Tuesday, October 30

A Puppy on a Mission to Come Home

Willow a few months ago
Willow is one brave puppy with an amazing story. She has been abandoned twice, cheated death twice and lost her mother at two weeks of age. Now she sits at Animal Control in the state of Colorado, where pitbulls are usually automatically euthanized, eagerly waiting to come home to ECAR! We have been working around the clock to try to save Willow.

2 Weeks Old: Orphaned and Set to be Euthanized
Willow's story begins at Los Angeles Animal Control where she was abandoned with her mom and siblings. Animal Control found placement for Willow's mom, but not her puppies. Willow and her siblings were set to be destroyed. 

San Diego Resident Steps in to Bottle Feed Willow and her Siblings
A San Diego resident offered to bottle feed the babies. She picked them up and asked us if we would take them into the rescue if she fostered them. She fell in love with Willow and, after Willow was fixed, she decided to adopt her. Because Willow is an ECAR puppy, she was microchipped with an ECAR chip and the bottle feeder signed an adoption contract - which would require her to relinquish Willow to us if she could no longer look after her. When we take animals into our rescue they are ECAR animals for life - when something goes wrong with an adoption, we take them back.

Thrown out Like Garbage into Almost Certain Euthanasia 
Saturday we got a call from Animal Control in Colorado indicating they had a pitbull puppy with an ECAR chip. We immediately panicked as Colorado is peppered with anit-pitbull laws. In some areas, if you are even caught with a pitbull, it will be destroyed. As it turns out, Willow's owner had moved into an area that does not allow pitbulls. Instead of sending her back to us where she would be safe, they dumped her off at Animal Control.

ECAR Pulls Together to Bring Willow Home
ECAR volunteers pooled their resources and quickly found someone in Colorado willing to pick Willow up on Wednesday. Animal Control agreed to release Willow over to ECAR! Even just driving through Colorado with a pitbull puppy is a complicated task because of all the pitbull bans. Traveling through many Colorado cities means we can't even stop for gas with a caged pitbull puppy in the vehicle (yes, we think this is crazy too!). We are navigating the city laws and coming up with a plan for Willow!

Update 10/30  Jail Break! Willow is Released From Animal Control
Willow was released by animal control into ECAR's care.  A friend of a friend of a friend (we really had to network to make this happen) picked up Willow from Animal Control and is letting her stay until we get our plan in place.  Thank you Cheryl of Pueblo, CO!!  Willow is bouncing around Cheryl's yard having a great time with her kids.  Cheryl lives in an area that is not included in the pitbull ban so she is safe. Cheryl says Willow is such a great dog!

Update 11/8 Costly Pitbull Restrictions on Airline Won't Allow Willow to Fly - ECAR Volunteers Head Off to Colorado

Required crate to fly Willow home
Our plan to fly Willow home was met with red tape and breed discrimination.  When we finally found an airline that would allow a pit mix to fly, we were told that the only way this sweet puppy could fly was if she was contained in a $700 reinforced steel box (like the one pictured here).  Keep in mind, this is a sweet 36 pound puppy who wants nothing more than to lick your face.

ECAR volunteers, Amy and Serena, volunteered to make the long journey half way across the country to rescue this sweet puppy.  Pueblo Colorado resident, Lura, volunteered to make the journey easier for them by driving Willow to New Mexico. Despite the stormy weather, Amy and Serena left this evening.  So far, the weather is making the drive difficult but that isn't stopping them!

More to come on Willow's story...