Thursday, May 22, 2008

Major News Update

We haven't posted recently because a lot of thing happened over the course of the last few days. But since we received so many inquiries, tips and good wishes, it is worth giving an update now that certain facts are known.

It began on Friday night where I treated my wife to a date at the Brackenridge ER for a three-hour wait to get her first (of five) rabies shots. A pretty expensive and lousy date night by any measure. Customer service and hospitality are not exactly top priority at Brack, and so I hope that no one else ever has to find out what it's like.

On Sunday morning, we found out Leena is pregnant. read that right! I can still hardly believe it myself.

We were almost in complete disbelief. And happy. And then quickly frightened. By our best measure, Leena is about four weeks pregnant. This means that she was pregnant at the time of the attack. We all know how stress is hugely detrimental to a baby's development, and Leena has been nothing but stress since the attack. It was more than a week before she slept through the night, and the fear that these animals were at large with an irresponsible owner behind them was weighing on her.

Now, we had an added problem: the rabies vaccine. The particular vaccine given to Leena was of the type (category C) that is not tested on pregnant humans nor pregnant animals. After consulting with the CDC, her doctors agreed that although it was probably safe for the child, no one can say for sure. If Leena was exposed to rabies, then she would have to take her next shot late Monday or early Tuesday. She most certainly did not want to put any more drugs into her body if she could avoid it. Pregnant women get touchy about putting untested drugs in them, as you might imagine.

We did find out that if we could prove that Leena was not exposed to rabies, she could stop taking the shots. But we needed definitive proof, or the consequences could be deadly for both mom and child.

On Monday, along with information from Crimestoppers and the tips we received, Animal Control began to pursue leads. In one particular case, the guy immediately lawyered up and refused to produce any hard information. A promising step in the right direction, but Leena was still worried sick over the idea of another rabies shot. This is a horrible choice for anyone to have to make and so we made our plea to the authorities.

We explained the urgency of the situation to the Animal Control, and they sprung right back into action on Tuesday. After being confronted with this new (and rather important information) about Leena's situation, the lawyer of our alleged bad owner produced a letter and copies of the vaccination records for the dogs, along with the legalese non-admission admission that "further searching for any other animals was unnecessary". Gotta love lawyers. I hope they can both sleep at night.


Leena did not have to take the remaining shots, and a great weight was lifted off us both. It would seem that our bad dog owner has been located, and not a moment too soon.

At this point, we're not prepared to say anything else because this story is not over.


We do want to thank everyone for their good wishes, their help, and the attention that was given to this story. To those who reposted this story, people who provided information to the authorities, our tipsters, the folks in the media (Alexis at KEYE, Carla at KXAN, Olga at KVUE, JB and Sandy, and Emily T at KLBJ) who got this story out to the community, the other bloggers who spread the word, a big thanks from us all. And of course, we owe a huge debt to those who provided the information that ultimately led to our bad owner, and not a moment too soon. Dorinda Pulliam and Chris R. at Town Lake Animal Center did a tremendous job and came through in a big way--you guys get hugs from us both!

Paul, Leena, and our Little Bun
(and Bailee and Fat Cat, too!)


Dara & Doug said...

What great news!

As mean as this is to say, I hope this guy's lawyer bleeds him dry. I mean, if the guy had done the right thing to begin with, maybe offered to pay for Bailee's treatment and made sure Leena knew the dogs had their shots, he wouldn't have needed a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

That is great news all the way around!

Though we've never met, I'm a colleague of Leena's. We do the same job, but I work at a different location. I'm very aware there are way too many bad dog owners, but after hearing about this story at work, I can tell you that my eyes are open much wider and I'm more focused and alert than I used to be when I'm out and about with my dog.

Congratulations on all fronts!

Elizabeth said...

I'm so glad that the owner was found and that Leena won't have to have any more shots. Congratulations on the pregnancy and I hope Bailey is healing.

Anonymous said...

What an ending. I'm so happy they found the owner (although how sad an owner can't speak up to possibly SAVE TWO other humans lives, all to save from being sued)! Also, congratulations on the baby! Here's to hard work and a happy ending!

Anonymous said...

I wish that we knew what was going to happen to the other dogs? Are they going to be put down? Or any charges brought on the man that owns these dogs? I am so glad that this is over and that all of ya'll are ok. Congrats on the Baby and good luck to all of you..

Anonymous said...

Please, PLEASE post the owner's name and address.

Juliene said...

Congrats on the baby and the fact Leena does not have to take more shots! I was just wondering.. did you ever find the man who saved Leena and Bailee?