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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bianca - the tale of a dog no one wants

Bianca had been to the shelter before. When I saw her post on the Urgent Dogs of Miami's (UDOM) Facebook page, it was in April and on the thread it was stated that she had already been at Miami Dade Animal Services (MDAS) 7 times before. In April she was adopted and in July she was already back at the shelter. Many dogs have the unfortunate experience of being returned to the shelter or of escaping and never being picked up by their owners. My own dog Beula Jenkins is a return and I know that the shelter is seeking ways to help alleviate their return rate. However, Bianca is a fairly unusual case in the high number of times that she has found herself back in the kennels of MDAS. Bianca was once again taken from the shelter in July- this time by a rescue, yet her life is not truly safe. Months after her rescue, Bianca is in limbo and needing help finding a quality rescue or adopter who can properly care for her. 

In the UDOM thread in July it was stated by an individual in PA that she wanted Bianca. The woman wanting her was several states away and saw the dog posted online and wanted to help her. She did this based solely on a picture. Another individual, also in another state (NC), was working to help get Bianca out of the shelter and transported to the adopted in PA. Neither of the women involved had met Bianca in person - they wanted to help her and were doing so based only on seeing her picture online and reading her story on social media. They were moved by her plight and wanted to do something to save her. 

Bianca's intake photo as taken from a screen shot on the posting site. You can see the original link by posting here. 

Bianca was pulled from the shelter by an approved rescue. An approved rescue is one who has met certain guidelines set forth by the shelter in order to take dogs from the MDAS and into their rescue. Rescues are able to take dogs at a discounted rate and the dogs and cats are given their shots, micro chipped and spayed or neutered. Bianca was rescued by one of the rescue groups and sent to a boarding kennel. I do not know if the rescue ever did any checking on the adopter of Bianca. I have no idea if there was ever an application done or a reference or home check done. What I do know is that the person in PA who initially wanted Bianca changed her mind and months later, Bianca was still in boarding. On September 3rd, I wrote about dogs in boarding and included Bianca's link to UDOM along with several other dogs left in boarding for extended periods of time. Not too long after that, she was sent to an adopter who did not want her because someone had told her Dogos are hypoallergenic (and they are not). She was then flown up to the woman in NC who had initially been helping the PA adopter. The NC individual was working as a foster- but, it has not worked out and Bianca needs help again.

An email first fell into my mailbox saying that Bianca was in need of a real rescue or would be taken to a shelter weeks after her being sent to NC - and later on other messages stated that her life was in danger. I decided then that I should give her some attention on here to tell her story.. and in doing so.. I reached out to the foster in NC. She referred me to her boyfriend, Jeff, and the following information I have been given is from him. Also please note- all photos from this point have been provided to me from the foster. All rights to them remain the property of the fosters. 

According to Jeff, Bianca was in boarding for nine weeks after being pulled from MDAS in July. There had been a flight to send her to the woman in PA early on, but it was cancelled and before a new flight was set to go she changed her mind about wanting Bianca. During the nine week stay in boarding, Jeff and his girlfriend Jill had a contact in Miami who was to go to help walk and care for Bianca. I was also told that when Bianca was taken into the boarding kennel she weighed about 75 pounds and for some reason there was a possible spay surgery on her- that simply showed that she was already spayed. (This concerns me since anyone working with the shelter would have known she was already spayed- but, I do not know all of the details on this)  Finally, an adopter was found to take her. The adopter was in Ocala- a few hours away- and she took her in on a Tuesday - that following Saturday Bianca was being sent on a flight with Pilots N Paws to NC. The Ocala adopter has allergies and was under the mistaken belief that Dogos are hypoallergenic - they are not… and Bianca may be part Dogo, but is not a full breed.

In September, Bianca finally reached NC to the home of the woman Jill (who had initially seen her online and wanted to help) and her boyfriend.  They happily took her into their home. After 9 weeks in boarding, it appeared that she had lost weight- about 12 pounds. She also arrived with urine stains on her rear end and at least one tick was discovered on her by the pilot who flew her in. As mentioned previously, it was stated to me that they had contact with someone in the Miami area to check on her while in boarding.. so I am unclear as to why the local helper did not do more to address the weight and cleanliness issue.. I have no idea who the person was.. and if they did bring it up to the boarding kennel - why it was not addressed and if so what if anything was done about it. That being said the doctor who gave the evaluation for her to travel gave her a perfect score of 5 on her body score prior to her leaving. The photo below does not appear to show her with ribs protruding, so I am not certain about what her body score would have been given had another vet asses her right upon arrival. You can see yellowing on her back legs and tail. 

Bianca arriving in NC after her flight. 

The couple has a basset hound named Melody and they appeared to get along the beginning. Bianca is a person loving dog more than a dog loving dog. They had taken her to the dog park and tried her there, but when surrounded by a large number of dogs she growled and the other dog owners did not want to see her back at the park. However, with her foster family she has been very eager to please. She needed some extra work with house training, but the foster understood since Bianca had spent so much time in kennels. At first she would actually go on the cement sidewalks instead of the grass since she was not used to going outside in the grass at all. She was not even used to sleeping in a bed and would sleep on the hardwood for the first few nights instead of the comfy dog bed they had gotten for her since she was not used to comfort. 
Bianca got along fine with Melody the fosters' basset hound at first. 

Initially, there appeared to be no dog aggression. 

Bianca and the fosters' dog Melody. 

I was told she knows basic commands and sill sit and has very good eye contact. Her foster says that she is good at the table and does not beg or whine. They say she has no food aggression and loves to be touched, takes treat gently, does well in the car, is crate trained at night, is not a barker and will sit patiently to be leashed and does not pull when walked. She also loves to run and I was told "My God, can she run! She gallops like a horse."
Bianca showing how well she knows 'sit" with her foster parent. 

She had arrived in NC from Florida in September and in October there were a few possible adopters. One of the potential adopters sounded great, but would not submit to a home visit or give the name of their vet. Another did not get a good reference from their vet and the rest fell apart for one reason or another. Finally, they were put in touch with a rescue out of state in Colorado who was going to be able to help take Bianca. As they were setting up the legs of her transport across the country, some very unfortunate incidents occurred and the offer from the rescue was removed.
Bianca enjoying a car ride. I have been told she does very well in the car. 

Bianca began to have issues with other dogs. The first incident was involving an unleashed dog who came running to her and that dog was bitten requiring a trip to the dog ER. After that, there were three incidents involving the fosters’ own dog Melody one of which required stitches for the basset.

Unable to keep Bianca in their home due to the issues with their own dog, they turned to a trainer who took her into a training facility where she is currently in Sanford, NC. The program is a 5 week program and ends this coming Friday 12-14. Once the program is up, there is nowhere for her to go. She cannot go into the home and there have been attempts to place her in rescues that the fosters are familiar with, but due to the dog aggression they have not been successful in finding one to take her.
The foster has told me she is very people oriented- she just needs to be the only dog. 

The foster tells me she is very affectionate and eager to please her people. 

Bianca thinks she is a lap dog. 

Bianca needs help – she needs a home with NO dogs or other pets and one that will know to keep her away from other animals. She is very people motivated and has appeared to do well in training. The foster said she has not shown any issues with children, but feels with her size and dog issues, it would be best to place her into a home with none. Bianca is loving and playful with people and needs a home that can give her a safe environment to live. She is only about 2 years old. Keep in mind, in her short life she has had very little stability.
Bianca relaxing in the home of her foster. She just needs someone who can give her a stable life for once- one where she is the only dog and one where her people will commit to her for life. Most of her life has been spent living in kennels- sleeping on cement floors with no or little bedding. It would be a wonderful thing to see her have her own chair one day in a safe and solid home. 

As of now, I was told by the foster that they have spent a massive amount of money on her between boarding, training, vet work and transporting. They just cannot do it any longer. They have tried – but, without being able to take her back into their home they are asking for a rescue to come forward or an adopter to take her. If she does not find a home, the outcome will not be good. If you can help please contact the fosters at If anyone out there has any leads/ideas for Bianca, please contact either Jill Fuller at (919-559-3352) or Jeff at (919-607-2782). They are in Cary, NC.

Please keep in mind that when working to help dogs/cats using social media that it is imperative to work with a quality rescue. It is also very important to remember that a picture can only tell so much. I know this 100% - since I take pictures of shelter animals. A picture will NEVER tell you if the dog or cat will be a good fit- you must either go and meet them or have a quality rescue do a proper assessment. I have many fantastic pictures that I have taken of dogs in the shelters.. and I never posted them due to the dog having known issues.. because, I was afraid of this type of situation. A big heart can only go so far. A big heart can easily lead to an empty bank account without a proper rescue to support a foster. 

If you can help Bianca, please contact the foster family.. they need help NOW- Bianca needs help NOW. 


GraceBeading said...

Any updates on what happened to Bianca?

Mary said...

Thank you so much for asking! She is in a safe place now and I have been getting many pics of her- she looks happy and has been getting a ton of exercise. I will be doing an updated entry on her - it all appears to have turned out well- thanks to the foster family who did not give up on her.