Of Mice and Horsemen


I press the button on the radio, “Six-O in pursuit of two horses.”

There is dead silence on the line while I put my truck into park and grab my lasso.

Some static on the line is followed by, “Did you say horses on the street? I thought your were 10-7 to pick up a trapped Opposum from the local prison”

“10-4. Just saw them running loose less than 1/2 a mile from the freeway.” I kick open the door and rush toward them.

“I’m sending another officer to your location.” My supervisors voice crackles on the airwaves.

I am joined by 3 citizens in two trucks in a  car in chasing these horses. We corner them- but as I draw near them twirling my lasso by my side I remind myself of what I learned in Animal Control classes all those years ago. A horse’s defense mechanism is -flight. They will run away when scared.


So they escape and we chase them. Another officer shows up to help me but overtime I draw near they run away. I get on top of the platform behind his truck and we chase them around the block. The lasso I’m twirling over my head makes me feel like a cowboy.


Our task is to keep them away from the freeway and tire them by making them run in circles. 20 minutes later they are sweating from every pore. They give up. The owner corals them back and I issue a citation to a VERY IRATE woman who reminds me of my race and how she pays my salary. At no point is she thankful for us saving her horses.


Then I head to the state prison, where the guards escort me to the trap where an opossum has been baited by a rat.

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The stench of the decaying mouse competes with the molded cheese smell of the inmates. Prisoners remind me of my race again when I walk back holding up the trap like a trophy. The mafia movie references of rats and animals are not lost amongst the howls and whistles and occasional comments about my ass.

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For someone who has never seen a razor-wire, been reminded of their race, been hit-upon by someone of the same sex or dealt with an irate horsewoman, I’ve had two unique experiences in less than an hour.


Whatever else this job has in store for me– I think I’m ready for it.


I make aggressive dogs– and I don’t care.

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I sling my catch-pole on my shoulder and rap my knuckles on the partially blue door trying to avoid splinters in my hand. “Animal Control- This is Officer Sandhu.”

The shirtless old man with a grey mustache peers from behind the door. “You again? Now what?”

“Your pitbulls got out again from your yard, Sir.”

“I don’t care. You can take them dawwwgs.”

I take a deep breath. “Your dogs are your responsibility, Sir.”

“I said I don’t care.”

“They killed 2 kittens this time. Along with the old blind boxer they killed last week. This makes 7.”

“Those dawwwgs are mean. I don’t care.”

I bite my lip. “Do you care about the inconsolable 9 year old girl who just saw her 2 kittens in this condition.” I push my camera in his face.

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He glances at it and laughs.”They ripped that fucking pussy.”

I flip to the next picture in the hopes of eliciting some emotion.

2015-05-21 16.22.02 Case #315630  Kitten 1 rear2015-05-21 18.48.14 Case #315630 Kitten 2

He smirks.”I can’t help what those daym dawgs be doing. I’m 74 years old.”

“You made them this way, sir. You breed them, keep them tied up, starve them and sell them to dog-fighters.” I push my clenched fist in my pocket.

“I don’t care.”

I flip the ticket book I’ve assigned just for him and issue him his sixteenth citation this week. I don’t need his license. I know the address, date of birth and D.L # by heart.

He signs the dotted line and when I hand him his yellow copy he pretends to wipe his ass with it and stomps on it, a toothless smile on his face pock-marked with age-spots.

I remind myself of the first rule of a customer service job- BE PROFESSIONAL, NEVER LET A PERSON GET TO YOUR PERSONAL FACE. “Sir, your dogs are still in someones yard and the police have just taken 2 shots at them. They missed but they are warning…”

“I don’t care. Let those damn pigs keeeel those dawwgs.” He slams the door in my face.

Yep. I get the message- loud and clear. He doesn’t care at all.

All my life I’ve hoped I never become a dirty, lecherous, sloppy, grumpy old man. But today I have a new wish- I hope I never become that old man. A man who doesn’t care about anything or anyone or any life.


Puppy, Puppy – Bang… Bang


“Hi, World– It’s a beautiful day in sunny Como, Fort Worth and this is your friend and host, Memphis the awesomest Pitbull ever, reporting. There is fun to be had, trees to be peed on, sneakers to be chewed and cars to chase on this bright sunny–“

“–Wait a second… Sorry for the interruption folks. I’m being hailed by my owner. And when the master proposes; Memphis disposes. And that’s the law. So let it be written– so let it be told.”

I run as fast as my little legs can carry me to my owner.

“Here, Memphis, Here Dawwwwggg !”He reaches for my head.

I snuggle by his calloused hand and long fingernails. He reaches out for my collar and removes it and my favorite blue tag. “We’re going to have some fun with you, boy.”

I love the sound of the word FUN…It just sounds like a lot of — FUN.!! hahaha

He pulls a shiny thing from his back pocket and holds it up to my forehead. My ears are now fully erect. The thing has a handle and a long narrow tube to it. It feels cold on my fore-head but I trust my master. Anything that is good for Memphis, the awesome; he will do for–”

BANG !!!!!

A sharp pain sears through my head, the sound is deafening and I am thrown backwards. My world turns dark and my ears are ringing- but my head is on fire.

My lungs are exploding, I can’t breathe. What was that? It hurt and my master would NEVER hurt me. I love him so much.

The world I’ve known for a few months fades in and out of my eyes and finally into oblivion.


The  pavement is very hot but my head is throbbing when I wake up. I can’t see out of my right eye. I’m on my back and a spectacled woman with big eye-glasses is poring over me. She covers my head in a towel and rushes me to a Vet.


It’s been a few months since Molly saved me. My left eyeball has shifted and I am blind in one eye. Molly keeps on rubbing the scar on my forehead with her fingernail and kisses it every night, mumbling apologies on the behalf of humanity.

She tells people I’ve become a shy dog and I like hiding under the table at first when I meet someone.


I spy with my good eye

I spy with my good eye

Memphis under the

Memphis under the

Problem is; who can I trust? Humans are so vastly different . We dogs have different personalities too but we all wear our hearts on our sleeves ; ALL OF US. Humans are diff- some of them kiss our boo-boos and some of them give us boo-boos.


I’m just a silly puppy… can everyone just tell me which side they are on when they meet me…

Help me read humans better– PLEASE.

Yes- This is how I sleep...with my leg

Yes- This is how I sleep…with my leg…Goodnight !!!



The Grandiose Hopes of a Road-Side Romeo


As an A.C.O you get called out to some calls that make your head scratch and leave you in a desperate attempt to hold back your laughter.

A stray male Shih Tzu is reportedly digging under the fence of a homeowner and getting into the yard  in the hopes of impressing their dog.

This is the face of the Hapless Shit-Zhu


And this is the pretty face of a fully grown female…


This is the two of them together.


Some GUYS JUST DON’T GET IT… She has barked at him and turned him down several times. Homeowner has blocked every dug-up pit with wood/stones and returned the dog to the street.

Doesn’t prevent this bugger from making new holes.

She is clearly wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy out of his league.

He’s a 1.5, she’s a 9 (at-least)

But he doesn’t get it.

As an A.C.O- I can’t laugh- but I really really really want to–



Preferential Treatment


Sarcoptic Mange is caused by the parasite Sacroptes Scabiei. While it can infect and grow in humans too- it prefers to grow in dogs.

The kind of preferential treatment they can absolutely do without.

Because we can help ourselves. They can’t.

We have sprays. They have neglect.

We have money they are destitute.

We control out destiny. They have been robbed of their destiny because we domesticate and breed them.

And this is what it does to a ‘once vibrant’ Great Dane. His legs are swollen to three times the normal size. His walk is so painful that he shuffles inch by inch. Standing up is so excruciating for him that he eats lying down.




In a world where shelters are overcrowded and animals  get put down for perceived aggression or a minor kennel cough, what chance does this poor neglected boy have?

Who was the human that let the neglect go this far. At what point do you stop and say- I think my dog needs help.

So what did this human do??

He abandoned this dog on the street in almost 100 degree blistering hot Texas sun. A skin so sensitive it cannot endure human touch was found lying on a burning hot pavement.

Now that is preferential cruelty.

All in a Day’s Work

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How often do you have a day where the first call you get in the morning is that of an injured goose.

You google How to catch a goose?

Why of-course; Grab it by the neck.

You take a Goose back and bandage it’s wing. Then you wait for a rescue group to pick it up.


Just when you’re feeling good about yourself, you get a call of a Puppy that’s been beaten by young boys.

You get there and the puppy is bleeding from his anus. You wrap him in a towel and pick him up. Concerned citizens are judging the kids for being cruel- but you know in your deepest worries that this puppy has Parvo…and he just blew up today.


You are carrying him in your arms in the shelter and he lets out a stream of vomit from his mouth and a stream of blood from his rectum. Before you know it you are covered in blood and drool.


You are now CONTAMINATED. You can’t be in the shelter because Parvo is lethal and spreads quickly. So you are ready to dash out the door. But wait… A vet tech grabs you by the arm. “You have to euthanize the puppy first.”

You freeze. “What? Me? but… but… Its a…I’ve never–”

They thrust a bottle of Euthasol in your hand and a few syringes and tranquilizer in your shirt pocket. All without touching the blood or vomit.

If you’ve never smelled PARVOVIRUS… you are a lucky human. Nothing smelly more deathly than that.

So with blood and grime and drool and vomit and some tears on your body… You pet the puppy’s head to give it love and then plunge the needle to kill it.


Your heart is detached from your body. Your senses are drowning your adrenaline.

Then you drive off– scared to tackle the next day… but hopeful of saving one more goose– or a raccoon or a puppy or a turtle or a horse.



To Steal or Not to Steal ?




But I’m watching the playoffs.



“OK OK, I’ll look.” I yell at my laptop.

You have been tagged on a post. I take a deep breath.

2 Pit bulls- Possibly will be sold for drugs to become bait-dogs. Please help.

I click on the post. There are 57 comments. People in rescue and concerned humans commenting over and over about “Hope someone can save these poor dogs.”


Don’t do it, Inder. Just don’t . It’s the same dance.

My fingers type these words. “I’ll get them.”

Darn it.

It’s a drug-den and I’m new to Dallas. I’m somewhat familiar with the dingy underbelly of Houston. This is new. I need a lookout person.

“Can someone go with me to steal these dogs?” I type and wait.

No response.

It’s the age-old dilemma. We want to save dogs but we want someone else to save them. It’s always someone else.



There’s just one person I know in Dallas and I ask her. A 30-year-old Vegan woman who just loves animals and is a kind generous and lovable soul. She is very slightly built- but she doesn’t hesitate. “I’ll go with you.” She types.

Together we go through the rigmarole. A pair of new box-cutters at Home Depot. Gloves, leashes, treat. And we are off.

The things to determine are

  • Is it a prized fighting dog? In that case we are screwed. He will be aggressive, and expensive and well protected.
  • Is it a bait dog? He would be timid and injured.
  • Is he a dog that’s just neglected?


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My strategy to steal or report cruelty or buy will depend upon that.

I check for dog-fighting paraphernalia; none. I approach the dog to check for friendliness. He is in a dog-house in a vacant lot. There is filth all around him and he comes out slowly. He has a giant chain around his neck with 5 locks dangling from it. His gait is labored, his neck is lowered, his shoulders are hurting from the heavy chain.


I extend my hand to him. He comes close and sniffs it. Then he just drops to the ground and throws his legs in the air. He want’s human contact- any contact other than a human striking it.

I rub his belly. He moans and groans. I’m his new friend.

I’m just about to remove his chain from his neck when I hear a voice behind me.

“Is there a problem?” An extremely thin, older man walks up to me. His hands are placed on his hips.

“Plan B, Plan B, Plan B”

I try to get him to give up his dogs and negotiate a humane release for them. But he just wants some money. His missing teeth confirm my doubt for what he wants money for.

My life is a struggle to prevent drug use, but I am pro-life. Just pro-dog-life. He wants a 100$ apiece or he will report me to the police for attempting to steal his dogs.

I threaten cruelty and tethering citations. But he’s played this game a hundred times before. He calls my bluff.

I offer him 80 $ and he agrees right away.

Five minutes later two sweet pit bulls are on their freedom ride. In an air-conditioned car after years of being in dirt and filth and the elements, within a minute both are snoring.


That’s how I almost went back to stealing. The sweet woman who was my lookout driver had type 9-1-1 on her phone already and her trembling finger hovered over the green button of her phone. She had told me she hasn’t stolen anything in her life. I promised her that I would try and keep her record intact. And we did.

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Two dogs got another shot at life or a shot at a humane death.

And I almost stole again.

But some crimes are worth it- aren’t they?



Officer- There’s a dog in my car !!!!


I got called out to a police call today where a man was complaining about a dog in his car who wouldn’t come out.


Well, he was changing the license plate stickers and has left his door open. When he got done- a big German Shepherd sat in his car and refused to get out.

So he called the cops.


So the cops called me.

I asked him to come jump in my truck and he didn’t even think twice. He jumped out the car and into my truck.


Then he licked my ear the entire ride back.


And at the shelter he wants to be walked and demands treats. At almost 140 Lbs a few treats don’t even whet his appetite. He needs a handful. And then he wants to thank you with a spatula like tongue and he can shake your hand with his giant paw.


What an adorable dog. He is somebody’s pet for sure…even if he is a tad bit grey around his muzzle…surely nobody would’ve abandoned such a majestic and intelligent dog.

I hope not…

..So stay posted…will update his progress.


The Messenger of Death



That’s the final frontier.

Nothing is more definite.

Nothing is more final.

Nothing is more irreversible.

Then why do we take a life?

Why do I?

If Dr. Kevorkian can be punished for human Euthanasia, what is my punishment for killing sixteen cats and nine dogs with reasons ranging from upper respiratory infection to perceived aggressive to simply – “un-adoptable because they’ve been at the shelter too long” scribbled clear across their charts.

A red tag around their collar as I walk him to his final walk. The chocolate brown big-pittie wags his tail wildly as I pet his pretty face. He jumps up and down the weigh-scale ready to play his game with me.

  1. The amber read-out of the scale flickers. That would mean 8cc of the Blue-juice. My gut tightens.

The vet-techs check his vitals and I tranquilize him. Then we put him in the cage and the vet techs cover it with a blanket.

“Why do we do that?”

“So he can’t see what’s going on outside.” He says to me and re-starts his banter with the other vet-techs.

Having been here for a week has taught me how to read between lines. Having worked in rescue for years has taught me how we veil our fears and feeling. It’s not because we don’t want them to see outside. It’s because we don’t want to see inside.

So I peek behind the blanket. My pittie is swaying his head from side to side like Stevie Wonder does when he sings. Drool is dribbling out of his mouth.

I can barely hold his chart up with my trembling hands. There must be something wrong. He is so healthy and happy. I go over every line again. It still says Upper respiratory tract infection. I could’ve sworn I never heard a cough or anything.

They pull him out and lay his limp body on the table. His muscles are quivering involuntarily. He must’ve figured out what’s coming.

“Why don’t you do this one.” My supervisor points to me.

“Me?” I look behind me. Nothing. Gosh.

My mouth runs dry. I gulp a few times and pick up the syringe. I draw 8cc’s of the blue liquid and grab the pittie by the elbow and twist my wrist slightly.

His big vein pops up willingly, eager to please me very much like him. Always obliging. Always ready to give happiness, joy, love and now even his own life; The true spirit of a dog.

And the true spirit of man.

I point the beveled end of the needle up and dig into his skin, feeling the vein. I draw out a little blood to ensure I’ve hit the vein and then I plunge the syringe as deep as I can.

A sudden urge to vomit overpowers me. I’ve just pushed death into the body of an animal that I had sworn just to give life to. I had chosen death.

“Good job, officer.” My supervisor spins on his heel and leaves the lab.

My knees hit the floor. I run my hand over the pitties head repeating the words SORRY SORRY , Please forgive me. I am so sorry, big guy.

His eyes glaze over they are staring into nothingness. I put my face right in front of his eyes. I want me to be the last thing he saw. I pet his head and kiss his nose till the heart jab injection tells me he has passed.

I force myself not to cry in front of the vet techs. I force myself to appear professional but my heart broke into a million pieces today. But it has broken several times before and it will as long as I work in this field.

Today I am the messenger of death. We in rescue call this by different names- we try to ease the pain and cutify death. Lab Limbo (stalling going to the lab by doing menial things to delay killing), The Rainbow Bridge, Going to meet Jesus, Going night-night… It’s still death; Final and all encompassing.

I trudge over to the wash-basin.

Boraxo, Industrial strength hand-wash. An orange bottle over the basin reads. Removes paint, grease, tar, ink and oils.

I pump some on my hands and scrub the grainy gel as vigorously as I can. Yes but can it remove DEATH too?

Another one licks the dust … Pound for Pound


Have you seen a big un’ go down? That’s what I did today.

NO, I didn’t kill any dog. It was a black and white coloured pit-bull that I tranquilized because he was being aggressive when I cornered him.

NO, I didn’t tranquilize him because he was aggressive but because he is a stray and not neutered. He must’ve been used to produce more pit-bull puppies to be sold for profit. These are the puppies that finally show-up back at the shelters as abused dogs and do end up on euthanasia lists.

So had him pegged with my catch-pole when he gave up the chase and I had to shoot 1cc Tranquilizer into his dense hind-leg-muscle.


He stood there; defiant. The effect of the Curariform skeletal muscle relaxer was winning the battle. In a few minutes his anal gland released and urine dribbled down his leg, involuntarily. His front paw bent inward as he struggled to keep his eyes open.


Then the drug started affecting his muscles and his trembling legs could no longer hold up his massive body and down he went like The Titanic.



His big snout was on the ground and his heavy breath blew away blades of loose grass, he struggled to keep his eyes open. Five minutes later I realized my predicament of taking him to the truck by myself. The anesthetic would wear off in 15 minutes and I needed to secure the big-guy in the truck.


At this point I had an audience of around 20 people. I wrapped my arms around his back, lacing my fingers around his chest and heaved him up in my arms and–, and…

–My eyes welled up. His body weight was about 80 pounds. It wasn’t the weight that hurt me but the fact that several years ago I used to lift another dog of the exact same weight.


Speed. My Speedy; the big Doberman who was on the last stages of his joyful life. He suffered from Laryngeal Paralysis and on walks around the block he would have breathing episodes. I would carry him back to the house cradled like a baby and he would rest his muzzle on my shoulder. A part of me used to think he did it on purpose because he enjoyed those rides back. The wily old ba*****d.

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Here I was today carrying this dog to my truck 30 meters away, to the cheer of the audience. Some were concerned about the dog, some thanked me a few were angry.

But the giant pit-bull is safe. He’s at the shelter and is well-fed. I’ve taken him on several walks now and I can safely say we are friends from the way he wags his merry tail every time he sees me.

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Today my own Speedy would be smiling at me from somewhere behind the clouds for having picked another eighty pounder and given him a ride in my arms.

My chiropractor be happy too sending me bills- If I keep on doing this stuff.