Letter to the Editor

Dog 'rescue'

Monday, November 5, 2018

I feel compelled to write this article about the dog “rescue” that occurred north of Terril in September. I agree that the pictures of the frail dogs are very graphic, but some important facts are missing.

Snowball, the 14-year-old white pit bull, had a long medical history. She had two previous cancer surgeries, a bout with hind limb paralysis treated with prescriptions by a vet, and lastly a skin irritation this summer that later developed into sores. I bathed her often and applied vetericyn, wound dressing and udder balm — both brown in color. This was not excrement. Penny, her 14- of 15-year-old cousin, had developed large tumors. In the last few days, she was unable to stand alone. Both dogs still ate, drank, slept most of the day and had comforters or blankets under them. Snowball went to bed with us at night. By the way, I noticed Snowballs’ sores were beginning to heal — something I can’t prove as she was immediately euthanized and probably cremated.

The one dog, Peppy, that was supposedly tied outside to our barn for 10 years (another lie), but was contained as she killed most of my poultry and chased the cattle. I tried to give her away, but no one wanted a dog like that.

Only Snowball had sores — none of the others. Snowball, Tweedles and Peppy had been spayed years earlier. I felt Penny was too old and frail to survive surgery or chemotherapy. I agreed to the taking of these three dogs only.

When the “Unbreakable Bullies” volunteers first came, she was very cordial. However, after I willingly surrendered Snowball, Penny and Peppy (I felt compelled as she said I could be arrested if I didn’t allow her to also take my three healthy dogs (like my children). She also came with no equipment and asked if she could borrow my transport crates. I carried out three of them and placed Patch, Cody and Tweedles into them. I was shocked when the gal insisted on Patch (a history of stress seizures). Of course as I led her to the rescuer’s vehicle, Patch had a grand mal seizure. The director of “Unbreakable Bullies” insisted on Patch going, even knowing about her seizures. I thought that was inhumane. Anti-seizure medication was supposed to arrive before the volunteer’s departure. Of course, those never came! No comforter or blankets for Snowball or penny, just the bare floor of the van. I objected, saying a long and rough road trip would be hard on them. The volunteer said she’s return my crate and give me an update on the dogs the next morning — I never heard from her again. I told her I wanted Patch, Cody and Tweedles back.

I panicked the next day when no phone call came. I called the sheriff and a deputy told me to call “Unbreakable Bullies,” and he was told I had willingly surrendered all the dogs instead of three. When I called, the director screamed obscenities using the “F” — children in the background, she said I would never get my three dogs back and said she’d make my life as miserable as possible. After an attorney from Des Moines contacted her, the death threats on “Facebook” began. These threats also included burning our house down and dismembering our bodies with chains.

We were also accused of being druggies. The only medications we take are legally prescribed by doctors. I have always hated “druggies” myself. Unfortunately, a lot of drug people only want pit bulls as guard dogs. I only had mine for love and companionship.

I didn’t realize how cruel and vicious Facebook could be. There were so many awful accusations from people who didn’t know all the facts. We ourselves don’t have Internet and probably never will. We’re both in our 70s and had strict rural upbringings. I witnessed both my parents die in a nursing home. I honestly think I took as good of care of my dogs as my folks received in the nursing home. I have asked attorneys, deputies and a veterinarian if there’s any law against allowing elderly, frail dogs to die at peace at home. None, so far, knew of any such law. I’m sick that Snowball and Penny had to endure a long, rough trip to Des Moines — no one to turn them, walk them if necessary. No comforters or blankets under them like I had in the house.

I feel like this rescue group went beyond legal authority to seize my three healthy and happy dogs — Patch, Cody and Tweedles. Luckily we took photographs of Parch and Lady about a week before their seizure. None of my neighbors even thought that the three healthy dogs looked thin or sick. I question the thousands of dollars this rescue organization claims that have spent on the healthy dogs. I agree that they may have had parasites, etc. Country dogs chase and sometimes eat rabbits, squirrels, rodents, etc. Unfortunately this is the main way dogs contract worms, etc. The hair-coats on the three dogs I loved were shiny and slick. If these dogs were in poor condition, how did they get that way after they left here? I wonder about that. I hope the group isn’t inflating medical bills to obtain extra money.

I feel like this rescue group has made its own name “Unbreakable Bullies.” No group should have “carte blanche” to deceive or lie as to their intentions. I fear for the future of innocent pet lovers who have been bullied into their animal’s seizure. Even though I never signed or verbally agreed on my three loving dogs being taken — this is what happened.

Karen Kreutzkampf, Terril