Tinkerbelle–Rescued from a Chain in Wyoming

On November 10th, my friend Eileen posted this message to the AuCaDo Rescue Forum:

Please, I need help for a very sweet purebred Red Heeler. Her name is Tinkerbelle and she has been kept on a 3 ft chain for the past six months. She has NO shelter whatsoever and is NEVER allowed off the chain. She gets food and water and NOTHING else. No love, no attention – ever. It amazes me that a mountain lion or coyote has not gotten her yet. I live only about two miles away and have had a mountain lion hanging around trying to get my own pets for the past week.

The owner has agreed to give her to me. I cannot, and will not, take her unless she has a rescue to go to. I do NOT own a rescue anymore, and I have my plate full with my own animals. So unless someone steps up to help Tinkerbelle, she will stay where she is and will either die from the elements, or a wild animal will kill her. This isn’t a matter of “if,” it is a matter of WHEN.

I do not have a picture, but she is purebred. And she is very, very sweet. About two years old. She is not yet spayed, but I will be happy to get her spayed and UTD if a rescue promises to take her. She loves people and just wants attention. She is fine with other animals and children.

Can someone please help her? She is breaking my heart but I am not in a position to take her. I will be glad to coordinate a transport anywhere in the country.

Thanks, Lynn

On November 11th, we heard from Lynn again:

I am getting Tinkerbelle tomorrow. My vet will spay her on Friday, and I will board her for exactly ONE week. If a reputable rescue does not step up to help her by the end of the week, I will have no other choice but to take her to a shelter. She is a little sweetheart and I do NOT want to do that. But I absolutely CANNOT keep her.

November 13th:

Got her out of that hell hole today. She was SO happy and excited to get off that chain, and for a human to actually give her attention and tell her how special she is. She rode with me very nicely in the truck, and at one point even laid her little head on my shoulder. She is absolutely adorable and is very adoptable. What is sad is that I felt something around her neck as I was removing the chain. She didn’t have a collar. Just the chain looped around and hooked on to the other end – VERY TIGHT. But she has scabs encircling her neck from that thing being way too tight. She is very skinny, ribs showing. Took her to my vet and he will spay her tomorrow, give all shots and deworm her. I have her boarding there for a few days to buy some time to find a rescue. I think there’s one in Colorado who might be interested in her. Going to call them again now as we have been playing phone tag. Got my paws crossed.I asked the vet if he thinks she is PB, and he said yes. He also commented on what a nice little dog she is.

From Lynn on November 17th:

She was spayed on Saturday and I have to pick her up today… I need to find a good rescue for this girl, no idea what I am going to do with her today when I pick her up. THANK YOU for trying to help. She is a very sweet little girl and deserves to find a good home.

She wouldn’t be still for the camera. lol But she really is a little doll. The owners told me “you have to kick her really hard” to get her to listen. NOT TRUE. She is very obedient and she just wanted off that chain. You should have seen the look in her little eyes when she knew I was taking her out of that place. Thank you so much for trying so hard to help her.
In the meantime, I learned of this situation and contacted a couple of cattle dog rescues because I knew that Lynn couldn’t keep Tinker. Lynn already had 7 dogs! Many people were concerned for Tinker, and some had offered donations for Tinker’s care, but we hadn’t come up with a solution for her yet.

Later on the 17th, I heard back from Bunny of Rocky Mountain Cattle Dog Rescue http://www.rmcdr.com/, who offered to take Tinkerbelle in the Denver area, if we could get her there. Although I didn’t know Bunny, I remembered that RMCDR had taken in a red male ACD puppy last spring and I found his picture on their website. Bunny is a “one woman band” so to speak, showing what one person can do to make a difference.

I decided to ask Lynn about transport first, since she had offered to arrange transport. I was just hoping and praying that Lynn hadn’t taken Tinker to the shelter yet. We still needed to make sure Tinker was safe and we could get her to Bunny in CO.

On November 18th Lynn said:

This is actually my first experience with the cattle dog breed and I am very impressed. They are obviously very smart dogs. And it is also very impressive the way the cattle dog people come together to save their own. …

Well this little one was horribly abused. Not just the chain with no shelter and never loved on, but she was also kicked all the time. And you’d never know it – she still loves people. Very affectionate little girl. She is good with other dogs, I let her and my Shih Tzu play tonight. She did great. She tried to chase the cats, but I don’t think she wanted to hurt them, just play. You will fall in love with Tinkerbelle when you see her. Guaranteed. I know you’ll find her the good home she deserves.

Alert–bad news ahead….And (sorry to ruin the celebration now…but we are never quite done, are we?):

Sad thing is, they have four other dogs there on chains. Very, very sad the conditions they live in. The others are PB border collies. I’ve begged for them to give me the others and they won’t budge.

Never know though. It took months of me begging them (and offering several hundred dollars) before they agreed to give me Tinkerbelle. So I won’t stop trying.

If anyone knows of a border collie rescue in WY or CO or nearby, perhaps Lynn will be able to get help with saving some of the others. This is in SE Wyoming.

On November 22nd, Bunny of RMCDR and her friend Billie drove from Denver to SE Wyoming to pick up Tinker from Lynn. That evening, Bunny wrote:

Well Miss Tinkerbelle is in my lap as I try to type this and she is an absolute doll. Not a lot of issues, has no social skills but we will fix that and also no manners and that we will definitely fix but other than that she is totally adoptable and real love. My friend Billie has a 13 year old that does agility and obedience with his golden so he knows how be around strange dogs and Tinkerbellle ran up to him and within minutes after he sat down on the ground was all over him giving him kisses!!! GREAT DOG!!! So we are going to work on her social skills and then find her a great home.

Bunny sent this photo of Tinkerbelle. Isn’t she a doll?













When Tinker is read y to find a new home, she will be posted on the Rocky Mountain Cattle Dog Rescue website http://www.rmcdr.com/. If you’re interested in adopting Tinker, please check there for more information.

I want to mention Dogs Deserve Better: http://www.dogsdeservebetter.com/home.html. DOGS DESERVE BETTER is a nonprofit organization “dedicated to freeing the chained dog, and bringing our ‘best friend’ into the home and family.” Their website has some good info on dog chaining and what is going on with legislation in different states. I recently got into some correspondence with one of my state legislators here in Minnesota and have been trying to educate myself better so that I can provide info to her. I think it’s good to have the laws because in most areas they don’t have enough personnel for enforcement, but when there is an obvious neglect and/or abuse case, the laws give them the clout to go in and do something about it. I’m concerned about the lack of proper socialization for such a pack animal and the vulnerability of a dog on a chain to predators or anything that comes along.Here are a couple of examples from my past:
My ex-husband’s family had a blue merle collie. He was a well-loved family dog in a relatively safe neighborhood, but they were naive about his care. He was tied outside only while they were away at school and work during the day. One day he got his rope or chain tangled. It was very hot out and he was stuck, stranded away from his water and shelter. By the time someone came home and found him, it was too late. He died from heat stroke or dehydration, or something similar. I’m sure it was a very miserable death. Immediately after that, they fenced in the yard before they got another dog. Painful lesson learned.

Another painful lesson from my childhood neighborhood was the neighbor’s dog, a blond shepherd mix named Little Bit who got a lot of attention as a puppy. The family had 5 children and as Little Bit grew, she got less and less attention, no training or socialization outside of the home. They tied her to a tree way at the back of the backyard, where she wore a path in the dirt, circling back and forth hoping someone would pay attention to her. She just had the tree, no doghouse. Sometimes they remembered to feed her and give her water, sometimes they didn’t. I don’t think they ever took her to the vet. I wasn’t even able to have a dog at first because my sister was allergic. As a child, I was very upset about the injustice that I couldn’t have a dog and the neighbors neglected theirs. I knew that her situation was wrong. Her ribs stuck out and she was also starved for love. I would sneak out there and give her attention and would sometimes feed her and give her water. To this day, I don’t know why we didn’t do something more about her situation. I still wish I would have stolen her and found her a better home, but I didn’t think of doing that then. I think the attitude from the adults back then was to not interfere in other people’s business (which is maybe partly why I try so hard to make a difference today). I don’t think my parents wanted me out there messing with their dog, but I fed her and watered her for them when they went on vacation. I think I’m going to ask my parents now why we didn’t do more for her back then. Sometimes my current blond foster dog Cayenne reminds me of Little Bit. I have been thinking about Little Bit a lot lately and have wondered if Cay was sent by Little Bit so I could get it right this time. :-) 

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