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Tikkun Update

We saved Tikkun (who is not the dog pictured below. Read on to learn about that dog). Just not as we expected.

See, Riverside contacted his human today, and he immediately came and picked up his dog.

We hope this is good news. That Tikkun is back where he was howling to be. That he will be safe and protected and never end up anywhere near a high-kill facility again. That his human was not at fault for his escaping and being picked up as a stray, had tried everything to find him, and was blameless for his dog deteriorating in a kill facility for a week. Most likely, we will never know what happens to him from here on out – whether he is safe, or loved, or happy. We can only hope.

What we do know is this. Riverside did not detect his chip on intake, put him through stray hold, and cleared him for adoption or rescue. The only reason they detected the chip is that they were preparing him to leave with H3 after we tagged him.

This haunts me. What if I hadn’t been so compelled by his screaming and crying that I sat down next to him for long enough to connect with him? And then decided to plead with Jenni and this community for us to come together to save him even though he wasn’t even close to the most at risk?

What if I had been rational and focused only on the dogs who were nearest to death? Would his chip ever have been detected if we hadn’t tagged him? Would his human ever have found him? What if no one wanted to adopt him straight out of the shelter – not an idle possibility, because of all his howling and screaming? What if he deteriorated quickly enough to be fast-tracked for killing? Would they have checked for a chip again in the kill room? (Not abstract questions. We are aware of another rescue who recently pulled two dogs out of the Riverside kill room only to learn that a family was looking for them.)

How many other dogs have gone through nightmarish shelter incarcerations unnecessarily – or died – due to similar intake errors? Are there any other similarly situated huskies currently at Riverside for whom I should have been pleading?

How many dogs did this facility kill for “lack of space” over the past week while using a large-sized kennel for a dog whose human wanted him back? Any chance we could get 1-3 (since many Riverside dogs are triple kenneled) of their lives back? Asking for a friend WHO IS ALL OF US.

Except for that last question (spoiler alert: no), the answers are unknowable.

What we do know is this. We had an extra spot in our van. And we happened to be at Apple Valley today – which promptly seized the opportunity to ask if we could take one more of their huskies, Jin, pictured below with H3 team member Mike (shout out to their team for proactively advocating for their husky behind-the-scenes and for all of the logistical support and coordination they have provided us as we pulled seven of their huskies over the past week, and dozens over the past year.)

Congrats, Jin. You just won an all-expense paid trip to the (figuratively, and near-literally in summer) hottest husky destination in the country – Eufaula, Oklahoma.

Welcome to being halfway home. All of the love and caring we would have shown Tikkun is yours, now. We can’t wait to meet you.

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May 23

Sending hugs for all the frustration and heartache rescuing brings with it. The wins are heart filling, but the lows are soul crushing, and you are all warriors for continuing the good fight.

As I read your post, I thought about you wanting to get him out of that shelter ASAP, and into a home with a human by and on his side. His pleading led to your pleading. You spoke for him when he could not be heard by anyone else there. Your instincts ARE what led to his chip discovery. Your efforts ARE the reason he is out. Your calming presence IS what made him feel safer until he went home. Your moments with him ARE what saved…


Prayers for Tikkun that he is in a safe place. I hope that the exposure of Riverside's poor policies bring changes.

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