was an Operation Potcake dog. She has already been spayed. She does have a leg deformity that has been revealed by the BHS's new digital x-ray machine, donated through the generosity of Lindsey Panning and Tony Hull. Treatment options are currently being discussed. The deformity is not life threatening (a bone grown off kilter) so she should be moving along to her foster family soon.
By this time it was the end of the day and time to call it quits. The drive back to my quarters on the west end of the island passes by some of the most beautiful shoreline you would ever want to see, and I took the drive slowly to decompress a bit. Paradise it may be, but just under the surface are the same problems we face all over the world-animals in need, humans living on the edge, and conflict between those who place their own well being behind that of the animals they live with and those who would victimize both human and animal. We can only address so much at once. There have always been those who care and those who do not-or are even actively evil. The only thing we can do is try to affect our little corner of the world for the time we are there. This, for the moment, is my little corner. I will continue to work with the Bahamas Humane Society to address the many problems here, and if I am lucky I might leave this little corner just a little bit better than I found it.
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