Saved just under the wire, a year-and-a-half year old dog, Ruby, was rescued on May 3. The American Bulldog had suffered quite a bit in her short life, as she was once the pet of a homeless man, and that’s where her painful tale began.
As the story goes, a few weeks ago, Ruby and her person were allegedly minding their own business, near 28th and Julian in San Jose, when a man with a machete attacked Ruby’s owner. Ruby, distressed by the events unfolding before her eyes, took charge and charged after the knifed attacker. The suspect, once bitten, turned his attention toward the buff and white 70-pound girl. Ruby was able to fend off the attack, saving the life of her person, but had her eye badly injured in the process. The homeless man took Ruby to United Emergency Animal Clinic in San Jose where her eye was removed.
Once Ruby was patched up, she was handed over to San Jose Animal Care and Services. According to SJACS’s media representative Julie St. Gregory, the homeless person returned to see his dog once after the attack.
“The guy gave a friend’s number to contact,” said St. Gregory. “We’ve been attempting to call and no one is answering. We looked up the friend and sent the friend a letter and he isn’t responding. We found a place where the homeless guy sometimes stays. We called and asked if they had seen him and left a message saying that if he didn’t come and claim the dog she would be released.”
Sadly, Ruby not only lost her eye, but her person had not claimed his pet, requiring the shelter to decide if Ruby would be fit for adoption. Unfortunately, given her traumatic past and the nature of the shelter environment, it was determined that Ruby could not handle being around small children and she had adverse reactions to large dogs. She showed minimal interest in small dogs, but the shelter couldn’t give Ruby the adoption green light and placed her on the “needs rescue” list – a daily list of animals at risk of being put to sleep (PTS) and only available to qualified rescues.
Ruby’s PTS date was scheduled for May 3. Despite aggressive networking by San Jose Animal Advocates (www.facebook.com/sjanimaladvocates), and other organizations, no one was stepping up to foster Ruby. The shelter, which tries to place every available animal and will extend PTS dates while rescues search for fosters, ran out of options. With its high intake rate, and Ruby’s inability to be placed in the center’s adoption area, Sunday was scheduled to be her final day.
Luckily a savior stepped in. According to shelter coordinator Tina Hope, a young couple went to the shelter on May 3 – hours before her PTS time – to meet her. “They lost their German Shepard a month ago,” said Hope. “They aren’t ready to have a forever dog again, but they wanted to help by fostering. Ruby liked them right away. She was playing fetch with them.”
Because of the pair of open-hearted individuals, Ruby’s life will be saved, pending a home check and finalization from a sponsoring rescue. “We’re more than willing to let her stay here as long as we knew the end result was getting her out of here,” said Hope.
Even though Ruby’s case is special, she was still rescued just under the wire. Unfortunately, hundreds of other dogs aren’t lucky enough to find a foster or rescue. Each day, SJACS sends the lengthy needs rescue list to rescue organizations, as does every shelter in the area. Within the list are every animal available only to rescues, as well as their PTS date. Fosters are desperately needed to ensure more animals don’t meet an untimely death.
At this time, SJACS has a kitten foster program and is working on solidifying one for dogs. Interested people should email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to be put on a notification list. Other local rescues are also currently seeking fosters for both dogs and cats. A Facebook page for Save A Kitten San Jose (www.facebook.com/SaveaKitten2013) is updated daily with kittens arriving at SJACS under two pounds – the weight limit to keep animals at the facility. These kittens need to be out by the end of the day or they, too, will be PTS. Liking the Save A Kitten page, filling out an application and offering to take in the kittens, many of which must be bottle-fed, is one way to help.
Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority and Humane Society Silicon Valley also have dog, cat and kitten foster programs. Signups are available on the organizations’ respectable websites, www.svaca.com and www.hssv.org.