Wednesday, March 29, 2006

SPCA response

So I got my SPCA response today, and I am feel like it is a cop out. Maybe. I mean... is leaving two dangerous animals chained to falling apart cars in a backyard fills with trash, feces, and broken stuff in the rain, night, cold, heat, etc legally ok? Additionally, is allowing your agressive pets to often get lose, who then attack nieghborhood dogs and try to attack people legally ok? Is every once and a while leaving the dogs in the basement for 2-3 weeks at a time NEVER taking them out legally acceptable?

If these things are all legally acceptable that makes me upset. I mean, not only were these dogs obviously suffering, but their agressive nature and insecure chains ALSO put everyone in danger, and when not in danger, in constant fear of the dogs gettings lose. For months I couldnt even park my car in my own driveway because the dog would be lunging on its chain, snapping and growling at me from about 10 feet away. Any time at all, the dog could pull its chain lose, and bam. And when the other dog (the non-people attacking one) got lose and attacked Murray because I was letting him pee in my own yard (this was before I knew how often they got lose) the owner said "Well you were antagonizing my dog by having your dog in the backyard." MY backyard.

So Anyways, here is the letter. I am still deciding how I feel about it.

Hi Lindsey,
I am so sorry for not responding to your email sooner as I have been having all kinds of problems with my email (and I'm not even sure you will get this). Regarding the pit bulls that were taken from 174 Fellow Ave while we did respond to any calls we received about them, there were no violations of law at that time that would allow us to seize the animals. As you can imagine this can be very frustrating.
As yourself, we had no way of knowing at that time that the dogs would later be abandoned, left in the basement. Please know that had we had enough evidence prior to this, we would have acted accordingly.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Syracuse, Dogs, and the SPCA

So the neighbor I life in in Syracuse is decent, friendly neighbors, working class, and what not. Except since I moved in the neighbors on our right were, well...... Not so good. They had two pitbull mixes tied up in their backyard to a derelict car. They had random bicycle halves and broken furniture strewn about. They had random shady types coming in and out of the house all the time. In the fall, when we kept out windows open, we could hear them screaming obscenities at their children. We could hear grandma yelling at her son to go buy the kids food, there wasn't any and they were hungry. Sometimes the parents would get in long, loud arguments through the night, screaming at each other about drug use.

I felt bad for the situation, felt bad for the family, felt especially bad for the poor kids, and the dogs chained up. As badly as I felt for the dogs, I was also terrified of them. Being chained up in a yard, not trained, not socialized, can do something to a dog, and these dogs were mean. Ever once and a while one or the other dogs would get lose. Once the brown dog got lose and ran around my house. Another time, the black dog got lose and tried to attack my roommate. Luckily he was building a bookshelf at the time, and had a big board, which he waved menacingly at the dog and kept it off him. Then one day the brown dog got lose while I was walking my small 15 lb mutt in my backyard. It attacked him. I swung him in the air on his leash and grabbed him. The dog was still trying to get him.... So with quick thinking, I saw the kitchen window was open and shoved my little dog through, saving him. Luckily the brown dog was not so interested in attacking me at the time.

Since I had moved in, I had called the SPCA in CNY a lot of times, and emailed them, telling them of the dogs neglect, how they also kept getting lose, and this was especially dangerous since our homes are across from a middle school. Even through all of this, I heard very little to nothing back from the SPCA. I also called animal control after the dog attacked mine. Still the dogs remained there. Outside, tied up with garbage strewn around them, no place to sleep, rain or shine.

Every once and while, the owners would put them in their basement and leave them down their for a few weeks. I saw the guy walking the dog about 3 times, in 7 months. Other than that, they would get thrown some food, and then ignored. Finally, recently, these neighbors left. I let out a sigh of relief. No more being woken up in the night by yelling, no more loud loud music played in cars outside my bedroom window at 8 in the morning. No more pitfalls. They were gone too. Or so I thought.

Every once and awhile, the old neighbors would stop by in their van, stay for a bit and then leave. Since no one told me anything regarding the house, I didn't know they weren't supposed to be there. My other neighbors became suspicious that maybe the dogs were still there, but we couldn't tell.

Then one night, the cops came. Discovered the old residents were using the empty house as a crack/whore house. Great. Wonderful. Additionally, it was mentioned (by word of mouth to me) that the dogs had been found in the basement and were brought to the SPCA. Well FINALLY, I thought.

Just now, today, I heard more of the story. Apparently, the house is in foreclosure. So the bank owns it. They had some guys there today cleaning out the stuff from the house. I talked to them, and they told me that when these dogs were found, almost dead.

It made me so angry. I called and emailed the SPCA a million times. My neighbor also did. Why was nothing done until the dogs had to suffer so much, for so long? The one thing I felt I could do to help this bad situation next door was to alteast get this innocent (and aggressive only due to the owners) dogs out of this place. But no. Nothing was done until the dogs were DYING. It pisses me off. So I wrote the SPCA this letter today:

To Whom it May Concern:

I am writing because I have just found out some more of the story regarding the pitbulls at *** _______ Ave. As a neighbor who moved in in late August, I have called the SPCA many times, and emailed as well regarding the neglect of the those dogs. Many times I was told by your people that you would be looking into it. I never saw any consequences, and eventually, the owners moved out. Unbeknownst to me, they left the dogs in the basement. When the foreclosure company came to clean the house out, they found the dogs starving to death in the basement. I was told that then the SPCA finally came and took them. It really saddens me to hear that even though I have been contacting you with concerns about these dogs treatment in the past 8 months, nothing was done until after the dogs were forced to suffer these cruel, inhumane treatment as they slowly and quietly were starving in the basement. I am really upset that these dogs were not taken out of this situation earlier, preventing them from suffering from this further cruel treatment, when I, as well as my upstairs neighbors, had contacted you repeatedly regarding the dogs.

It really breaks my heart to think this dogs were mistreated for so long, and even with my and my neighbors emails and phone calls to you, that this still happened to these dogs.


Anyways, I will give you updates, I am curious to see how they respond. Tell me what you think.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

that fresh bleaching

my room mate spent a good part of the evening whitening her teeth. then she drank pepsi. (or coke, how do i know?)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

BBay part cricket

So i keep meaning to write more about my bombay trip, and I keep forgetting. Now I decided I will comment some on my time visiting with da boyz.

The second week I was in Mumbai, I volunteered a couple hours a day at a home run by nuns for street kids. The one I visited housed 20 boys. At first, I was totally nervous, because I never consider myself to be "good" working with boys, but rather assume I am good working with girls. This experience proved my assumptions wrong. Sure, the boys were a little rowdy from time to time, but they were great! I brought Uno and another game to teach them, and we spent some time sketching, making masks, and (I think it may have been the winner) making puppets! When not being artsy inside, I would go with them to the park and they would teach me how to play. I was taught the basics of cricket (well of batting) and played badminton and also the youngest boy Akash tried to teach me everyday how to properly spin tops. These tops are the cool kind that you wrap a piece of string around and then have to fling. Many of the boys can do awesome tricks with their tops, like fling them into the air and catch them (still spinning) in the palm of their hand. I, on the other hand, only managed to get the top to spin around a bit a few times, after many intense lessons from Akash, who was NOT going to give up on my lack of top-spinning skills.

Also, Akash really liked to take my hand and take me around. On the first day I was their, another boy sat down next to me, and just looked at me smiling. All of these boys were so sweet.

The nuns told me a bit about the home. They told me how all of these boys were found in places like train stations on their own. Slowly, volunteers would get to know them, find out why they were there, where their parents were (if they had them)and then would eventually invite them to come stay at this home (if they desired). At the home, they would get a chance to go to school, a warm, comfy place to stay, three meals a day, tutoring and homework help, and so forth. There was a guy who grew up at the home, now grown, with a good education and a job, who came and visited all the time.

In addition to the many kids found on the streets, some where orphans, like my Akash (oh how I wanted to steal him and his brother and take them home with me!) and another boy Kapil, who was found abandoned as a baby. He lived his toddler years elsewhere, then was moved to this home. Everyone described him as "a little off in the head" and upon meeting him I absolutely loved him! He is "a little off" (I don't know how) but he is also sweet, loving, engages with people, loves to play creatively, and talkative. He is around 8 (I would guess) and does not yet know how to read and write, but I noticed the other boys don't let him do a lot of stuff either (I was letting him glue his own mask, but the other boys got upset that he was smushing the glue stick). He also was extremely good at following directions even when he was not happy about them. He asked if he could go to the park to play with the other boys, and the head nun told him no because he has "fits" sometimes and she doesn't want him to fall down and get hurt (She didn't explain this any further to me). And he looked sad but then quickly found an indoor game to busy himself. Also all the other boys love him. Everyone always makes sure to show him affection by giving him a hug, greeting him, or giving him a pat on the back. The head nun told me they are trying to get him adopted by an American Family... But I don't know the details.

Another sweet boy was Gopala. He is missing his leg from a little below his knee down. My "interpreter" (another sweetie, a bit older, who loved to play sports in the park with me) told me "Gopala got run over by a train. That's why his leg is gone. He gets sad about that" Gopala has a fake leg thing, but it doesn't work too well. He is not allowed to go play in the park either. He can be very quiet, and keeps himself away from the other boys a lot. Once his leg (which has weird scars) touched somebody else and the kick smacked him. He started crying, and I went and sat by him. He said he was crying coz it hurt him, but I wonder if it was really because the boy said his leg was so gross, rather than being hit.

Anyways, each boy has his own story, and they were all such great kids. I really enjoyed doing art with them and playing with them.

Front left is Kapil, next is my lovely interpreter, two over is Akash, one row up (behind Kapil) is Gopala. Unfortunately, since I was there such a short time, I didn't get a chance to learn all their names, but I remember each one and special things about each of them anyways!