“Are you ready to go?” dog rescuer Emily Ann Peters tenderly asked two large dogs with scraggly coats, various ailments and surprisingly sweet dispositions.
Ringo, a German shepherd mix, and his sister Barbie, who Peters thought to be a Lab mix, were piling into a mom-car to get on their way to Live Love Animal Rescue, a Long Beach nonprofit founded by Peters. They were leaving Long Beach Animal Care Services, where they’d spent one night after motorist Erin Ryder spotted Ringo tied down in the bed of a pickup truck. The dog’s mouth was taped shut.
Ringo and Barbie’s owner surrendered the dogs to an animal control officer after a video taken by motorist Erin Ryder went viral on Women United for Animal Welfare’s Instagram page and the shelter’s phone lines exploded. Long Beach Post posted the dogs’ story on Nov. 18.
“I couldn’t believe what I saw at first,” Ryder said. “The dog’s muzzle was taped with white tape—the dog was tied to the sides and top of truck, like he was meant to be standing. It was very strange.”
According to Ryder, she drove past her original destination to catch up with the owners and honk until they pulled over. The tape, she said, came off easily.
Ryder remembered how sweet and gentle Ringo was despite his obvious discomfort.
“You can tell with junkyard dogs that sometimes the niceness is drained out of them,” said Ryder, a longtime animal-welfare advocate. “I hadn’t met Barbie in person, but you could tell [Ringo] was very sweet.”
Peters had also seen the video and reached out to the shelter for permission to take the dogs into her care. She was concerned about Ringo’s health; the dog had a bloody foot that was likely cancerous, and she wanted a veterinarian to check Barbie out as well. She planned to house the dogs during a cruelty investigation that the shelter opened.
Animal control officer Lindsey Law said that the family that owned the dogs was friendly and willingly surrendered them. They had been used as guard dogs for the owner’s property.
Ringo and Barbie get the royal treatment from Emily Ann Peters and Animal Control Officer Lindsey Law. Video by Kate Karp
“I just think he didn’t know better—these were security, not pets,” Ryan said later. “He did what a lot of owners don’t do—he surrendered both dogs.”
After starting investigation procedures, shelter management gave its blessing to Peters. On Nov. 19, after a night at the shelter, both dogs went home with her.
“It’s clear that they’re bonded,” Peters said. “They were checking out each other’s space—it was pretty cute. Barbie kind of ran into her kennel, like, look, Ringo, look at the bed I got!”
Ready for the trip to the rest of their lives. Video by Kate Karp
Barbie and Ringo are now “in their own little chateau” with Peters. She’s looking for possible fosters and help with medical bills. Barbie has what could be an abscess and a couple of issues with her skin, ears and teeth. However, she’d been fed well by her owners and seems to be in otherwise good shape. Sadly, the wound visible on Ringo’s foot did turn out to be cancerous. Peters said that Primary Care Animal Hospital discovered that the disease had extended into the bone of his leg and nearly overtaken his lungs.
“We don’t know how long Ringo will have with us, but he will have Barbie by his side the entire time,” Peters said on her Facebook page. “His appetite is good, and although we can tell he’s tired of being stoic and strong, he’s still got some spoils to enjoy along his rescue journey with us.”
Access this link and click the Donate button to help with Barbie and Ringo’s medical bills and to follow their journey.
Click the Donate button on WUFAW’s web page to thank them for taking part in this rescue.
The author thanks Erin Ryder and ACO Lindsey Law for their quick thinking and levelheaded approach to implementing the surrender of Barbie and Ringo.