Pookie, named for his adorable squishy sweet face, needs a home. A real home. One without a chain. One with love. One with food. One with patience. This compact little brindle bully mix had a rough start and is ready for a real family to call his own.

One cold day in late November three of our street dog rescue team headed to an area south of Dallas known for dumping dogs. The rumor was that several men once living in an abandoned trailer had moved away leaving a dog chained on the outside. Sadly, no one living in the area knew the men or how to find them so no animal cruelty charges could be filed. 

Upon our volunteers arrival garbage was seen stacked and strewn about the property. And tied to a stake outside the dilapidated trailer was Pookie. His ribs were showing and patches of fur missing. He was really miserable and to top if off, he was freezing!

True to form, our volunteers swung into action by first testing the dog's temperament. Often when mistreated they have no reason to trust humans and can take a while to warm up. This boy was just scared and it was obvious he craved attention. After determining Pookie was people friendly he was fed and he happily devoured all the food offered to him. 

An SOS was sent out across our social media ties asking for help from our rescue community. Those of us who are usually able to help are almost always filled to capacity with dogs in need and this time was no different. And with the holiday fast approaching foster homes were slim to none. But this was our lucky day as one of our veterinarians had a space open in her isolation room and agreed to take our boy!  

Pookie has since been neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. He is currently being treated for intestinal parasites and skin infections. He is heartworm positive, something very common in dogs in this area of Texas, and will need a quiet home in which to recover from treatment.  We have not been successful in finding Pookie a foster home so he is living in a boarding facility where he receives lots of fresh air and TLC, but this is not a permanent solution. 

Just this week Pookie had an offer for a short reprieve from boarding! He is living with a young man who walks him, talks to him and offers cuddles on demand. They play video games, watch sports, and just hang out together.  Over time we have learned that Pookie is not ready to share his human with another dog. His foster home or forever home will need to be one without anther dog (at least for now) and no cats (as he seems to be overly interested in them right now). He is fine with dogs on the outside of the home and in public places but he needs to be the only dog inside the home. Yes, he is making up for 4 years of being a neglected dog tied out with the garbage.

Our volunteers have made a promise to Pookie. That we will not give up. We will find him a home and family of his very own.  Would you be willing to to help us fulfill our promise to Pookie and help us find him a forever home? He will not disappoint! Not only is he house and crate trained but he even knows to sit for treats! 

To foster or adopt Pookie please visit www.dsda.org and complete our easy online no obligation foster or adoption application. 

In 2016, a stray dog wandered a southern Dallas, Texas, neighborhood where Antoinette Brown, a homeless Army veteran, was killed by a pack of dogs.


In Dallas, stray and loose dogs are still roaming the streets, particularly on the city's south side. 

Some attacks have resulted in serious injuries — and death. This summer, a man was attacked in far south Dallas by three dogs. In 2016, Antoinette Brown, a homeless Army veteran, was killed in southern Dallas after being mauled by a pack of dogs. 

That same year, Boston Consulting Group was commissioned to study the issue and found nearly 9,000 dogs loose in the southern part of the city. Since then, Dallas has hired a new director of Animal Services and strengthened an ordinance to counter the problem. A $13 million private effort to spay and neuter dogs made a difference, but it fell short of its goals.

Many rescue groups roam the streets, too, aiming to help these dogs — and prevent more attacks. Elise Bissell, president of the nonprofit Dallas Street Dog Advocates, recently joined KERA to talk about their work.

Listen...4:35 Listen to the KERA radio interview. Interview Highlights

How things have change since Brown's death

Different groups have been formed, other nonprofits. Foundations in the Dallas area have come together and they've provided the money to have the Boston Consulting Group report completed. That report helped determine how many stray and loose dogs were in the area.

And the city, Dallas Animal Services combined with the Spay Neuter Network and the SPCA have all agreed to try and spay and neuter 100,000 dogs in the next three years. That leaves 38,000 dogs that still need to be spayed and neutered over that time frame.

What's happening is the nonprofits are trying to step in and help collect the dogs off the street. Our organization and a couple more work really hard to get the dogs off the streets and get them spayed and neutered before they have more puppies who have more puppies.

On the reality for dogs on the streets

It's heartbreaking. They starve. They're hit by cars. They're attacked by other animals — coyotes, other dogs. Some of the dogs that we've found have been abused in a variety of ways. Tick infestations, fleas, sarcoptic mange. If you can think of it, it's happened; we've found it. 

On the amount of work involved to rescue a dog

It just depends. If the dog was an owned dog that had been abandoned or dumped and they're socialized, you can drive by, open your car door, and they're so happy to see you. They just jump right in. Those are the easy ones that we don't have any trouble re-homing. Of course, we have to make sure they're not somebody's dog. Our group works with the communities in the area and we find out which ones are the stray dogs, which ones are the owned dogs. If they're owned and they're wanted, then we help get them spayed and neutered, and help owners with their fences and or teach them about keeping their dog in the house. We have a variety of things like that.

Interview responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

By Amanda Jesse, Breaking News Intern

Stray dogs in southeastern Dallas County have a lot to contend with: heartworms, ear infections, malnutrition — even alligators

The patch of mostly undeveloped land to the east of Interstate 45 has been a common dumping ground for years. Dowdy Ferry Road is infamous for the number of dogs, living and dead, found along it

Dogs found in that area, along the Trinity River, have few places to go. Read more...

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