|A healthcare worker visiting the neighborhood fed Kingston then called the rescue group / Photo: Forgotten Dogs of the 5th Ward|
“I apologize for taking so long to post an update,” Jamie Mitschke wrote on her Facebook page. “It has been a long, exhausting day trying to help Kingston and dealing with my other fosters.”
Anyone who has ever rescued even one animal knows the feeling. When you’re responsible for several of them, the exhaustion factor skyrockets, both physically and emotionally.
Yet Mischke diligently went on to describe the disturbing details of her experiences on that brutally hot day in one of Houston’s most impoverished areas.
A volunteer with Love Puppy Breath Rescue, Mischke had devoted her Sunday to join other volunteers from Forgotten Dogs of the 5thWard Project and Corridor Rescue, Inc. so as to locate and help an abandoned, deathly ill and starved dog who they named “Kingston.”
Mischke’s account not only sheds additional light on the events reported previously here on The Dozen Dog Diaries; she concludes with a moving plea for more citizen involvement to improve the plight of the world’s many forgotten and desperate animals.
‘They said he looked like a hyena—they were scared of him’
“Kingston was originally seen by a healthcare worker at an apartment complex,” Mischke began. “She fed him yesterday and e-mailed Kelle Mann Davis [of Forgotten Dogs of the 5th Ward Project]. Kelle posted the pictures to Facebook late last night and I couldn't get the dog out of my head.
“At 7:00 a.m. today, plans were sealed to go on the search. We arrived at the complex just after 8:00 a.m. and talked to a lot of residents.
“It seemed everyone knew Kingston. They said he looked like a hyena, that we shouldn't touch him, and that they were scared of him.
“Poor Kingston had been hanging around the dumpsters and sleeping under cars for quite a long time—it's unclear how long—and no one lifted a finger until the amazing healthcare worker reached out.
“We drove and walked the complex and surrounding streets, always hearing stories of the hyena dog, but it wasn't until almost five hours later that we found him.
“Kelle and her wonderful husband came upon him walking down the middle of the road, and when the dog tried to make it over to Kelle, he collapsed. I was on the other side of the apartment complex, so Kelle called.
“I got there, and when we lifted him off the street, I was unable to feel any femoral pulses. Poor Kingston was in very bad condition. His mucus membrane color was terrible, his skin obviously horrible, and he was crawling with ants.
“The local area offered little for veterinary care. He would have to be in the car for almost 45 minutes till we reached a vet. We made him as comfortable as we could.
“Yvette sat in the back of the car with him on the way and she said that he was eating and was trying to get up and move. She kept him calm and finally he laid his head in her lap and relaxed. Poor guy.
“Kingston is at the vet now. His blood work wasn't as bad as we imagined, but it's not great. He is heart worm positive of course, and has sarcoptic mange. We'll know more later.”
‘At least he knew one day of love”
Tragically, Kingston did not make it. The illnesses, severe malnutrition, and deadly dehydration that had mounted during untold months or years of neglect combined to create an enemy too fierce for even the expert and devoted care he had finally found.
Mischke, her fellow rescuers, and the many others who followed the dog’s harrowing story only took consolation in knowing that, as DeAnna McGuire Clawson put it, “at least he knew one day of love.”
‘Please don’t turn your back on strays’
“Every single person that saw Kingston and walked away played a part in his neglect,” Mischke wrote, “including the original person who owned him.
“Please, PLEASE...don't turn your back on strays. That is how they get to this condition.
“We understand that not everyone can take on a stray, but reach out. There ARE people that will help. There are people like us. Find us. We WANT you to find us.”
‘Teaching the public better ways’
“Awareness is key,” Mischke emphasized. “In this area of Houston there are many rescues helping to make things better for these dogs and helping to teach the public better ways.
“The rescue that Kelle Davis and I typically work with is one such rescue. It is the Forgotten Dogs of the 5th Ward Project.
“Please take some time to visit them at: Forgotten Dogs of the 5th Ward Project.
“Both of these rescues, Forgotten Dogs of the 5th Ward Project and Corridor Rescue, Inc. and the people involved do amazing and selfless things on a regular basis.
“The things I've seen while I’ve volunteered with them, including all the events today,” Mischke confessed, “have honestly brought me to tears.”
Please see previous post about Kingston.
For more about Kingston and the issues of animal abandonment and neglect, please return soon to The Dozen Dog Diaries.
ALL PHOTOS AND TEXT BY KATERINA LORENZATOS MAKRIS unless otherwise noted