People Actually Think It's OK To Tie Dogs Up And Abandon Them
Earlier this year, Claire Teasdale - a young woman in her early twenties - was walking in her Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood while on the phone with her mother, when she spotted something that stopped her in her tracks.
"Mom, there's the most emaciated little pit bull tied up to a fence."
"Claire, don't - "
Click. She hung up and approached the poor pup.
The pit bull immediately welcomed her attention and snuggled up next to her as she pet her. She didn't seem to want Teasdale to let go, or ever leave her side.
An older man approached the two of them and informed Teasdale that the dog had been tied up for over two hours. A couple of other girls had also spotted the abandoned pup and were on their way to bring her food, but didn't plan on taking her in.
Teasdale looked down at the pup and heard the echos of her mother telling her, "Don't." But, despite this advice, she decided she had to bring this dog home with her.
The pup continued to shower Teasdale with kisses, so she decided to call her Bisoux (French for kisses), or Little B for short.
One of the girls who brought food for the pit bull happened to work at a pet store, and provided Teasdale with a crate, shampoo, food and all she would need to look after this dog for a few days while she tried to find her a permanent and loving home.
"I started to feel this pull in my gut that I'd signed on for way too much," Teasdale told The Dodo. "But there was this little puppy looking up at me and jumping on my leg for attention that made all that go away."
Little B was in poor physical condition, but what she needed most was affection. She had clearly been neglected and, like any other living thing, just wanted to be held. Teasdale got to work on providing the pup with the nourishment she desperately sought.
The first thing Teasdale did was give Little B a bath. She was an unnatural yellow color, and her nails were completely black and looked as though they had never been clipped. She was clearly malnourished, her ribs jutting out through her skin and fur.
The pooch trusted Teasdale right away, never acting aggressive or fearful as she allowed herself to be taken care of. She seemed grateful for and aware of the generous love Teasdale was giving her.
"She was amazing. Not scared at all, excited to meet new people and desperate for affection," Teasdale said. "She really did hug me, pressing her body against mine. I knew I couldn't leave her in a situation where she could be abused again."
That night Little B snuggled up to Teasdale and fell asleep in her lap with her head resting on Teasdale's chest.
"I started to cry. For me, and for most animals and humans, sleep is the ultimate vulnerability," Teasdale said. "This dog falling asleep, not just next to me but snuggled into me, showed that she trusted me. I couldn't stop thinking about what had happened to her and what could happen to her in the future."
Unfortunately, the incident of Little B being tied up and abandoned is not an isolated one. "We've worked with the New York City Police department on a number of cases where dogs have been intentionally abandoned without food or water and sometimes suffering from injuries." Howard Lawrence, vice president of the ASPCA Anti-Cruelty Group, told The Dodo. "If you find a potentially abandoned animal, you should immediately contact your local law enforcement, animal control agency or whichever agency handles abandoned or injured animals in your community. Quick action could potentially save an animal's life."
Teasdale's haste to take action may have been linked to her experience with this sort of animal cruelty in the past.
Teasdale's family dog - also a pit bull, named Lychee - was a rescue who had been left outside to starve and suffer. She was found at a public pool, where she'd been tied up for over a week in late winter. Teasdale grew up with Lychee and the pair had always been close. Just like the abandoned pup she found as an adult, Lychee was affectionate and full of snuggles. Perhaps this is what motivated and inspired Teasdale to immediately do everything she could for Little B.
However, sometimes being a hero means recognizing when it's time to step down and let others help. Teasdale was fully aware that she didn't have the means to give this amazing pooch everything she needed. She took care of Little B for as long as she could, but also knew she wasn't the right person to provide her with a forever home.
"I wasn't financially able to take on a puppy, nor did I have the time, and I knew that," Teasdale, a recent college graduate and current intern, said. "I can barely take care of myself and sometimes I can't even do that. Adding a puppy in the mix wasn't going to be beneficial to me or her."
She passed her on to a second foster home, who reimbursed her for the money she spent to care for the puppy before rehoming her, an incredibly generous gesture. Clearly this family truly cared and had the financial means to provide for this dog.
"I couldn't let Little B have the same fate as Lychee, but I couldn't control it either. All I could do for both dogs was give them all my snuggles and treats, so their time with me was full of love," Teasdale said.
Not all abandoned dogs share the same happy ending as Little B. "Starvation causes terrible suffering and the people who abandon their dogs by leaving them tied up often cause the most torturous deaths imaginable while operating under the delusion that some good Samaritan will save the day," Scott Hieser, senior attorney and criminal justice program director at the Animal Legal Defense Fund, told The Dodo. "Most dogs tied up and abandoned die horrible deaths."
Just a few months ago, The Dodo reported on a skeletal dog that was found tied up outside of a church. Luckily, the pup was also rescued by people who did their best to make sure he found a safe home. However, not all abandoned dogs have the same luck. Many are found by people with bad intentions, and that's why it's so important to make sure you take charge when you see an abandoned pup.
Little B could have been subjected to a terrible fate. Thanks to Teasdale, Little B now has the chance to experience a brighter future.
If you ever see a dog that you suspect has been abandoned or is mistreated, please take action. Call your local animal control office and report what you have found. For more information on how you can help, click here.