Bollinger County Stray Project Report April 10-16
SHE was only 5 or 6-years of age when she was walked into the arena by her father to watch her first dog fight. The smell, the sounds of the spectators, and the lack of sound by the dogs in the ring are vivid in her mind today at age 62.
SHE recalls her childhood as ”very painful and sad as a child growing up seeing so many animals abused… … there was so much abuse with dad. He abused every animal that we had. When mom passed away dad got several dogs from the humane society. When I would go to the house I would know if there was one being abused [by how they acted].”
The sounds: thrashing by the bloody dogs as they stretched the wire walls of the fight ring, sucking sounds from their drooling jaws, and the heavy labored breathing as they battled for their lives.
Yes, SHE was touched by what she saw because she loved Jack, her father’s prize Pit. Jack was also the sire of the puppies which would give her solace when she was afraid of her father. The pups, a cash crop, were whelped by her grandmother’s dog and another bitch, both owned by her dad.
She held the puppies when it was ear trimming time. She said, “Dad showed me just where to start cutting so the ear would stand good and not be too long or short. The puppies would cry and bleed. Booger was our bitch, Jack was the dad. Dad kept one other pup to fight [named] Jake. Jake was never as good as Jack. Dad had a thick cable running from one end of the yard to the other…. …barrel for house. I got .25 cents a day to feed our dogs. Dad also had long ropes with big tubes for Jack & Jake to play fight. Our yard was a play training yard for our dogs….
“ One night Jake never came home.” SHE wrote.
Dad’s mom lived next door and did not like what he did, but still she let him breed Jack to Belle, the Pit at her house. Grandma was a strict Pentecost, a good woman that loved animals. Her son’s abusive manners: she may have been afraid of him.
To no one’s surprise, Daddy was also abusive to his daughter and his wife. Mom was her “savior”. “I remember grandma standing over me praying for me after she found welts on my body… …He would beat my mother badly too…,” SHE said.
People that knew them had no idea what he was doing at home. He was different in public. Mom died years before her dad probably from the stress on her body.
SHE recalled, “Cookie, Mom’s Dachshund, was being abused [by him] so Mom gave her away. Mom hated the fighting, but back then, what could she do?”
Mom was trapped in her own fight ring with a precious little girl to protect.
This family lived in Cape Girardeau. Before he fought Pits he raised hunting Beagles. Many people knew her father and that he fought dogs. He and two other men are “credited” for bringing fighting Pits to our area from Kentucky.
Daddy was a man you did not want to cross. An example given was when SHE was riding Sonny, her Shetland pony. Two neighborhood boys picked on her. They would throw rocks and encourage their little dog to chase Sonny. One day she told Dad.
Dad made her get on Sonny and ride by the neighbor’s home. Dad put Jack in the vehicle with him. When the kids started to toss rocks and the little dog came out to help, Dad let Jack loose to “make a point.”
She wrote, “Jack was on top of the little dog shaking him like a rag doll and it was screaming! The boys ran out and Dad got Jack off.”
“I did not want to ride [my pony] after that.” SHE wrote.
She also wrote, “I had a kitten one time and Daddy let it out of the basement right out the door to Jack…”
SHE learned a valuable lesson: do not complain and the less she would speak, the happier Daddy was. Keep Daddy happy so there is peace in the house, in her life, and yes, in her neighborhood.
After school, when it turned dark, Dad would load her and Jack to exercise, condition his prize fighter. They would go down the lower bend road in Egypt Mills and run Jack from one end to the other. A possum on the road was a treat for Jack as much as for Dad. He cheered Jack on saying over and over again, “Sick em Jack! Sick em, Sick em…” Dad would always say, “Hear those bones crunch?”
SHE told me the sound is imprinted, “Yes, [Dad] I still hear those bones crunch …”
Her family would go on camping trips to remote locations along the Castor River and Jack came with. When their Pits could not go with them a neighborhood kid came over to feed the dogs. The dogs were always gentle with people. She recalls them as loving.
Mom never went to a fight, but she would ask, “Did Jack win?” Fighting was never discussed at the dinner table. It was just a part of livelihood.
SHE thinks mom asked about Jack because his success probably had a lot to do with how Daddy would treat Mommy, their little girl and the other animals.
SHE recalls being with Dad after a fight, taking Jack to a local veterinary’s house for medical attention. “We would go up around his house then drive down to his basement. Dad’s friend, a retired veterinarian, would give Dad some meds and they would talk about the fight. Sometimes [the next day Jack] would be so sore he could hardly get out of his dog house. He would be swollen so bad you could not see his eyes. But I kept talking to Jack and he would finally come out. “
“My dad needed to be the best in everything he liked to do from fighting dogs to hunting to gardening,” SHE wrote. “Dad stopped fighting when he lost Jack. Jack hung himself around a tree with a chain. I remember I kept looking at dad to see if he cried for Jack or not. I think he did really love Jack, but in his own monstrous way. I never saw any tears but I think it bothered him… Nothing was said. “
SHE said, “When I made the comments the other day [to you] just so many memories came back to me and tears ran down my face. Without saying too much my intent was to say that these [fighting] dogs can also be family dogs. Don’t just keep your eye to the woods and outer areas [to find fighting kennels]…” They could be dogs in your neighbor’s front yard.
Her past made her the person she is today. SHE wrote, “I always had this great love for animals. Maybe it was those baby Pitts giving me sloppy kisses all the time.
I’m sure that’s what started it. It’s a great feeling to be where I am at today, knowing that I do not have to worry about anyone abusing my family of dogs. My eyes for some reason only see the needy and broken [dogs]. I can’t help that, it just happens. Maybe I will give my dad some credit for the person I have become today… …I stood by as a child and could say or do nothing. Now I can be me.”
Daddy’s father was abusive. He learned abuse, taught as a child. Fortunately the hate and abuse ended with the gal I am calling “SHE” I believe that how we take care of our children, our spouse, our relatives, our neighbors and our pets and livestock not only tell others who we are but our behavior is a real reflection of how we feel about ourselves…
Accepted strays and relinquished pets (Facebook FB)(5):
… Female wire terrier at 15 pounds and three black Lab mix pups that had been dumped.
… Older stray female black Lab, Bluetick Hound type from Bollinger Mill- no owners claimed her.
Adoptions, return to owner or placed in other rescues (0):
… Most days we are receiving multiple calls about cats with litters. Please spay your cats.
… Several cats to give away. Call 573-722-3035
Dogs with Heartworm (HW), Ehrlichia, special needs, or that were euthanized:
…Little wire terrier female dog is stage 2 Heartworm positive.
…One of the Lab pups died of whipworm infestation.
… Stray grey/white male Pit, was dying of stage 3 Heartworm so was euthanized.
Calls requesting assistance for dogs we did not admit (all these dogs posted on FB):
… LOST 4/8/17, Hwy 72 and Co Rd PP: elderly Aussie mix male, collar removed, mostly black.
… LOST 4/9/17 Hwy MM and 34 near Grassy: tan Chihuahua female.
… LOST 4/1/17 Hwy’s T, F and Co Rd 43: male bobbed tail Mountain Cur, red to fawn with white markings on front legs.
… LOST late January, Bollinger Mills area: Black Lab, Aussie type mix male with white.
… LOST Hwy 51, Bollinger and Stoddard County line: red brindle male Pit, lots of white on chest, legs, face, and neck.
… FOUND 3/30/17, Burfordville mill area: black Lab type mix female, age 6 or older,
… FOUND 3/24/17 City of Marble Hill: male Walker Coonhound adult, very skinny. FB
… LOST 3/13/17, Allenville-Whitewater area: 6-7 yr old female Beagle.
… LOST 3/20/17 Marble Hill city limits: female 15 pound Chihuahua and Rat Terrier type. FB
Miscellaneous and contact info:
We had 29 dogs and pups at our home 4/10/17. If you have a stray camping out in the yard don’t wait, call us at 573-722-3035 or email photos at ace@clas. net.
We LOVE Buchheits! Donate a buck or more at the Jackson store for dog food and supplies when you shop. Also, Second Time Around in Marble Hill is taking donations for the Stray Project. Monetary donations are accepted at the Bollinger County Veterinary Service, Marble Hill Coop, Buchheits, and the MH Town and Country.
Stray Project monetary donations accepted at the Marble Hill Coop. We purchase de-wormer and other supplies at the Coop and donations are greatly appreciated.
Please be advised that the Bollinger County Stray Project is not the county or City of Marble Hill dog catcher. When you have a stray we try to help and can usually offer solutions. Patience is required of the caller towards our ability to find and implement a solution. I wish we had a magic wand but we don’t and can’t always help the callers in a manner they may demand of us. Remember, we are volunteers and help as time and space allows.
Offer a stray water on day one and food day two or three. Call if missing a dog or if you have a stray. We don’t always have room but we may have a solution to help you and the stray.
Dumping dogs is a form of abuse and against the law. Please report animal abuse or neglect.
Please do the following when your pets are expecting or caring for a litter: offer any pregnant dog small-breed-puppy-food the final 1-2 weeks before delivery and while the pups are nursing. Give those mothers all the food they want: bowls full all day and lots of fresh water available all day. Cats need kitten food. Free feed the higher calorie food during the nursing stage to help mom make milk and maintain her own body mass. Babies need to be de-wormed as young as 1-2 weeks, then every 7-10 days until age 10-weeks or older if in a confined environment with re-infestation concerns.
Thank you to the County Residents who have continued to support the Bollinger County Stray Project.
Check out our available pets at Petfinder. Call 573-722-3035 about our adoptable pets.
If you suspect an animal is being neglected or abused, call the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Hotline, 314-647-4400 or 800-383-9835 or you can make a confidential report on line at Humane Society of Missouri.
To understand when an animal is being abused or neglected in the state of Missouri read the following link:http://asci.uvm.edu/equine/law/cruelty/mo_cruel.htm