Last Sunday I was out showing houses, my usual Sunday activity. What made this day working in real estate different was I had the chance to save an animal. A dog to be specific.
My clients and I were walking through our third house of a really cold day here in Wichita. There was snow on the ground and the forecast was for more. More snow and more frigid temperatures. On this day we were sort of avoiding the decks and backyards. We looked out the patio window to see the yard and what we saw next door startled both of us.
In the backyard right next door was a dog, what was left of one, chained to a rotting small “dog house” on a short chain. The dog itself was literally skin and bones. From where we were we could see it was hunched, freezing and most likely starving. This isn’t a picture of that paticular dog but a close representation.
Immediately I went out back to get a closer look, I really had to as I couldn’t hardly believe it. I’d seen animals abused like this on animal cruelty websites and humane society posters, but never like this in real-time. We could see the dogs entire skeletal system as if he were wearing no skin at all.
The poor thing rasped, an attempted whimper I think, and struggled to rise. It sort of half dragged itself into the small box that served as it’s shelter.
On returning home I tried to find a phone number to call and report. It wasn’t easy. No one answered at the obvious places like the Humane Society, Sedgwick County animal control or Wichita animal services due to it being the weekend and late. I called the police and they just gave me the number to the Wichita animal shelter. When explained that I had tried that the woman responded that I would just have to wait to report it.
Wait?!?? It was supposed to get down way below freezing tonight. I didn’t want to wait, I thought there were laws against this sort of thing, animal abuse and cruelty. She sounded annoyed when I asked her to take the information and report it. Big sigh, “OK fine, sir, what’s the address”.
I assumed by the attitude that the Wichita Police did nothing. The dog most likely spent another night in it’s misery, much to the chagrin of my face book friends.
Finally Monday morning I was able to contact someone with a heart at Wichita Animal services. This was the third person I spoke with, he sounded genuinely concerned with the plight of this poor animal and would send someone out to investigate right away.
Tuesday I called to see what had happened and was told that they couldn’t give out that kind of info. Something about due process and privacy rights. I can understand that and I feel confident that something was actually done.
Realtors are constantly out and about in the community. In and out of houses and neighborhoods. We see a lot. Some of what we see is bad and we, as citizens, have the opportunity to report incidents, suspicious characters, abused animals and anything else we see that’s out of sorts.
I think we even have somewhat of a duty to do so. We can help to make the neighborhoods, and indeed the world, we live in a safer and better place to be.
Kansas Humane Society 316.524.9196
Wichita Animal Shelter 316.268.8378