The following was submitted by Kim Silver
See below for important postscript
“Dogpatch is the nickname given to a rural area of southern Tucson (just south of the Tucson Airport between Old Nogales Highway and South Swan Road) that has been used for many years as a dumping ground for garbage and animals, both dead and alive” – Angels For Animals Facebook page
I made my first trip to Dogpatch a few weeks ago. Nothing really prepares you for what you see and smell. Experienced Dogpatch volunteers Mike Santo and Liza Bonilla gave me a guided tour. We drove down the dirt roads and through washes looking for dead animals so that they could be reported to PACC for removal. We located their dead bodies mostly by their smell but also stopping to look through garbage bags and abandoned boxes. I thought this would be the hardest part but it was not. Yes, the smell of decaying dog is still fresh in my senses but it was the live dogs that keep me up at night and make me want to go back.
There are so many loose dogs in this area. It is difficult to differentiate an abandoned dog from a dog whose owner allows them to run free. One of my many lessons that day was to stop and evaluate each dog encountered. If the dog is a healthy weight and looks to be in relatively good health, he probably belongs to someone and is just roaming the neighborhood. One dog I encountered a few weeks ago was neutered. Altered animals are not common at Dogpatch
But today we came across a dog so emaciated we first thought it was a coyote. The dog ran from us and we were unable to catch it. We proceeded to fill a food station nearby hoping he would come to eat. We emptied 15 lbs of dog food at two different food stations and waited for the dogs to come out of the desert and washes to eat.
While waiting, a resident who sometimes rescues dogs and provides information for the rescues approached us. She shared that she also was in need of food. We gave her our last 30 lb bag of dog food and bag of cat food. She gave us information on some dogs that need help. I thought it was a good trade.
On my drive home I clocked the mileage. The last food station we visited is only 9 miles from my house. I decided I needed to do more. I got on Facebook and started a food drive. Providing food for the food stations not only helps feed the dogs but also helps the rescues create opportunities to engage the community and educate them on the poor welfare of the animals in their community. There are several residents that do offer help to the animals but their resources become stretched as well. They need help too.
My hope is that we can generate enough resources to feed all of the animals in need at Dogpatch so that the rescues that are taking animals from other parts of Tucson and PACC can use their limited resources for those animals.
I also hope that this is a step in the right direction of getting some community resources to this area of Tucson. It desperately needs help.
Food donations and gift cards to Costco, Amazon, PETCO and Pet Club are welcome. Contact Kim Silver at email@example.com to make arrangements for pick up or drop off of donations.
The above was submitted by Kim Silver.
I/Karyn Zoldan recently got to know Kim as I’m on her task force committee for No Kill Pima County. She is amazingly dedicated to the cause of rescuing animals.
Here is more coverage about Dogpatch:
P.S: At this time we are only asking for donations of dog food or monetary gifts to purchase dog food. We do not want or need anyone to go to this area and physically pull animals from the community. The volunteers experienced in rescuing from this area have built a rapport with many of the residents in this community. We do not want to damage the work done by the rescues by having people without experience in the area going out there. If you would like to help as a volunteer, contact Angels for Animals at firstname.lastname@example.org or All- American Bully Buddies at BullyBuddyMike@gmail.com