Detroit Dog Rescue | American Dog With Victoria Stilwell

Uploaded by eHowPets on 09.10.2012

I'm Victoria Stilwell, join me as I travel the U.S. and discover stories of dogs and
humans impacting each others lives for the better. This is American Dog. Keeping an eye
out for strays is Dan Carlisle, a local rap artist who goes by the name of Hush. Detroit
Dog Rescue. Detroit Dog Rescue. Detroit Dog Rescue. Detroit Dog Rescue, a charity that
helps finds stray dogs homes and helps the poor care for their pets. And we know, you
know, the amount of homeless dogs that are out there, we're gonna do everything we can.
When a dog comes up to me and he puts his head down and he just rolls over and just
submits to you, it's like, "Please…" Like, you know… "Help." "Help." I'm in Detroit,
one of the cities that's been hit hardest by the economic downturn. Some of the forgotten
victims of this tragedy are the animals. It's been estimated that there are over 50,000
stray dogs in the city. However, there's one organization that's helping to save their
lives: Detroit Dog Rescue. I'm just gonna go around the room and ask everybody what
they're doing today, or I'm gonna tell you what you're doing today. Yesterday, website
and Facebook was all updated with all the dogs, a couple new intakes that we have off
the radar. Every single one? Every single one that's adoptable and ready. So, Patrick,
you will be rolling with us. Cool. Rodney, you're rolling with us. How many homes do
they reckon have been vacated? 70,000. In the city? Uh huh. 70,000 homes in the city!
And 115 or so schools abandoned. That's the water department. Now, what's funny is, I'm
gonna stop at this house -- nine times out of ten, I will guarantee this house is -- now,
they were just there. We just passed them. I will bet dollars to donuts this house right
here, there's still water running in the basement. Okay. I will guarantee it. Unless they've
shut that water off, which I highly doubt, okay. Just watch yourself. Oh my god. This
is a year and a half. Whoa, whoa. Okay, come here. Okay, so the dogs on the next block
that we're gonna go to, you know, this is a house they come to. They just jump into
this and get some free water. So… Now, if you were over there, you could literally put
a cup into that water and drink it -- it's that fresh. But, and the Water Board hasn't
switched it off? No, and not only that, but this is tax payer dollars. So the dogs come
down here and they get fresh water. And they drink from this. Yep, and this homes all across
Detroit, you know? So when a house is abandoned, then people from the neighborhood just come
and strip everything out of it. Yeah, for the copper. For the… And then they go sell
it, the copper, the metal, whatever they can scrap and make some money, they do. They just
break… Oh my, they ripped that bathroom -- there is nothing left in here. Nuh uh.
There is nothing. You walk into a house like this and you're like, okay, this isn't the
way it's supposed to be. There's no reason for the person that lives in that house right
there to look across the street and see this. And this is 1 of 70,000 houses. Oh yeah, or
more, you know? Not to mention hospitals, full hospitals abandoned. High schools, you
know, that held 900 kids. This was once a beautiful house. This was an absolutely beautiful
house. I mean, it's a lovely house. I can't imagine if this is one house that has a water
main busted, that the water's just flowing like this, how many more are out there that
are exactly the same. And that's taxpayer's money. And that's taxpayer dollars at work.
Going down the drain. What's the deal with these dogs? Well, this is my friend Keesha's
dogs. Her and her husband, they take care of them. We've been coming here for a least
a year now. And, you know, Keesha and her husband, they're what we like to call responsible
dog owners. You know, they have, you know, housing for their dogs, their dogs don't stay
outside, their dogs are inside dogs. You know, they curl up with the kids. You know, last
year sometime, Keesha and her husband, they had a little bit of, you know, financial hard
times, and we came through for them. You know, we gave them, you know, some food, treats,
everything that they needed, you know, just to get by for the little bit of time. And
since then, you know, they take the ball and they run with it, you know? The problem is,
you know, we've got all these community dogs, you know, such as Gizmo and, you know, the
Lab, you know, Shepherds, you know -- they just run free in the neighborhood. They have
to have a fenced in yard like this or else Gizmo and his cronies are gonna come in there,
you know, and they're gonna have litters, and they're gonna be unwanted litters. How
many dogs do you think are in this area? Probably about 20 since we've been coming back and
forth here the past year and a half and documenting, you know, what we've saw. And we gave them
all names and that sort of thing. Okay. Probably 20 within the past year and a half. And you
see it all the time. And what about your kids, though, playing in the neighborhood? My kids
don't play in the neighborhood because of the stray dogs. They do try and attack my
children, and it's hard for them to even ride their bikes to a certain extent, so we try
to stay right here and a little further, or I put my dogs on this side of the fence so
they won't come any farther. Because once they bark, they know not to come past my house.
You know what? Weirdly enough, I have to say, this is actually quite a nice environment
for dogs. Yeah, it's humble, it's quiet. Right. If you think about it, in a shelter, these
dogs that are just cooped up in a shelter with a tiny little kennel run -- what's better?
They'll be crazy. A life out like here where you are, you're gonna suffer in a way with
medical issues or a life in a shelter. In a way, as you were saying, Detroit is almost
getting reclaimed by nature again. Right. Strangely enough. Right. What's the significance
of this house? This house last year was the first house that we actually came to in this
neighborhood. When we got here, we found six puppies upstairs. Three of them were tucked
underneath a dresser way off in a corner. And the only reason we knew that was because
we heard the other three yelping. When we got to them, three of them were dead. The
other three, we took them out of here. And then the next day, we came here and we jumped
on the porch right were Rodney is and we looked through a window because there is no glass,
and there was three dogs on the inside laying on a couch, which was kind of -- it's like
they've taken over the abandonment as like their own. These are just basically just large
dog houses now. While it turned out to be Gizmo, his son Daylight, and then another
one which we you used to call The Century because she'd always be -- she was the one
that was always tucked around a corner watching out on everybody, you know. She'd make the
noise, she'd bark and alert the rest of the crew, and then they all leave out the back
door. When you talk about reclaiming Detroit, you know, the animals, you know, are definitely
reclaiming this city by taking these houses over. Like, if humans don't want them, then…
The animals are gonna have them. They're ours for the keeping. Okay, so here's a, here's
a call that I just got: Hi, this is the lady off of Maryland and [xx] Drive where the dogs
are. I was wondering, can you come and get the dog because she's pregnant again, and
she looks like she's gonna have puppies, and, you know, she's really terrorizing the mail
people and the little kids that's going to school. Now, this dog had already had a litter.
We got the litter from the mother, but we could never catch the mother, okay. She was
gone and whatever. But this lady and her, I think it's her mother or a member of her
family, they keep feeding this dog, okay. So they feed the dog, and the dog sleeps under
the porch. The dog is great with them but nobody else. And, obviously, the dog was terrorizing
the neighborhood because she was pregnant. But now the dog is now… But now the dog
is pregnant again because she's out roaming the streets, so she's gonna have another litter.
So that's two, you know, and within six months. And what happens is that the neighbors will
find out where those puppies are, they'll take the puppies, and then they'll sell them.
Oh, there he is. Where? There's one right there. See him by the boat? Oh yeah, yeah,
yeah, yeah. That's the nasty one. Now, there's no point in rescuing that dog? No. That dog
is not gonna get re-homed. This is one of the community dogs. This whole block, you
know, feeds him and takes care of him, and you know… Here Giz. Hi, Gizzy. Hi, Giz.
Hi baby. This is Gizmo. Hey, Gizmo. Has Gizmo been neutered and released, or no? No. Not
yet. Giz is old. Giz was left by his owner. Would you take a dog like that in or not?
This is one of these dogs… I would take him in, but put him in a sanctuary. Yeah.
I can't -- Gizmo's an outdoor dog. He refuses to come inside. He refuses to, you know, hang
out. For me, I spend most of my time going to people's homes, dealing with their problem
dog behaviors. Very rarely am I involved in just coming out and just hanging out with
stray dogs on the street. But here they are. Here it is in the center of Detroit. Oh, that's
the one… She's the one that you don't wanna mess with. Oh yeah, she's pregnant, that's
it. For sure. She is pregnant, look at that. So there's gonna be another nine puppies.
Another litter. Another litter that… Like, you can't take this dog in, and, you know,
she won't be rehabilitated to be, you know, on a domestic level. See where she went? Yeah.
Underneath that porch, that's where she's gonna have these puppies. Now, the guy who
lives here, he doesn't like us coming around. But I told him, "I'm sorry, homey, but you
ain't gotta choice," you know, "you don't own the city." Look where where's she's at
right now: underneath his porch where she's probably gonna give birth to them puppies
any day, you know. And then what do you think's gonna happen to those puppies? They'll get
hustled out. You know, they'll get sold out, you know, 50 bucks a piece, $20, whatever.
Is she part of the group here? She's a part of the group now. She became a part of the
group about, I'd say, seven months ago. These dogs: Gizmo, personally, is been around here
for four years, four to seven years. Seven months ago she showed up with her baby, the
puppy, the black one that's over there. They packed up with Gizmo because the community
was feeding them food. There is already a generation of dogs in Detroit that are feral,
who don't wanna be around humans. There's more value in leaving these dogs on the streets
versus trying to rescue and adopt these animals. Sanctuaries won't take them, they don't want
to be around humans, so as long as they have food, shelter and medical attention, as well
as being spade and neutered and re-released, then all things considered, life on the streets
is better than a crate, a small kennel run or being put down. You know what? What I've
seen today is that most people around here own pets or pet mixes of some type. It's a
fashion. You know, it's like a new pair of shoes. These kids will get these dogs from
people, you know, $50, $60 and whatnot, and then three months later, they just kick that
dog out because they finally realized like, "Oh, s***! Like, I have to -- "…this is
like having a child." You know, "I'm not ready for a kid." You know? It is a dog, there's
a collar still on it. The teeth are really good -- it could be a young dog. His teeth
-- he's probably only about two-years-old. Yeah. He's on a chain. This dog died. Yeah.
Look, this is where the chain is. Yep. This dog died here. He's still on his chain. The
chain is going to his collar around his neck, and this is the chain that chained him. Yep.
He died on the end of his frickin chain. It's not cool, you know. No dog should have to
be dumped here and left like this, you know? He had to have came through here at some point,
and he just couldn't drag this anymore. That is heavy. This is… This is something that
you use on a boat, you know? You could, I mean, you could use it to pull a car, you
know? It's not fair. Not fair. This isn't right. This is no -- this is what I'm dealing
with, you know? I'm trying to end this. Well, on a daily basis, Detroit Dog Rescue gets
phone calls from citizens saying, you know, we have a dog or there's dog that's been roaming
the streets, we picked it up. We can't take care of it, but we also don't want it to be
euthanized -- can you come get it? Apparently, the dog was dropped off from a friend who
said that that they couldn't take care of it because they had another dog that they
were afraid the two dogs wouldn't get together. Hello, how are you? Alright. I'm with Detroit
Dog Rescue. Okay, I'll be right with you. Thank you very much. Hi. Hi. Hey baby. That
ain't no puppy. Hi, hi sweetheart. What happened to him? I don't know, my friend dropped him
off at my house. He's got burn marks on him and his ears… Hi, hi. Hi puppy. That ain't
burn marks, that's mange. That is mange. That's mange. Yeah. It's a skin infection. Right.
Yeah, he's got fly bites on his ears. Yeah, it's alright. Okay, you're a big baby. You
guys got a leash, a collar or anything like that? No. No? No tags, no nothing, huh? No.
Duke's a submission peer, so. Watch him because he's a peer. It could be -- I don't think
it's ringworm. No, I think it's Dermedex. Yeah, Dermedex mange. Alright, thanks for
calling. You know, dog like that, beautiful dog, beautiful color. Obviously, he's very
submissive, you know, and he likes people. So, when we get a dog like and you see how
they acted with us. Yeah. Tail waging, ears back. Oh, yeah. It's very submissive, pees
right there on the spot. You know, loves, to be, you know, rubbed and touched. Our temperament
test is halfway done. Yeah, exactly. Thanks. Good boy. This is what a true pit bull is
like. This is it, you're looking at it. This is the demonized breed. Look at this. Perfect.
Oh, that is. Look at you with a new collar. Right, there he is. Look at that baby. Look
at him, fresh man. Yay. Throughout the year, we, you know, have some amazing fundraisers,
some small, some big. This year, this is our biggest fundraiser, you know, of the year.
And it's not necessarily a fundraiser of sorts. The even is called 100 Roofs for Woofs. We
are building 100 dog houses in 8 hours today. We set out, I called Home Depot, we set out
just to see if it was a possibility if they'd want to work with us. We got embraced 100
percent by them. They were so excited. The same people that are getting the dog houses,
which will be qualified residents, they're also gonna be getting, you know, hay, probably
a nice little gift bag, a 40 pound bag of food, you know, some treats and toys for their
dog. A big problem that we face a lot. I don't know if you heard Dantes talk, but we do find
dogs that have been frozen to death or that have literally been baked in the sun to death.
And, unfortunately, dog houses and shelter in general is just extremely expensive. This
was something that was fairly cheap to do, actually. Why? Because look at these amazing
volunteers that, you know, we don't have to hire anybody to actually, you know, do this
kind of work. You know, this is something that people love to come out, they love to
help, they love to, you know, work with us. A lot of people out there, they wanna help,
but they have no way of knowing how to do that. Well, then DDR puts these programs together,
and we're that bridge that connects us with the community, you know, with them with the
community through us. The volunteers have been like such go-getters. I thought we were
gonna have a bunch of people that, you know, I mean… No, really, they are such go-getters
and that got literally almost all hundred assembled already. So all we're gonna do is
put roofs on, put shingles, cut the doors out, and decorate. And, as you can see, everybody's
been making them pretty colorful. We got a kid that's tagging graffiti on a bunch of
them, making them look awesome, so. So, why are you painting? Why are you painting out
here today? It's because I feel bad for all the dogs that were in Detroit and nobody was
helping them until DDR came along. So both of you created this today? I did the like
the pink and the paw print and the letters. I love that. I think this is fabulous. Tell
me why you're doing this? It's just for the dogs. You know, they need homes. The next
step for these dog houses: We're loading them all up tonight. Tomorrow, bright and early,
we're delivering 50 of them. We've got 25 on the east side, 25 on the west side of Detroit
to deliver. They're all going to homes for the dogs that live outside 24/7. Well, cool,
Mr. Jones. Alright. You know what's up. Yes, I appreciate it too. You know, no doubt. I
haven't had little love like this in quite awhile. Nothing wrong with a little love,
right? Yeah, because I love them jokers right there. I wouldn't change nothing for them.
I treat them just like kids. Yeah, man. And whatever it takes, man. You know, I went through
a lot, man, with my neighbors when I first came here. But all the kids took a liking.
I had to make them go home sometimes, you know, because when the kids playing with them,
you can make a dog bite you. Oh yeah, they play hard. Yeah. You pull his tail, smack
them a couple times. Yeah, you got to be a supervisor when the kids are playing with
them. Right. And when you get tired of them, you have to run them home. Yeah. It's just
like one of your kids. That's right. Once you get used to them. Never had her leashed
because I tried that on [xx]. Picture with Mr. Jones. Yeah, man. This is one day I never
will forget. What I'm most proud of working with DDR: The fact that whatever I do from
point A to point B for the rest of my life, whatever happens after this point, I feel
that I'm making a difference not only for dogs, which I have a love for, but I'm making
a difference for people. And I'm making a difference for my son to show him that it's not the money in your pocket,
it's not things you may think are valuable to you that makes you who you are. It's what
you do and it's what you give. Because you're born into this world naked and crying and
screaming in a little ball, and you're gonna die going out in sort of the same fashion,
and the only way your legacy is gonna live in this world is if you do and give. And doing
and giving for not only animals but for people, is what I get out of Detroit Dog Rescue. Detroit
is damaged, but it's a city that's been founded on hard work, passion and dedication. The
citizens of Detroit continue to fight for change, and Detroit Dog Rescue is a perfect
example. I'm Victoria Stilwell for American Dog.