Desperate measures

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, July 17, 2013

George McBride gives food to some of the 35 dogs in his care Wednesday.

Internet post threatening to shoot 35 dogs incites panic among animal lovers

Desperate times call for desperate measures and George McBride felt he was a desperate man.

McBride shook his head as if to clear it of the image that he crafted for himself.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“Maybe it was crazy. Maybe I shouldn’t have done it,” McBride said. “But I was desperate.”

McBride’s post on the Internet site Craigslist declared his intentions to have about 35 dogs and puppies in his care shot by July 20 if homes were not found for them.

“The post went viral,” McBride said. “I can only imagine the image I’ve created for myself. But I would never have done that. The post was a desperate measure. I just didn’t know anything else to do.”

McBride stopped to pat a barking pup and coax another out from its hiding place.

“I thought the post would get some attention and maybe somebody would adopt some of the dogs,” he said. “They are my babies but I just can’t take care of them anymore.”

For about 18 years, McBride has been taking in and caring for abandoned dogs at his home in rural Pike County.

But recently, the burden has become too much to bear – physically, financially and emotionally.

“I lost my wife a little over a year ago,” he said. “When she was living, we had two checks coming in and we could do it. Now, it’s just my check and it’s not enough.”

McBride said he buys at least eight 50-pound bags of dog food each month.

“I take care of the dogs,” he said. “I won’t let them go hungry.”

All of the dogs appeared to be well-fed and are kept in enclosed, open pens.

“Word gets around that I’ll take care of strays so people will dump them off. I can’t let an animal go hungry,” he said. “Over the years, I found homes for a lot of dogs and puppies. But right now, I can’t find homes for these. And, yeah, I had gotten desperate and I was willing to try anything. That’s why I posted what I did.”

McBride’s “kennel” includes seven black labs, four yellow labs, 11 “sausage” dogs, a couple that could be dingoes, several “mutts” and two litters of puppies that range from about three to 10 weeks.

“The older dogs have had their shots and every dog here is a loving animal and would make a good pet,” McBride said. “If I could, I would keep every one of them. They dig out of the pen and cause trouble for the neighbors. All of it together is more than I can handle. So, I’ve got to do something for them.”

The dog pound could mean death row to dogs that are not adopted within a specified length of time.

“People don’t think about that when they dump dogs off,” he said. “Or maybe they don’t care.”

McBride said anyone with a heart would not abandon a helpless dog on the roadside.

“There are more heartless people than you would think,” he said. “Somebody has already hurt these babies. I’m not going to hurt them. I’m just desperate to find them homes. I did a desperate thing on the Internet. But, if it grabs some attention and we find homes for these loving dogs, then maybe what I did wasn’t so crazy after all.”

Call McBride at (334) 243-5151 for information on adopting any of the dogs.