Many of you know my puppy avenger stories. For those of you who don't, here is a short recap:
1. HP - It was a really cold winter and I was working in Highland Park, NJ. On my way to school one day I saw this cute little dog outside in a yard. It caught my attention because it was tied to a tree and this dog didn't seem like an outdoor dog, especially in the dead of winter, but I continued on. On my way home, I noticed that the dog was out there still. I didn't like this, but I thought maybe it was just a coincidence that I saw it both times I drove by. When I came back the next day and the day after that and saw that the dog was still out there I started to get worried and worried quickly turned into anger. I got Mike involved and had him drive past the house at night to see if the dog was there. If I was going to do something I wanted to make sure that I wasn't just blowing something out of proportion. I bought dog snacks and fed the dog through the fence; meanwhile, I called the police department who gave me the number to the ASPCA. The agent I spoke to confirmed that I was not the only person who called to complain about it. They were looking into it. Within a few days, the dog was no longer tied to the tree. The agent called me back and asked if I would mind testifying in court since the people did not believe they should have to pay a fine. I agreed and within another few days the subpoena was delivered to my house. I was looking forward to testifying against such crappy pet owners but the day before the court hearing they paid the fine and that was that.
2. Jakey - I saw this dog running around the streets of East Orange for days. Not accustomed to seeing many stray dogs, this dog weighed on me every night I'd go home. After a few nights I decided that if I saw the dog when I was going home I was going to take it. I was getting back to school after my lunch break, and saw that the police was pulled over next to a man with a small dog and there looked to be a problem. I knew immediately it was the dog I had seen. The dog wasn't causing a problem, it simply was trying to play with the other dog. I pulled over swiftly. Having spoken to the ASPCA from my first puppy avenger story, I knew that in East Orange there wasn't a shelter. The nearest one was Newark and if they brought the dog there, as per the secretary I called, they would put the dog down. (Thanks lady. NOT an option) I told the police that I was going to take the dog and she said that they would hold her at the station until that afternoon. If I didn't pick the dog up they would call the shelter. When I left school that day, I went straight to the station. The person at the desk told me that unless it was my dog, the officer was not going to give the dog to me. I love this part...
The people at the station started protesting, "Why not? If she want the dog, give her the dog. They gon put the dog down anyway."
The officer told me to make sure if they ask if it was mine to tell them it was.
I went to where they were keeping the dog and I felt like Orphan Annie when they told me to call the dog except I didn't know the dog's name.
Jakey was the first thing that came to mind, "Jakey. Come here, Jakey." But Jakey wouldn't come. I kept calling.
The police stared at me and asked, "Is this dog yours? Doesn't seem to want to come to you." I barked back, "She's just nervous. Come here, Jakey. It's ok," I added.
Eventually, Jakey came... but ran right past me and out to the street. I chased after Jakey, running through not so nice streets. I can only imagine what some people thought of this crazy looking girl running around after a dog. I finally caught up to Jakey who stopped running and let me pick him up.
I carried this 30 pound dog down the street back to my car when I heard, "Ms. Legra?" It was a student. Looking totally confused about this crazy girl, his teacher, carrying a dog he asked, "Is that your dog?"
I shrugged my shoulders and said, "Kinda?"
I got Jakey to my car and brought her home to my mom's. My mom drove with me to the shelter where she lied and said we found it on the street of our town (otherwise they wouldn't take her.) It was here that I realized Jakey was a girl. Oops! Those cops definitely must have thought I was a nut. They scanned her for a microchip and found that she had one. She would be returned to her owner within the week - I called everyday to make sure.
3. Olive - On May 17, Jersey's day of adoption, I drove to school like normal and parked my car. I saw 3 boys standing around something and immediately knew it was a dog. It didn't belong to them and they didn't know what to do with her. I called her over, and this friendly dog came right over and sat down for pets. Knowing I didn't have much time before the school day began, I had to think fast about what I would do. I was not going to wait a few days on this dog, like I did Jakey. She was too small and would definitely not make it. I couldn't bring her to our apartment because I didn't know if she was healthy and we already had Jersey. I called my co-teacher and told her I might be 10 minutes lates. I threw the dog in the car and we were on our way to my mother's house. My poor mother. Luckily, they were on vacation so I left the dog in our hallway and went back o work. After work, Mike would meet me at the vet and we made sure that she was ok to bring home. We gave her a bath, fed her and took pictures to put on a FOUND DOG poster. Mike had acknowledged that we had been looking for a buddy for Jersey and if no one claimed this dog, we should keep her. I had been thinking the same thing but didn't want to say anything since our first dog was not Mike's first choice. After a week of no one claiming her we decided she was as ours as Jersey was. We named her Olive.
4. This brings me to the newest rescue, Cat - clever, I know. I took our car yesterday to our mechanic on the malecon. My fellow New Jerseyans, the Santo Domingo Malecon is comparable to the Turnpike without rules. Those of you not familiar with New Jersey vernacular, it is a crazy highway.
When we were about to leave, I saw a cute kitten hopping around the cars and running around the lot. Having been there before I was pretty sure it didn't belong to anyone and when I asked they confirmed that the kitten had indeed just wandered in off the street. This tiny kitten wandered in off the malecon at the exact time I was leaving? This was a job for Animal Jenvenger. One of the mechanics asked if I wanted it and the thought of the little kitten on the malecon dodging cars was enough for me to jump to it. I took her and jumped into the taxi. Once I got in the taxi; however, I quickly realized that I had my own little cat at home, Rafaella, and that like a baby, I had no idea how to take car of a cat, let alone such a small kitten. I started panicking and called our vet friend here who said I could feed Cat formula - which we happen to have and another lady who volunteers at a great shelter in Santo Domingo that had helped with a similar situation earlier in the year. She posted a picture and my information on their facebook page "The Doggie House" and twitter. Knowing that I couldn't really keep a kitten, even one this cute, I called our neighbor and friend Beckett to ask/give him no choice in holding Cat in his apartment until someone would take her. Luckily, he agreed and saved me. I gave Cat some formula which she swallowed in one gulp and a few hours later the post had resulted in a home for this lucky kitten.