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Scotlund’s Latest Notes From The Field

August 5th, 2010 by Webmaster

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It never gets less painful to witness the horrific suffering that animal abuse inflicts on the helpless victims – this truth I know, having personally rescued thousands of miserable animals leading excruciating lives during the more than twenty years I have been in the field of animal protection.  I was reminded of this fact again days ago in the sweltering summer heat of Mississippi, where we rescued a number of dogs from very dire conditions in three separate seizures.

That feeling of being lucky enough to offer the first gentle touch, the first trustworthy embrace to an animal who has endured years of abuse and neglect is indescribable.  I can tell you that it never diminishes and that it’s this feeling which drives me and all of us in animal protection work to do what we do with our lives.  Again last week in Mississippi, I was filled with that feeling of gratitude and awe as we rescued severely starved and abused dogs, embracing them with kindness for perhaps the first time in their lives.  I would like to share with you my experience from just one of the recent rescues.

In Charleston, Mississippi, I went with the director of our Hope Animal Sanctuary, Doll Stanley, to help Animal Control Officer (ACO) Kevin Hodges respond to a report of a suspected dogfighter.  I had no idea what we were going to find when we walked up on this sad, neglected property in search of dogs bred to fight.  What we encountered was a sight of such profound misery it is difficult to describe – dogs that may have originally been intended to fight were clinging to life.  Chained to tiny six-foot enclosures in collars so tight they had to be cut off, they were emaciated and dehydrated to the point that they could barely stand, their skeletons entirely visible.  Some had fresh wounds, all had visible scars, and their hair was partially worn off, either from being chained or caged in despicable conditions or eroded away by mange.

Approaching these dogs, who had clearly never been shown kindness nor mercy was a testament to the inherent innocence and beauty of animals. While chained, they were terrified, barking and lunging. Aware perhaps that they could not escape whatever inhumane treatment they had endured, they desperately tried to protect their six-foot-in-diameter world. Once the chains were cut, these dogs relaxed, curled up, and accepted help – immediately forgiving the abuse they had suffered.

One unchained dog, a little white-haired sweetheart we later named Esmeralda, regarded me with extreme trepidation.   As I gently called to her, she came towards me shyly, stopping to lie meekly ten feet away. She looked at me with both apprehension and hope. I slipped a collar around her neck, but when I encouraged her to walk with me, she simple could not.  Instead, I scooped her up in my arms and she rested against me as I carried her to safety and a new life.

All the dogs were confiscated and taken for immediate vet care – tragically, even with the very best care, two of the most severely neglected dogs died that night, and a third, the sweet Mona Lisa, is clinging to life as I write this.  All of the surviving dogs are being held at a confidential location, away from the vet clinic and sanctuary, for their security.

That was only one of the rescues on July 28th. After these dogs, and the others rescued that day receive veterinary care, my promise to them is a better life.  We will seek assistance from partner shelters in order to place them in loving, forever homes, and we will make sure their lives are never again so tortured and hopeless. Please take a minute to watch this rescue for yourself in this video.

My promise to you, as president of In Defense of Animals, is that we will continue to build the most effective and comprehensive Companion Animal Campaign possible.  Together, with your help, we will be there to open the cage doors and stop cruel puppy mills from profiting on misery.  We will continue to seize and rehabilitate dogs from dog-fighting rings and cases of abuse and neglect.  We will continue to work to clear animals from hoarders and over-burdened shelters and we will expand our work to address the underlying problems leading to pet overpopulation.  Together, I know we can accomplish a great deal and save many lives.

That feeling of giving the first touch of compassion to an abused and neglected animal, the first embrace of kindness, is euphoric and profound. I know that everyone of you can feel it too.  By acting on your own innate compassion and through your continuing support, I know you’ll feel the thrill I do on each and every rescue of which I am blessed to be a part.

24 Responses to “Scotlund’s Latest Notes From The Field”

  1. January 27, 2011 at 9:08 pm, Metal Brake said:

    *-, I am very thankful to this topic because it really gives useful information :*~

    Reply

  2. August 06, 2010 at 2:52 pm, marlene VanDyke said:

    Thank God For the people who resue these poor Animals.. You are their only hope..
    It sickens me to see that people can treat innocent animals so cruely.
    There is absolutely no reason, why people who abuse animals are not severely punished.
    These people shopuls be jailed 3-5 without parole…

    Reply

  3. August 06, 2010 at 11:44 am, betty murphy said:

    I am obvously so thankful for Scotlund..but I am truly thankful for all the posts from people who really give a damn! sometimes we forget our little stuff doesn’t really matter so much!!!!!
    KUDOS ALL!!!!

    Reply

  4. August 06, 2010 at 8:10 am, Holly Marie said:

    What happened to the owner of these dogs?

    These atrocities against animals will continue until severe punishment (fines and jail time) are implemented against those who abuse animals. These people are not going to stop because it’s the right thing to do or they feel sorry for animals. They will only stop (and then only some will do so) if they know they can be jailed or fined if caught. Local officials and lawmakers are also guilty of abuse when they refuse to enact laws to punish animal abusers. There is no reason, absolutely no reason, why people who abuse animals are not severely punished.

    “A human being is a part of a whole, called by us ‘universe’, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
    Albert Einstein

    Reply

  5. August 06, 2010 at 8:08 am, Gudrun said:

    Scotlund,

    Thank you for your heartfelt words and most of all thank you for being you.

    Peace be with you.

    Reply

  6. August 06, 2010 at 6:49 am, Roxanne said:

    God Bless you and your team. You all are the angels for all of the abused and neglected animals. Thank you!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  7. August 06, 2010 at 6:48 am, Julie Kay Harris-Krause said:

    Your story is so touching. The way you wrote allowed me to imagine what it was like to be there.
    Blessings….
    Please suggest ways that we can also get involved is assisting abused animals.
    Julie

    Reply

  8. August 06, 2010 at 12:51 am, Thomas Cole said:

    Scotlund, it’s great to see you back in the real world and away from HSUS. This is where you belong. You are too kind and caring a man to be with those fraudsters. Thanks for all you do. You are a hero to old rehabbers like myself. God bless you and keep you safe. Tom

    Reply

  9. August 05, 2010 at 8:55 pm, M said:

    thanks so much for doing this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  10. August 05, 2010 at 6:34 pm, Judy Boone said:

    I can not imagine the pain you endure each time you see these poor abused animals- it overwhelms me just to read about their horrific lives- I have “liberated” several dogs and cats -legal(not) ? But definitely moral and when I could not keep all of them I took them to the the humane society this was better than what they had endured— that in itself is sad .
    I admire you and all the dedicated animal resuers -How sad the laws do not demand more punishment for neglect and abuse and how much sadder that there must be laws to encourage humane treatment
    Thanks for all you do,
    Judy Boone
    ForestHill,Texas

    Reply

  11. August 05, 2010 at 5:30 pm, Jayne said:

    HI Scotlund….
    How touching this video was. It sickens me to see that people can treat innocent animals so cruely. I agree, even after abuse and neglect, all these loving animals want it love and they are willing to forgive. People would never forgive. I wish that I could show all of America what truly is happening in the daily world of animal abuse. I know it will cause a lot of shock and it will bring in supporters big time, both financially and emotionally. I know that so much of what is happening to these beautiful animals is not even known. The time is NOW to let the world know and to get things going. We also need the Government involved. Today I heard on the News that many billionaires are giving away half their worth to charaties. If we could get funds, we could stop killing and start giving these boys and girls the life they so deserve. Feel free to e-mail me I would love to help see things change.

    Reply

  12. August 05, 2010 at 5:02 pm, LIDIA said:

    THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE NEWS!!! EVERY LIFE WE SAVE IS A MIRACLE AND THSNKS TO YOU AND YOUR TEAM THOSE CREATURES HAVE A NEW CHANCE!
    THANK YOU AND STAY STRONG!!! IT TAKES A HUGE AMOUNT OF STRENGHT TO BE ABLE TO INTAKE ALL THAT SUFFERING SO KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE IDA TEAM!!!
    THANK YOU FOR THE NEWS AND PETITIONS SUPPORTING ANIMAL WELFARE, THANKS TO YOUR AGENCY HOPEFULLY THE WORLD IS HEADING TO A BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR OUR ANIMALS!

    Reply

  13. August 05, 2010 at 4:18 pm, denise said:

    I am so inspired by your love and compassion for these animals. I couldn’t think of a better non-profit to support. Thank you.

    Reply

  14. August 05, 2010 at 3:45 pm, lisa said:

    Thank you Scotlund and all of your supportive staff that dedicate yourselves to traveling across this country to rescue the ones that cannot rescue themselves. Bless.

    Reply

  15. August 05, 2010 at 3:22 pm, Cindi Scholefield said:

    Thank you Scotlund and the team you lead. You are doing tremendous, heart-breaking but rewarding work. Please know that you have at least one strong supporter in Jamaica, and all the prayers I can muster, for your safety and continued success in rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming dogs. In my very tiny way as a volunteer at our local shelter, I know the mixed emotions, and the joy of watching a traumatized creature, broken physically and emotionally, gradually come back to life. Bless you all.

    Reply

  16. August 05, 2010 at 3:15 pm, Helene Brigden said:

    Time and time again, I see Scotlund Haisley rescuing animals in hellish situations and everytime, I wish I was there standing by his side and feel his compassion and devotion. But i would have to walk around with tiny buckets over my eyes to collect all my tears and have the courage to control my rage when facing inhumane beings. So, to you Scotlund and all the other brave animal organizations, I thank from the bottom of my heart and know that my love and admiration is with you, always.

    Reply

  17. August 05, 2010 at 2:58 pm, SUE said:

    GOD BLESS YOU FOR ALL YOU DO FOR THE ANIMALS. WHEN ARE WE GOING TO STOP THINKING OF ANIMALS AS THROW AWAY’S? EVERYONE TRY TO GIVE $5. I KOW IT’S HARD OUT THERE BUT THESE PEOPLE ARE SAVING ANIMALS EVERY DAY.

    Reply

  18. August 05, 2010 at 2:16 pm, Mary Delaney said:

    Our house is full of the love of rescued animals. We hope to see a big change in our life time. I don’t have to tell YOU that we live in a bad puppymill state! Thank you (and thanks to your team) for your hands on work. We do our part locally and wish more people would do the same. It’s hard to see the suffering but rewarding to make a difference!
    God Bless,
    Mary

    Reply

  19. August 05, 2010 at 9:56 am, linda said:

    Thank You Scotlund !
    It takes a strong person to do this .
    We here in America — must make animal abuse a felony !
    Seriously!
    I sign the petitions and give money – when I can– ….

    Reply

  20. August 05, 2010 at 9:52 am, linda said:

    Thank You Scotlund !
    It takes a strong person to do this .
    We here is America — must make animal abuse a felony !
    Seriously!

    Reply

  21. August 05, 2010 at 9:04 am, Georgette Madak said:

    Scotlund, We are so fortunate that you as IDA’s President are so dedicated and courageous as to get out in the field, doing the doing gritty work. Turn around and you’re the articulate poet who describes the fulfillment of being an animal’s first touch of kindness. I was awed watching your dog fighting rescue video by your demonstration of just what you describe – animals who are crazed with fear when leashed who become willing and hopeful once unchained. You said you felt lucky while in that despicable place. May I add that the rescued anials and we the public are more than lucky to have you on our team.

    Reply

  22. August 05, 2010 at 8:52 am, Suely Maria Eloy said:

    I deeply admire you!!!!!! As i was reading , i was not able to hold my tears, and i pray to God to bless you , each and every day of your blessed life!!!!! I felt , as if i was there with you….. How i wish i could !!!!!!!!! I live in Brasil,but i am here, to support you, your work, whenever you need me!!!! With all my respect to you….. Suely Maria de Souza Eloy.

    Reply

  23. August 05, 2010 at 8:48 am, mickie said:

    You show what a true man is, one with compassion…..

    Reply

  24. August 05, 2010 at 8:21 am, Charline said:

    You, dear man, are a true hero. You have chosen a career in one of the most difficult and heartbreaking fields known. Animal abuse and suffering is not taken seriously by most people in this world. It is upsetting to know that this kind of behavior towards animals will go on forever. But when anyone who cares enough to make a difference, and does their best to make THAT difference, no matter how big or small, the effects have a tremendous impact on those that are suffering. It’s heartbreaking to know that 2 of those dogs didn’t make it out alive and will never know what a happy life is, but at least they were able to feel the gentle hands of those who really cared. They were able to hear a sweet voice and look into some loving eyes. Those small gestures of love, made a tremendous impact on those poor dogs lives.

    Reply

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