Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tracey Reports from Missouri

Just checking in to say hello to Our Pack and all of my friends back home!

Today was good, even though we were short of help for most of the day. Winging the clean up, two daily feedings, constant moving of dogs from one crate to another, or just holding and attending to those who needed


(AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Dawn Majors)

a small break from their crate, along with minor emergencies here and there. One fellow and I managed to get through forty-two dogs at least twice in the matter of 10.5 hours. In addition, we were able to leave each of our beloved new friends a clean Kong filled with peanut butter to end their day with, until our return tomorrow morning.

The usual shift for this endeavor has been 4-5 days, maybe one week. I did not know that my commitment to a 15-day work week would be utterly exhausting, both physically and mentally draining. I have been told by other volunteers that a two-week stint was considered quite unusual, although a number of volunteers have promised to come back again, or were here on their second visit upon my arrival.

I must say that the volunteers who have come to help these dogs because of their love for animals—in particular to help those who have been so unfairly mistreated, abused and misaligned—are saints in my book. The HSMO staff are also incredible, putting in hours upon hours of time to assist these dogs who have been “rescued” from a cruel, cruel life in the hands of people whose souls remain unfathomable to me and others.

When my co-workers and I grab a quick bite to eat at lunchtime, we often fantasize about what we would like to do to the people who have done the atrocious things we have witnessed to the dogs in our care. I won’t dive into the details on that...BUT, I will share with you what it means to each one of us who has the unique opportunity to work with these dogs: The look that each dog gives you as you open that gate first thing in the morning, and make the long walk down the center of that kennel floor. These dogs know their friends are here, we are the excitement of their day, we ROCK their world and they show it by barking, jumping and looking for some acknowledgment, just to say "I’m here and I’m happy you’re here too!"

At first it was a little overwhelming, forty-two dogs begging for your attention, barking loudly and some jumping with enough force to slide their crate away from their original tied-down location. But, ya get used to it. You get used to the non-stop barking, the smell of urine, the smell of poop and your poop-stained clothing, the never-ending cleaning and the constant noise. As I like to say: Barking, Poop, Barking, Poop, Clean, Barking, Poop, Poop, Poop, Clean, Barking, etc.

What you surely don’t get used to is seeing a dog that has no lips and is missing part of her mouth and nose, but who still wags her tail every time you pass by her crate, looking at you with such loving eyes and complete trust. This dog has been severely damaged on the outside, as shown by the front teeth protruding out from her mouth because she has no lips to cover them, but who is just looking for a little love and companionship from a friendly face. She goes by the name of Fay(e).

The picture shown here was taken by the Associated Press, you can read the article by AP reporter Cheryl Wittenauer here:


I take care of Fay(e) and watch her everyday as I pass by her crate or walk her down the aisle for a little jaunt to our special seat, where she can give me her warm hugs and kisses, a little toothy, maybe, but oh so gentle! Fay(e) is at first shocking to look at, then she becomes just another warm Pit Bull “kisser and lover." She reminds me that I can do whatever it takes to get the job done and to keep on going regardless of my circumstances, just like her! I love Fay(e) and I love all those tenacious Pitties that keep on going no matter what, and wiggle their butts while they do it, regardless!

Tracey Tate Cutler


  1. This is such a beautiful blog. I am loving these updates, but they also make me teary-eyed. Thank doG for people like Tracey, and the others who are working so hard for the dogs. Not a day goes by that I don't think of you all out there, and where the dogs would be without you.

  2. It's people like you & blogs like this that help ease the pain of seeing what monsters do to our little angel pitbulls. I saw a picture of an atrocious act (so unthinkable that I can't even bear to mention it for fear of hurting whomever should read this as well as myself) that literally kept me up at night (for a week crying). I wanted to take matters into my own hands and somehow track down the person responsible and do to them exactly what they had done to this precious mama pitbull. Blogs like this help get me through those feelings and make me want to channel them into doing more good for the angels we can be heros to.
    Thank you so much,
    A very proud pitbul mommy, Niki

  3. Hehe... Liz (you met her at the bunker this past weekend, along with her fiancee) and I are of the "eye for an eye" or "lip for a lip" school of thought. I think our co-workers are a little scared of us now! :)

  4. Wow that has got to be one of the puppies Georgia/Beauty looks for whenever she hears whining. Looks like her twin!

  5. it brings me to tears everytime i see pictures like this. makes me feel so helpless and useless that i can only have and save so many dogs. i wish so much i was rich to have acres upon acres of land for pittie angels such as this. im sure all you feel the same. god bless you for everything you do. i always keep you guys and all the pittie angles in my prayers.

  6. Tracey you are such an inspiration to us all. Words can never thank you enough for all that you have done and are doing for these dogs.

  7. Tracey - thank you so much for taking time out of your life to help these dogs and represent Our Pack. We are so grateful and thankful for your efforts and "poop patrol" :D Reading your entry got me choked up. I wish I was there with you!

  8. you rock Tracey!!! Keep up the work and please pass on a few pittie kisses for me! -Lisa Reilly

  9. Tracy,

    The commitment and care you and your fellow volunteers are giving these dogs is matched by few people in this world. You guys are remarkable for doing this and putting in the hours you do in loud and dirty conditions. Every volunteer who works with dogs knows that it sometimes seems like thankless work until you look into the eyes of the animals you are helping. Keep your spirits and the good work up!

    Kevin R

  10. BTW, they need more people to help. Tracey worked 42 dogs herself yesterday!

  11. Tracy, thank you so much for being there for those cuties. It's so good to know that you can be there to give them the love they deserve! Give Faye a squeeze for me, poor little girl. You are making such a difference in their lives; you're wonderful too!!!

  12. Thanks to everyone for your kind words and support, it means alot! In reference to working 42 dogs by myself, well I did work a lot of dogs by myself the other day, as we have been short of folks, although I did get some help from some of the HSMO staff who have their hands full, walking dogs for their potty breaks in other sections and helping with some of the general cleanup, as well... So, it wasn't quite 42 all by myself, but may have felt like it. But, yes they do need volunteers like yourselves to come and help - they would greatly appreciate the extra hands and so would the dogs! One can come for a four or five days, a week or even longer! The experience will be like none other and it will open your eyes to a new world, with a new outlook... you will leave here knowing you have really done something profound and meaningful. Take a chance and come on down!