Last Wednesday was our day of service for pet owners who live in the Skid Row area. We are still on the corner of Industrial Street and Central Avenue, once a month, with a plastic folding table, some caution tape, and lots of pet food. Some of the 110 pet owners, (65 dogs and 45 cats) who picked up supplies, are seen by DDR every month because we are their only connection to pet food.
Often, our counselors are confronted with emergencies such as a pet that has been poisoned or one who has been hit by a car. This week, a dog owner (who is homeless) walked his dog to our corner because he heard we might be able to help “Baby Active” who had been stabbed by a man with a knife, and attacked by the man’s aggressive dog. I wish that I could write that meeting a new client with a pet that had been attacked by a dog, or stabbed was something new to us. It’s not. Skid Row is an extremely violent place where people are living in survival mode 24/7. Looking at the bloody wounds on the Baby Active’s neck, our counselors remained calm and began calling partner animal hospitals to see if any veterinarian could examine him immediately. Dr. Vasquez at North Figueroa Animal Hospital came to the rescue. With no appointment, Baby Active was loaded into a car and off they went to the hospital in Highland Park.
It was later that the entire story of how this horrible act happened. Baby Active was resting inside their tent when an off-leash, aggressive dog broke through the tent and began attacking him. The owner of the aggressive dog pulled out a knife and stabbed Baby Active in the neck. I could go into more details, and post some graphic photos, but I won’t because this post is not about Baby Active being attacked. The purpose of my post is to explain to you, our supporter, about the street code and how it prevents justice from being served. Not only for pets, but mostly for people who are attacked, raped, or terrorized physically and mentally while they live on the streets of Skid Row. Some of you reading this post may think the people living on the street want to be there, that it’s their choice, but is it? Despite what you feel about the “Homeless Situation” or as I call it, “The Humanitarian Crisis”, you may think that there is help for anyone who wants it. Help is complicated, and someone has to feel safe enough to accept it. Using Baby Active’s case, let me walk you through what happened next.
As soon as counselor Amanda texted me that a Skid Row dog had been stabbed, and was taken to the hospital for surgery. I texted her, and then called for more details. Since we had photos to document the injuries, a veterinarian to document that […]