By Ralph Nichols, B-Town Blog
Joel and Julie, the emaciated pit bulls who were found chained up at a home in Burien and rescued with the help of Dogs Deserve Better in late January, are slowly improving.
They will remain in foster care until charges against their previous owner, who relinquished them to Dogs Deserve Better, are heard in court. “Then we will start looking to adopt them out,” Page said.
“Joel has been to four vets and he has deformed bones from malnutrition. He will never walk correctly,” she added. “He has open sores on his back end from lying on his bones on the concrete.”
Julie, the more dominant dog, would eat all of the one cup of food that was thrown to them every four or five days. Joel weighed only 27 pounds when he should have been 55 pounds at the time of their rescue, and Julie weight 37 pounds.
Yet “both of them are friendly with other dogs,” although “they are mentally scarred and have been abused, as you can’t raise a hand above their heads without them ducking,” Page observed.
House Bill 1755 and Senate Bill 5649, which have been introduced in the current legislative session, would limit statewide the time any dog can be tethered. It would prohibit dogs from being tethered from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. or for more than 10 hours in any 24-hour period.
A Feb. 15 hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee has been scheduled on SB 5649. Information about the bill is available here.
The mission of Dogs Deserve Better “is to rescue dogs off chains and out of pens and pass legislation to limit or ban chaining and penning of dogs,” Page said.
“We get anonymous calls, about two or three a day, on chained dogs across our state and we will go out and check on these dogs. We talk to the owners, how we can help [their dogs] get off the chains by providing training, vet care, building them a fence, and hay and food.
“We will rescue on the spot if the owner relinquishes.”
Dogs Deserve Better has about 50 volunteers and about 14 foster homes in Washington. They take in 40 to 50 dogs a year “as most of our dogs off chains are unsocialized and need time and training to heal and learn how to be dogs again. We work with the shelters and rescuers across the state when they have a chained dog who needs help.”
Page noted that Dogs Deserve Better has received three calls about dogs tethered cruelly in Burien during the past year.
A new website for the organization will launch in two weeks at www.dogsdeservebetter.org.
Their Facebook page is here.