The Power of One Montrealer – to help a dog in Arizona
I have wanted to share this story for some time. Monique Koven is a friend and a dog lover who has adopted only rescued animals. This story will show you how very much she is a hero to many more.
I am going to include some of the actual correspondence that Monique went through. I found it compelling when Monique sent it to me daily. It was like holding your breath. I am sorry if it’s a long read, but it is so worth it.
It’s my feel good story for Easter and Passover.
How it started ;
I was reading a blog that I follow and saw a story about a very malnourished dog that was abandoned by a Mexican family that got deported. It was left in the hot Arizona heat chained to a dog house without food and water on the blogger’s street. The dog was barking all day and night. She called the sheriff department because in her small county off the border of Mexico they are the ones responsible for animal control. Then they came by and said that it is against the law to go on someone else’s property and as long as the dog had food and water it was alright. When they had checked I guess the neighbour had put some water and I know this blogger had given it a frozen steak.
They said they would check on the dog again…which frustrated this person because she knew for a fact the dog the following day had no water or food. She felt upset by the sheriff doing nothing to help. I became very upset by this and started by facebooking Terry Price Kimmel for advice. Then I wrote on some rescue walls the situation for advice or to see if they had any contacts.
I did not hear back. Then I did what I should have done at the beginning.
I wrote on the wall of a shelter in Arizona the detailed situation. The next day a man named Ken left his number. I facebooked the blogger to ask her to please call Ken and she said
“Dog barked all night last night, no sound tonight, hopefully the owners or the dog patrol or someone came for it, Once I read that story bout the man who was mauled to death that I fb posted yesterday, would NEVER trust that dog! I am out of it! Ken can call the sheriff’s department directly and ask THEM about the white female pit bull !”
These are some of the emails that went between Ken and Monique…
Monique Koven 5:01 am Sept 7
Received an email from Karen this morning that she sent after I went to sleep. She said the dog barked all day. She also said that she was “burned by the sheriff’s department” on her effort to assist the dog. She said she hopes someone helps the dog but it’s out of her hands. I don’t know what that means.
Ken 6.29 a.m. Sept 7
Hello, I’m the head volunteer at the local Animal Shelter. I’ll see what I can find out today. Get me an address. By the way I lived in Toronto for 30 years I have a duel Citizenship with Canada/US
I will go down there but I need an address.
Monique Koven 7:45 pm Sept 7
I got a message from Karen. She said that ‘she was done with the whole thing.” I think she is frustrated; I am not exactly sure what went on. She is a friend via email. What she wrote me was that you could call the county sheriff department directly and ask them about the white female pit bull.
I wish I was there to know exactly what is going on. I just feel so sorry for this poor dog. She said she had called the sheriff department herself and they only got back to her today but it doesn’t sound like they were much help. I really don’t know. Would u be able to at least call and see the status of the dog?
Thx and please keep in touch,
Monique Koven 8:57 am Sept 8
This is so hard because I am getting this from a blogger who is not a close friend so I can’t exactly tell her what I want to. We met online.
I will rewrite what she just sent me.
“Dog is barking, barking all morning. Don’t know the numbers of the street address. He will be heading straight towards the big dog house where she is between the trailers’. Btw trailer 3-4 counting from the east.
Nobody can feed or water the dog. Animal control is checking on her. This will be the third day they cannot do anything unless they find her without water or food. It is legal to keep dogs chained on property as long as they do not have a choke collar and have food and water.
Barking is another issue. Sheriff’s office has to be called. They have to send a deputy to find her barking. Ken can do nothing about this.”
I find this whole situation very upsetting. She told me he was left with no food or water but I think neighbours must be giving him some? I don’t know! Let me know what u think and thank u so much for caring.
Ken 2:44 pm Sept 8
Hey, your friend wasn’t exaggerating. This could be a poster dog for abuse. The idea that they need proof that the dog isn’t being fed is ridiculous. The dog is skin and bones. This is County jurisdiction, even if they take the dog they will euthanize. I’m assessing the situation. Tell your friend this dog will get help. I’ll give you more info tomorrow.
Monique Koven 6:33 pm Sept 9
Anything new? Is she going to be freed?
Ken 10:15 pm Sept 9
She’s freed, I’ll send after pic’s and let you know where she go’s. She just sat next to me while I was driving and looked up at me the whole time. It was a good night, thanks to you and Karen.
Monique Koven 5:21 am Sept 10
God bless…I am speechless.
Is thank u enough?
Ken 10:00 am Sept 10
Hey, thank you. I am having all remarks about the Dog removed from our wall. This is a very small town. If you talk to Karen make sure she is quiet about this. There was no authority to remove this dog and if found out the dog would probably be euthanized. I am currently trying to find foster, until she is socialized and healthy enough for a permanent home. I tried both names Karen and Monique; she responded more to Monique, so that will be her name until she is adopted.
Monique Koven 6.55 pm Sept 10
How far was the drive from where u are located? How is she with humans? Was she trusting of u? Send pics.
I am so happy today!!!!!!!!
Ken 6:55 Sept 10
She was right on the Mexican border about 6 miles from where I live.
She was more fearful than trusting. I had to pull her out of her dog house by the chain.
She’s very submissive probably from being hit a lot. She recently had a litter; I think she was being used to breed.
Today she was playful and very comfortable with me. I took her for a long walk with my dog Zulu another female pit. She has several open sores that I am treating. I have put the word out for a foster; hopefully I’ll find someone soon. I’ll send pictures later.
Monique Koven 5:05 pm Sept 11
I am so happy. What wonderful news. People are so fearful of pit bulls often so reluctant to help. I know Karen became afraid after she read an article. That poor baby is enjoying kindness, walks, loving attention for the first time enough food. I think about her all the time and now I am thinking good thoughts. I wish I could see her but I am so happy she is in your care; I trust she will be in a good caring foster home and God willing get adopted to a great owner. I will wait for the pics. Then I will print them and carry in my wallet.
Monique Koven 5:56 am Sept 13
Please keep me updated on her progress. I think about her all the time.
Thank u for being so kind. She doesn’t know what this kindness is all about. I would love to know more about how she is with you. You said she was comfortable. I find that amazing considering all she has been through.
Ken 12.37 pm Sept 15
She is very happy with me, she follows me everywhere. She is staying with me in my auto storage yard when I’m there working . She just lays there next to me while I work. I can’t take her to our shelter because she might get recognized. She is looking better and better every day. She has a new squeaky toy she likes a lot. I found that she is hard of hearing, not totally deaf but close. I’ll take her to a Vet next week. I’ll send more pictures as she gets healthier.
Monique Koven 2:21pm Sept 15
Ken….that makes me so happy! So she is happy. The first time in her life. She feels loved and cared for. I am so happy. If u doesn’t find a foster …does she stay with u?
How long do u suspect it can take a dog with her history…to socialize and then be put up for adoption? Weeks? Months? I know every dog is different…
Dogs are so forgiving of humans….I think she should be called Precious! That is what she is.
Once u begin to think of a permanent home for her….
She would require a very special person or family with great empathy to adopt her.
What a great story. I bet u have others that are similar.
I will wait patiently for the pictures.
Keep me posted….
Ken 5:36 am Sept 16
I have to find a home for her, if I kept every dog I’ve rescued I’d look like Cesar Millan. I already have a Pit and two Cats, if I had property I would have hundreds. Aside from the appearance of neglect she is ready for adoption now. She is very well behaved and despite showing a little dislike for Zulu my Dog (Female Pits rarely get along at first) she has shown no signs of aggression. Unless her hearing loss is temporary, she will be special needs. The only way she can respond to commands is visually. I’ll know more when she sees the Vet.
Monique Koven 6:20 am Sept 16
So. .If she does not go to the shelter…how does she get adopted? Is it thru word of mouth only?
Keep me posted on her visit to the vet and how she is doing please.
thx so much….
Ken 10.29 am Sept 16
Word of mouth, I could also put her on our Facebook page without a picture. The Humane Society has offered to take her but that would just put her in cage for who knows how long. I think she’s better off with me for now. Her hearing seems to be coming back. Not sure what’s going on. I took her and my dog to the San Pedro River yesterday for a really long walk. Watching a dog that has never seen woods or a river before is a lot of fun. My dog showed her the ropes. Because of her diminished hearing she got lost temporarily. My dog eventually found her.
Here is Ken’s summation in late January …
Actually, Zoey wasn’t abandoned. Animal control was monitoring the situation to see if the dog was being fed. The dog was covered with open sores and obviously being neglected. The neighbours said she has been off that chain, ever. I chose not to wait for animal control. They have to go by the law, I don’t. In Arizona it seems like the laws in abuse cases are there more to protect the pet owner, than to protect the animal. So whenever I see a situation I rarely rely on the law to do the right thing. The first night I decided it was time. I got worried at the last minute I didn’t know how Zoey would react to a stranger approaching her with a flashlight at night. It could be bad. So I didn’t do it. The next night I went back didn’t see any lights on in the owner’s house so I just walked right up and Zoey was in the doghouse. It was like she had no fight or life in her at all. I had to pull her out by the chain. She was very cooperative. I unhooked the chain and put her on the leash. She walked right away with me. I was worried about her barking but she was completely quiet. It was like she knew she was going to a better place. Took her to the vet. Her ear infection was so bad she couldn’t hear. The open sores were the result of being eaten by ants and flies. The whole area where she lived was covered with ants. Ants in Arizona are big and bite hard. While she was with me she got bitten by a brown recluse spider that left a hole in her face about the size of a golf ball. I kept her for three months until she healed. Someone donated the money to have her chipped fixed and shots. Everyone at the Vet Clinic knew her story. While she was there, I got a call from the clinic that someone would like to adopt her. I delivered her the next day. They kept her name. They are a nice family with children and two other dogs, a Chihuahua and a Corgi mix. She has put on a few pounds. The one thing I really miss about not having her was watching her experience things for the first time. Like a river, grass trees and just in general being able to do normal dog things. I called on Zoey about month after she was in her new home. She’s doing fine with her new family and their two other dogs, she is getting along with both dogs.
The neighbours that initiated Zoey’s rescue still thank me today.
They said it was like living next to a concentration camp.
TPK “In rescuing animals, I lost my mind, but found my soul.” ~anonymous