But anyhow, I went along with the Animal Care Network in Pontiac last week as they made their rounds helping people care for their pets. (Read the full story: Oakland County Animal Control prepares for expanded services as communities tighten budgets)
Admittedly, I was only out on two stops with them.
In that time though, all of the dogs I saw were pits or pit mixes — a total of four dogs, to be specific.
|Animal Care Network volunteers repair a dog house|
What I saw was nothing compared to what reporters have seen in the past. I remember when one of our reporters came back practically in tears after several pit bulls were found dead — frozen — and several more near dead.
I shot video of the Animal Care Network folks, talking to them about why they use straw for dogs rather than blankets (which is because blankets get wet and freeze, straw doesn't, and it tends to wick away any moisture from the dog's body). One of them said to me that pit bulls really aren't outside dogs because they don't have an undercoat.
That is true. They're not the only dog breed like that, but it certainly does seem like they're the dog of choice for most Pontiac residents. My impression is also that many pit bulls in Pontiac are kept outside.
I went home that night — Sensi must've sniffed me for a good half hour — and realized how good Sensi has it compared to some of the dogs I met in Pontiac.
|A typical snooze for my dog|
He begged to get up on the couch that night — I had the blanket around me, and I swear, that dog starts begging the instant I lift the blanket up — and I told him no because I had paperwork all spread out around me.
Looking down at those beggin' eyes, I told him, "You just have no clue how lucky you are. All that sniffing you did and you couldn't tell how cold those dogs were?"
He, of course, didn't understand and sighed in a rather pouty fashion as he went to lie down by the fire.
There's lots of problems with pit bulls in Pontiac. Pit bulls that freeze in their owner's backyards may be the least concerning of those problems to some people, but it makes me just as angry as all the violence these dogs are used for and the reckless disregard for safety that many pit bull owners display.
I spoke with Mike Zehnder, who oversees Oakland County's Animal Control Division, for that story as well. We spoke about the issues in Pontiac and he promised that if Oakland County began servicing Pontiac's animal control needs, all those issues would "come to a screeching halt."
I certainly hope to be a witness to just that.
The day before I went out with the Animal Care Network, allegations were made by a Pontiac resident that Animal Care Network volunteers impersonated police officers to intimidate her into taking better care of her pit bulls. The Animal Care Network denies this is true, and when I was out with them, I didn't talk to a single person along the way who believed they'd do something like that.
Either way, I'm just wondering how it feels to complain that someone did something ethically and legally wrong in order to get you to do something ethically and legally right. Just a touch of irony, it seems.