Burger King To The Rescue
As I drove through Kayenta, Arizona this past week I noticed something odd. I passed the McDonalds and clustered around the front was a group of about five or six dogs. Same with Burger King and the gas station. Each location had its own group of dogs hovering in the sunshine. With three of my own in the car I didn’t have the opportunity to do anything but get gas and keep traveling. On the way back through, however, I made some inquiries.
As I pulled up to the window of Burger King’s drive-thru to get my Whopper Jr. I asked the gal at the window the story about all the dogs.
“They get dropped here from all over,” she said. “They’re all strays with no place to go.”
“Don’t you have a local shelter or rescue?” I asked.
“Nope, they are on their own here.” She pointed to a larger brown dog just across the drive by the gas station. “That one over there was hit by a car about two months ago. Nobody took it to a vet, that’s why it drags its back leg around.”
I looked at the dog she indicated and at the others sitting or walking about. There was an Aussie that was obviously nursing pups she had hidden someplace. The other six or so looked cold and rightly so. It was below freezing at 2:00 in the afternoon.
“Where do they go when the temperatures get cold?”
“Wherever they can find to get out of the wind. They are lucky if the kids use them for target practice. At least they’re put out of their misery,” she replied.
I was shocked not only by the plight of all these dogs, but by the casual way she talked about them being used for target practice. I pulled into the lot, got out and counted the dogs then went back into Burger King and bought a hamburger for each – the largest I could buy.
I walked out with the bag and all wary eyes were on me. There was snow on the ground but I imagined a good drink of water was also hard to come by. I got out the water bowls I always keep in my vehicle and filled them from the gallon I also haul with me. The dogs all looked at me, the injured one and the mother of pups kept to the back of the group. If they were going to get any food they’d need to be fed separately from the rest.
Unwrapping the burgers brought them all in closer, but still they were wary. I quickly threw all but two burgers further across the lot and approached the other two dogs. Setting the food in front of them I stepped back and they ate. My presence kept the rest of the pack away. When they finished I looked around. The others were drinking as if they hadn’t had a drink in weeks. I took one bowl over to the other two and let them drink also. The one that was struck by a car got up and wagged its tail and came close enough to let me stroke his head. He was dragging one leg behind him. The tears came as I sat there a minute giving this poor soul a bit of kindness. I’d have taken them all home with me if I could have but that was impossible. I wished I had a truck and trailer so that I could go back for them. I’d make it my mission to find some no-kill shelters for them, but those are hard to come by as more and more pets are abandoned.