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?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Why my house is a mess

It's Sunday afternoon and I'm trying to get the kids to do something productive.

They're both playing games.

Kat is on the computer playing on-line. Trent is playing the Wii.

I say:

"Kids, please turn off the computers/tv and Swiffer."

No response.

I repeat without using the word "please".

No response.

I repeat it.

No response.

I walk over to the TV and turn it off. I hear, "Oh, really Mom? Reaaallly?"

"Go Swiffer and Kat will follow behind you with the mop."

Kat turns off the computer because she knows I mean business.

Trent picks up the dry mop. This won't work because he doesn't clean off dog hair as he goes. And besides, I said, "SWIFFER!".

He insists he will clean it as he goes. Fine. Not arguing with him.

"Kat, you get the mop and follow behind Trent as he Swiffers".

"Where's the mop? What does it look like?" It's a stalling technique I'm used to.

I hand the mop to her.

Within seconds, she is spraying the back of Trent's ankles with the mop fluid. Trent is yelling back at her and there are a few karate moves involved. I tell them to separate a bit.

"But Mom, you told me to follow behind him"

Trent goes into the living room and dry mops.

Kat discovers that the mop makes a squeaky noise when you pull the trigger. She starts to play "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" with the mop trigger, getting excessive amounts of cleaning fluid in one area.

"Kat, knock it off and now you'll have to mop up the extra fluid."

Five minutes later, Kat is still in the same area moving the mop back and forth.

"Kat, you have to move around the room when you mop."

"You told me to mop up the extra fluid."

Kat drops the mop and walks away.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm thirsty"

I say nothing because I'm biting my tongue. Yelling at them just makes them laugh. I'm folding clothes in the laundry area. I'll just ignore them.

Kat is getting a second glass of water.

Still ignoring her until I hear a shrill scream.

"TRENT! You're getting dog hair all over the area I just mopped".

I look at Trent's dry mop and there is very little hair on the front of it. What the heck has he done with all the hair he has collected?

Well, he drug it over the wet mopped area, leaving hair everywhere.

I reach for my anti-anxiety pills and take a couple. I don't want to yell or scream or threaten. Just mop the fucking floor and move on. Why is it so hard? If I start yelling, then Erik starts yelling and then all HELL breaks loose and there goes our nice Simpson's Sunday evening.

"Trent, have you been cleaning the hair from the dry mop as you go?"

"Yeah, I just did"


There are clumps of dog hair everywhere.

Katrina quits mopping because Trent just covered her 5 foot square mopped area with dog hair.

They're arguing and it's starting to get loud.

"Is it really worth it? Shouldn't I have just Swiffered and mopped the damn floor, " I ask myself.

Kat does put the mop away (she only mopped half the dining room) eventually and goes out side to see what Erik is doing. Trent picks up the clumps of hair with the dry mop and soon I hear Erik screaming at Trent.

Trent decided to dump the contents of the dry mop over Katrina's head.

This is why my house is a mess. I give up. I climb up the anti-anxiety medication ladder and go back into my bedroom and study.

P.S. There are no pictures to this story. I always say that pictures are important. Today they are not. I'm curled up into the fetal position under the covers in my bed. Just picture that.

Most of the time they're very good kids. They're awesome kids. It's just when it comes to cleaning that I can't handle it.

Thanks for listening.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Looking for a dog or cat you saw a picture of at PACC?

If you are here looking for more information about a dog or cat that I took a picture of, you can click above on the green bar that says, "Dog Walk 2014" or "Kitty Cuddles 2014".

Please note that my information on whether or not they are adopted may not be up to date.  Also note that any comments I make is based only on my personal experience with that specific animal. 

You can also visit Pima Animal Care Center on line for dogs HERE

For cats, visit HERE.

On either page, you can click on "NAME" and have pets listed alphabetically by name. If they're not in the system, chances are they are probably adopted.

But, please, double check by calling Pima Animal Care Center at 520-243-5900.

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