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Those who have been following our capture efforts for a while know that we have been working on catching a pack of 9 dogs that we nicknamed “The P3 Family” for about 8 months. Last year, we were able to catch three of the adults: Blondie (now Goldie), Toots (now Hope), and Bruno. But we were never quite able to catch any of the puppies, who avoided our traps and ran whenever we got too close.

Last week, one of our volunteers was checking Facebook and spotted a dog that looked a lot like one of the pups, Tinker. We compared the photos to the video and various pictures we had and confirmed it was him! Sadly, Tinker had been hit by a car and a Dallas Animal Services ACO picked him up and brought him to the shelter. We made arrangements to pick him up that same day and were shocked to see how badly he was injured. We took him straight to our vet where they reviewed the x-rays provided by DAS and confirmed that one back leg was shattered and the other was in pretty bad shape as well.

We were grateful that a rescue that handles a lot of severe medical cases stepped up to take Tinker and handle his rehabilitation. Their vet specializes in cases like this and we were all committed to doing whatever we could to help Tinker. We were all devastated when additional x-rays revealed that Tinker’s little body had been so badly injured, his chances at a good quality of life were very slim. We asked for second and third opinions and made the heartbreaking decision to free Tinker from his pain.

To say we are devastated would be an understatement. A team of 10+ volunteers, including the pack’s primary caretaker Jennifer, has been trying to save these dogs since last June. We talk about them every day. We check the cameras, we conduct foot searches, and Jennifer feeds them every day without fail. We had hoped that we could save them all. But sadly, we weren’t able to get to Tinker in time. We do take some comfort in knowing he did not die in pain on the streets. He was surrounded by rescuers who showed him compassion and love.

It’s hard to keep going after such a loss. But there are so many dogs out there, and Tinker’s siblings still need our help. So we ask that you keep our volunteers in your thoughts and prayers, and wish us luck in continuing our efforts to save as many street dogs as we can. This work can be emotionally draining but we get a lot of encouragement every time another dog is rescued.

Tinker, we are so sorry we couldn’t save you, but we promise to honor your memory by continuing our mission. Run free, Tinker — now you have no more pain, your body is whole, and you can sleep in peace. We love you and we’ll never forget you.