Wednesday, January 28, 2015

My name is Bowen.

I died alone on the cold, concrete floor at Pima Animal Care Center. I was only 18 months old and didn't ever have a chance at a normal dog life.

No one noticed that I was sick the last week before I died.
No one noticed that I could hardly walk the last week before I died.
No one noticed the putrid smell or my pus covered neck the last week before I died.

This is 1 of only 2 pictures of me. This was taken the day before I died. I did not feel good at all.

I am a Pit Bull mix, not a cute little Pug mix or a beautiful Shepherd.

I'm just a black and white Pit Bull. I'm just another Pit Bull in the hundreds of other Pit Bulls at Pima Animal Care Center.


Bowen was a field confiscate on 11/23/14. This means the owner was probably told that he needs to give his dog up or he'd be fined for neglect or for whatever irresponsible behavior the owner had with his dog.

Bowen's review date at PACC was 12/02/14.

He was reviewed on 12/03/14:

He weighed 55 pounds
BCS (Body Condition Scale) 4/9
No temp was taken
He was QAR (Quiet, Alert Responsive)
CRT was 2 seconds
Pulse 90
Resp 30
Intact male
Healing wound on right hind leg
Everything else, within normal limits

He passed, looked good and was set for neutering the next day.

12/04/14 Neutering Day

Temp 103.9
Reported that he "has high temp and crusty eyes"


Notes: "Temp yesterday at S/N clinic was 103.9, but BAR, no nasal/ocuolar discharge. Recheck temp today 101.2, wt=49#. Ate meatball of canned food readily. No tx indicated."


Marked as "Adoptable"


I find him. He's brought to my attention by another volunteer. He can't walk. She's been instructed by staff to take him from the indoor kennels in the main room up to the tent but he won't go. He can't walk.

When I look at him, I can actually smell him first. It's the smell of infection and it's strong. I don't know where it's coming from. I look in his mouth to see if there is an infection in there and I notice his gums, they're very pale. His cheeks and lips are cold.

I pick him up and carry him to the vet.

This is when I realize it's his neck covered in pus.

Weight: 48.4
Temp: 101.3
Depressed, drooling. Ate canned cat food reluctantly.
Odorous fur
Moist dermatitis on ventral mandible/neck.
Seromucoid nasal discharge and ocular crust.
A: Severe URI

Dr. Wilcox treated him with antibiotics and SQ fluids IMMEDIATELY and IMMEDIATELY got a kennel ready for him in sick bay.

I carried him to his kennel and laid him down on his bed. I had to leave as I had pus on my clothes and didn't want to spread infection.

It was the last time I saw him.

I asked about him Saturday, Sunday and it wasn't until Wednesday, 12/17 when I was back in Sick Bay, that I was told he was found on the floor Saturday morning (12/13/14). Dead. There was a small amount of blood next to him.

I had many questions for the Live Rescue Coordinator at PACC, including:
  • Why was he neutered at a 103.9 temp?
  • Why was he marked as a "A" just two days before he was dead?
  • What happened to him in the week between being neutered and death?
  • Do the inmates not notice when they're trying to pull a dog out of his kennel and he won't walk? 
  • Do the inmates let someone know when a dog is sick?
  • You could smell his infection from 5 feet away. Why was he being moved to the tent?
  • Why was he NOT on the walker board? Another volunteer would have noticed he was sick before it was too late? (I asked a volunteer that is there nearly daily if she had ever put him on the walker board. The answer was no, meaning that he had not been released for walking. Dogs with a E-Collar are allowed to walk, just not as far)


The Live Release Coordinator's answer to this was honest. He was disappointed as well that this dog fell through the cracks.

"We are understaffed."

Pima County, DO SOMETHING about this. This dog was confiscated from his owners for a reason.  The reason was NOT so he could die alone on the cold cement floor. There is no proper excuse for this. NONE whatsoever.

I can remember during my PACC Volunteer Orientation it was stated, that for some dogs, PACC is the best place they've ever been. Many dogs are kept in the cold with no water, food or shelter. When they come to PACC, they are warm and safe. I believed that and that is what made me come back to do the volunteer training and volunteer hundreds of hours over the last year.

Bowen was NOT safe at PACC. He was overlooked. 

He was neglected at PACC the same way he was neglected by the owner he was taken away from.

Bowen, I will not let your death be in vain. You will be the dog that sparks a change, that touches someone's heart, that helps make a decision that this will never, ever happen again.

ETA 1/28 3:00 PM: SOMEONE took off his E-Collar. He was wearing one in the first picture on his kennel card. Did that same SOMEONE NOT notice the smell? or the moisture? or the fact that he was so sick?


Anonymous said...

Thank you for recording this memorial about Bowen.
Bowen was seized from a neglectful home and transferred to P.A.C.C. on November 23, 2013.
Ten days later, December 3, 2014, Bowen was evaluated and found to be eligible for neuter surgery scheduled for the next day.
Eight days later, December 11, 2014 was moved to the floor as adoptable.
December 13, 2014 Bowen died from untreated complications following his surgery.
How could this happen in a place that is swarming with people hired to ensure the welfare of the animals in their care?

Anonymous said...

I never met you my dear sweet one but hearing your sad story makes me so very, very sad I cry as I write this. I do so hope as Heather, your Angel said, your death is not in vain. It is stories like these that are inspiring me to volunteer to show MY LOVE to MANY dogs. Thank you Heather for sharing this tribute for Bowen. Yes, we are their voice. RIP Bowen and run free sweet one.

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