Fritz, Jack and Minnie's Story
Fritz, a standard schnauzer less than a year old, was surrendered to HFL
with Minnie, a miniature schnauzer, and Jack, a rat terrier mix. All three
suffered terrible abuse in their Northern Minnesota home. Fritz, a spirited
puppy, suffered the brunt of the abuse.
All three dogs belonged to a couple whose lives had degenerated into drug and alcohol abuse. Perhaps at one time they had cherished their pets, but they hadn't shown the animals love for quite a while. Their "mom" suffered the effects of drug use and lost the capacity to look after her dogs. Her partner apparently had a sadistic streak, which he demonstrated towards the dogs, especially Fritz, when he took over their care. The wife seemed unwilling or unable to intervene to stop the abuse.
The dogs were kept in a small, outdoor dog run with no shelter. When HFL learned of the situation, it was the middle of a typically brutal Northern Minnesota winter. The run was completely covered in frozen dog feces and urine. The man fed the dogs one small fish once a day. He watched as the three competed for the tiny meal.
The man was particularly cruel to Fritz and beat him when he saw him go to the bathroom in the kennel. Sometimes, he abused Fritz for no obvious reason at all. All three dogs were severely underweight and had long, matted, filthy hair. They would cuddle together to try to keep warm. It was obvious that the man was cruelly sending them to a slow and painful death by exposure, dehydration and starvation.
Finally, a witness could not stand the situation any longer. Not a dog lover himself, he still felt the need to take action. He called Zoë, a friend of our supporter Sabra. Zoë asked the person to see if the couple would voluntarily surrender the dogs that they clearly did not care about anymore. Amazingly, they agreed.
Officially unreported as abusers, it is sad that these people are still
free to adopt and abuse another pet if the whim takes them. Still, at least
Fritz, Jack, and Minnie were headed to warmth and security! As our friend
Sabra noted, these three dogs never have to be at risk again.
All three dogs bear scars from their mistreatment, particularly the schnauzers. Fritz is still a submissive wetter who trembles and panics if he leaves the sanctuary for any reason. Minnie and Jack had enjoyed decent care early in their lives and were able to rebound somewhat.
Minnie is still shy and wary of new situations. She seldom leaves Jack’s side. Jack, a sensitive rat terrier, is quiet and watchful, but eager to put his past behind him. He thoroughly enjoys all aspects of life at the sanctuary and loves to visit nursing homes with our volunteers.