Animal Rescue of Fresno: McDonald’s Mutts: Cheeseburgers and Chihuahuas on the side

 By Wendy Hunter

“I’m not a smart man, but I know what love is.” —Forrest Gump

Ah yes, love. Amore. That immortal feeling where you feel like anything is possible, the sun will always shine, and daisies will bloom forever. Children dance in the streets, fountains spill over with joy, and your partner whispers sweet nothings in your ear. A pretty picture, eh? Sure, unless you’re enduring the forty-seventh day of triple digit heat, and those daisies begin wilting, fountains dry up, kids' feet fry on the sidewalk, and you can’t stand your partner’s hot breath anywhere near you. Go away you sweaty beast! I can’t take it anymore people, I’m going to crack. I know I’m lucky to have air conditioning, and fans, and blue mountains on my beer cans, but this is getting ridiculous. Even though I am living in shorts and tank tops, cutting my hair shorter and shorter, and drinking gallons of water every day, it still feels like the swamplands of Florida are swallowing me whole. Yeesh. The ARF dogs are feeling the heat as well, searching for shade, swimming and splashing in pools, then settling down for a lazy snooze. But, my friends, there is still hope. Just a few weeks away, in the not so distant future, there really will be a reason for you to welcome whispers of affection. That’s right kids, fall is almost here. Cool nights, falling leaves, crisp apples, crackling fires, and pumpkin everything. Now let’s cuddle on the couch, share some cocoa, and maybe a kiss or two. Just don’t forget the marshmallows.

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To decide, we use the brain. But to choose, it's the heart which does the work.—Setu Shah

No matter the weather, we humans have to make many decisions on a daily basis. This time of year, we have to decide which sandals to wear, the strength of our SPF, and how much salt we want on our Cadillac Margaritas. Soon, we will pick and choose between sweats and sweaters, mittens or gloves, and how many dollops of whipped cream we need on our Pumpkin Spice latte. Hmmm, that’s a tough one. For some people, making decisions is a piece of cake, and there is no second thought about it. However, the trick is making the right decision. For example, your unaltered female terrier “Tilly” has a litter of puppies. Uh oh, how did that happen? Maybe she dug out and had a ladies night with some of her home girls. Perhaps she met a canine Casanova who swept her off her paws. She comes home the next day hanging her head, reeking of toilet water, Eau de Poodle, and desperation. When the puppies arrive a couple months later, you are astounded. Is that why Tilly was eating like a pig and growing like a watermelon? Dang, guess you should have listened to your neighbor and taken advantage of those spay/neuter specials they advertise all over town. Unfortunately, now you have more dogs than you can handle or afford. Where do you go from here? Lets go out for a Big Mac and think about it.

A little learning is dangerous, but downright ignorance is even more disastrous.—The Galveston Daily News, 1894

Late last month, ARF was asked to take in four tiny terrier puppies that were found in a McDonald’s dumpster. Go ahead, I’ll wait while you digest that sentence. Yup, four defenseless little dogs were discovered in a filthy, smelly, disgusting trash bin. Someone had tossed them away like garbage, amongst the burger wrappers, fry sleeves, and soda cups. We don’t know who did it, and we’ll probably never find out. The scenario I described above about the surprise pups is not real, although it could be. It is just a situation I thought might explain someone’s despicable behavior. Perhaps this person thought they had no choice at all. Maybe they didn’t know what to do or where to turn. But it’s also possible they were just too embarrassed to ask for help, or didn’t want to take the time.  

McDonalds Pups-1-Nugget 2-Small Fry  3-Flurry  4-Caramel
It’s hard to wrap your brain around behavior such as that, but people are pretty desperate these days. In any event, Nugget, Small Fry, Flurry, and Caramel are now safely housed at ARF, growing stronger every day. Considering their rocky start to life, they are doing well and just love being puppies. They are currently being fostered, and spent time rolling around and playing, jumping on each other, and stealing toys. The puppies appear to be in pretty good health, except for one who has a bit of trouble with his back leg. The vet is hoping it will heal with time, and it may have been caused when the pups were dumped. There’s really no way to tell how long they were in the garbage, but I like to think they survived by noshing on some delicious chicken nuggets. Yum! As soon as the dumpster dogs are ready for adoption, they will be posted on our website. We hope to find them all forever homes where they will be fed a steady diet of love, affection, and the occasional French fry.

Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly. —Greg Oetjen, The Washington Post word contest, 1998

You know, I’ve been volunteering at Animal Rescue of Fresno for about eight years now, and it’s hard not get jaded. After hearing about the McDonald Mutts, my first reaction was shock and dismay. Then about five minutes later, my mind went, “Oh, another case of animal cruelty…what a shocker.” It’s almost like, hey, another drive-by shooting, another hit and run accident, or just one more hate crime. You get a little bit numb by all the lousy things going on, but when it comes to bad treatment of animals, it just seems a million times worse. 

There was a local story in the Fresno Bee a couple weeks ago about a pregnant pit bull, who was stabbed a horrific seventeen times, and gave birth to a litter of pups two weeks later. Seventeen times! I simply cannot fathom that kind of hatred. It is wrong on so many levels. That mommy dog is the true meaning of the word “survivor.” Recently, I read about the rescue of 4,000 beagles from a Virginia puppy mill who were being sold for use in laboratories. Beagles are the most common breed used for lab experiments and animal testing because of their docile behavior and small size. This allows for more animals to be housed and cared for using less space and money. Talk about giving new life to the old term, “getting more bang for your buck.” 

We have enough youth, how about a fountain of smart? —Author unknown

A couple of weekends ago, I was at ARF with my other volunteers. We noticed a white car (possibly a Jeep) pull up to the gate, pause for a few seconds, and drive off. Our owner became suspicious and went to check things out. At the gate, she found a pet carrier box with an adult rabbit inside. It was a beautiful adult bunny with a twitching nose and silky coat. Since we were unable to keep him, he was taken to another rescue. He was one lucky rabbit, though, because if ARF was closed for the day, he certainly would have perished in the horrible heat. Even after reviewing our security videos, we were unable to make out a license plate number for the car. Hey, you know who you are. 

Please, if you are unable to keep a pet, don’t just leave them somewhere and hope for the best. There are so many resources available online, all it takes is a little bit of time, a cell phone, and a bit of Googling. Also, if you know you’re moving or cannot keep your pet for another reason, we urge you not to wait. Please reach out to ARF or another shelter, and we will try our best to help you out. Remember, most rescues these days are at complete capacity, due to COVID returns and other reasons. If your move date is not for another couple of months, do not delay. On an every day basis, shelters are a lot like Motel 6 during the holidays; we really want to leave the light on for you, but you’ll need an early reservation.

If there is a just God, how humanity would writhe in its attempt to justify its treatment of animals. —Isaac Asimov

Animal Rescue of Fresno 
4545 E Dakota Ave.
Fresno, CA 93726

 Check out more animal rescue stories in our Pet Perspective section on Kings River Life, and the Pets section here on KRL News & Reviews. Check back every month for another animal rescue adventure from ARF. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to a local animal rescue. Learn more about ARF on their website.

Wendy Hunter has been volunteering with ARF since 2014. She grew up in Fresno and has been an Office Assistant with Fresno County for 7 years. She has been writing all of her life, though never professionally, and currently writes personalized poetry for birthdays, weddings, pet remembrances, etc.