Bright Light in a Dark Place

Best Friends has a post up about Shelia Carlisle, one of the volunteers who cared for the Wilkes Co dogs.  She and her fellow vols did the best they could for those dogs, knowing there was little chance they’d be allowed to live, even if they survived the terrible conditions at the “undisclosed location” (warehouse) where they were hidden away.  Shelia gives us a glimpse into those conditions, the individual personalities of the dogs and the heartbreak of having them all killed:

The dogs were taken to an undisclosed location at the beginning of December and held for months as evidence in a warehouse. 

During this time dozens of puppies were born and Shelia and her colleagues helped care for all the dogs including the precious pups.

From the diseases spread from being in cramped, damp and dark accommodations to the fact that they were pit bulls from a known dog fighting breeder; the chances were slim that any of the animals would ever be able to live a happy life with a family that loved them. This reality did not deter Shelia and the others from their mission of giving them the love and support that they deserved.


It was a daunting task, as puppies were being born, they were quickly getting sick and some were dying even though they had the care of three different veterinarians. Shelia and three other people worked diligently to get the puppies as much individual attention and nurturing as possible . They were taking puppies to foster homes, while the other dogs at the warehouse were not allowed to leave the building. The dogs were not going outside – so much of the day consisted of cleaning and changing bedding and arranging the dog kennels to help alleviate as much stress as possible. 

“The protocol for handling the puppies was extremely inadequate: there was almost no natural light, no whelping boxes, and it was cold and damp. We had kerosene space heaters, but they would run out of fuel in the middle of the night. We were doing everything we could to make them comfortable, but it was so hard. We were cleaning constantly.”

There was Angel, a favorite of one of the hired handlers/security staff. Angel would sit with her paws up and rest her chin on them. She was so well behaved, she was just a sweet dog. 

As Shelia recounted the individual personalities of the dogs she started to choke up. The individual dogs have touched her heart in a way that the authorities never took the time to understand. 

“Once they learned to trust us they quickly came around, it was obvious these were good dogs. You could pick up a young dog or puppy and he would put his paws around your neck and would love to be held and hugged.”


“Knowing now that pit bull dogs are seized from dog fighters only with the intention of killing those dogs without even giving a single one of them a chance, sickens me.” Shelia sadly related. “The dogs are the victims and should be saved…not doomed.”

Doomed by the HSUS, to be precise.  Thank you to Shelia and the other volunteers who offered the dogs comfort amidst the misery.  The HSUS succeeded in their effort to have all the dogs, including 19 puppies still nursing from their dams, killed but they could not kill the integrity of compassionate volunteers who care about dogs.  There’s more of us than there are of them.  HSUS and its barbaric Pitbull policy of seize and destroy is not representative of the attitudes and beliefs of real dog lovers in this country.  We are the true humane society and we want every bust dog to receive a fair evaluation by a qualified individual – obviously that would exclude any involvement from the HSUS, who have gone on record repeatedly, and as recently as last week, stating that all bust dogs must die.  The HSUS has way too much Pitbull blood on their hands at this point to be considered part of the solution to the problem they created.  Time to get out of the way HSUS and allow our humane society to help Pitbulls in need. 

H/T to EmilyS for the link about Ms. Carlisle.

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