Tuesday, June 26, 2012

‘At least he got one day of love’: Starved, ignored, fatally ill dog finally found comfort

Kingston / Photo: Yvette Holzbach
 An urgent appeal spread quickly among animal rescuers in Houston, Texas on Saturday.

“Got a call from a nurse that does home health and she has seen this poor dog for a few weeks,” Kelle Mann Davis wrote on her Facebook page under a photo of a grotesquely emaciated and skin-ravaged animal.

Davis, who runs Forgotten Dogs of the 5th Ward, explained, “The story from residents at the apartment complex is that the dog was left behind after a move. This dog needs help NOW. Can anyone please help him? I will help how I can but no room here right now. PLEASE SHARE!!!!”

The animal rescue community often can mobilize with lightning speed. In this case two groups, Forgotten Dogs of the 5th Ward and Corridor Rescue,Inc. quickly combined forces to take action.

‘He just so desperately wanted some love’

“We spent four or five hours looking for Kingston this morning,” reported Yvette Holzbach in a Facebook post.  A photographer, Holzbach volunteers to document the work of Corridor Rescue in the field. “As Kelle Mann Davis was leaving the area, she saw him cross the street. She immediately tried to get him off the road and he just collapsed. With help from Jamie Mitschke of Love Puppy Breath Rescue we headed off to the vet.”

“On the way there I rode in the back of the car with him,” Holzbach continued. “All he wanted to do was eat. I was amazed at his strength. He kept trying to sit up. I was trying to keep him calm. He eventually crawled over to me and lay his head next to my chest and pushed up against me, almost as if he just so desperately wanted some love. And that is how he stayed for the 30-minute drive.”

Next Holzbach reported, “His [medical test] results came back a lot better than expected so we are hopeful. It will be a miracle if he pulls through but I have the feeling that he is a little fighter. A big thank-you to Corridor Rescue who are offering assistance. I will keep you all updated as we go along. Hang in there sweet boy!”

Kingston / Photo: Forgotten Dogs of the 5th Ward

“Kingston” as the rescuers named him, was finally getting the care and love that perhaps he had never had in his life.

Yet he was weak—horrifically starved and dangerously dehydrated in the scorching Houston summer. According to Mischke, the vet found that he suffered from heart worm, an internal parasite, as well as sarcoptic mange, a painful condition caused by a skin parasite.

The cards stacked hard against the long-abandoned dog. He would indeed need a miracle to survive.

Sadly, the next day Davis had to deliver the news that it was too late even for miracles.

In an apartment complex two city blocks long, no help from residents

“It is with a heavy heart that I write this,” Davis posted on her Facebook page. “After surviving and suffering on the streets for many months, Kingston went over the Rainbow Bridge early this morning. I know many have already learned of this but I had to write a tribute of my own.

“At about midnight he crashed. He had been eating and responding, but he became limp and unresponsive and his vital signs dropped.

“He had, I believe, what he was seeking—a safe place surrounded by love and a blanket—where could give up the fight, and surrender to the angels who had been waiting to take him to a place where there is no hunger, so suffering, no neglect.

“We had so hoped for him to live and to discover what he should have known all along, and never did.

“I don’t understand how this boy lived in an apartment complex and no one saw him. No one saw his starved body or his ravaged skin. I will never understand how people can be so unkind, so uncaring.

“Kingston was in an apartment complex that was two city blocks big, with many residents who saw him. When asked, they knew exactly which dog we were seeking. But not one of them offered him a scrap or water or help for rescue.”

Kingston / Photo: Yvette Holzbach

Strengthened resolve to fight for ‘the unseen, the forgotten’

“It has made my resolve more strong,” Mann continued in her tribute to Kingston, “to live and be aware, to help others to become aware, to do all I can to try to change the plight of the unseen, the forgotten.

“Thank you Kingston, for sharing just a moment of your journey. You brought us tears and we had hope, but it wasn’t meant to be. Another mission of mercy, another rescue that brings heartache and pain.

“But we were honored, dear Kingston, to be by your side, and proud to have had the privilege of helping you with dignity and love. Thank you. You didn’t die with the ants eating your body, in a ditch all alone, hurting and scared, but am sure you waited for us to allow you but an ounce of comfort for your trip across the Rainbow Bridge.

“We love you boy. Run fast and run free. You are in our hearts forever more.”

‘Shame on the people who looked away’

DeAnna McGuire Clawson remarked on her Facebook page, “RIP Kingston. So sad his little body gave out the day he finally had a human show him compassion. Shame on the people who looked away in that apartment building and refused to give this poor thing water or food.”

“At least,” she concluded, “he got one day of love.”

To help the many other dogs like Kingston in the Houston area, please consider donating to or volunteering for rescue groups such as:

RIP Kingston / Photo: Yvette Holzbach

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