Heartwarming videos of pitiful, stray dog rescues in Los Angeles have made the Hope For Paws rescue team famous worldwide.
Unlike typical “dog catchers,” though, Hagar considers himself a “dog rescuer,” the difference being that his team takes considerable care of the dogs’ emotional as well as physical well-being. Whenever possible, they minimize the stress caused by their fear of humans during a rescue, where catching the dog is the challenge.
It isn’t always easy to make friends and gain the dog’s trust, though, and so other strategies are needed.
A call led Hagar and rescue partner Jackie Artecona to a parking structure at LA Trade-Tech Community College in downtown LA. There, a good Samaritan had taken the time to stall the shaggy, black-and-white-colored dog on the front lawn outside, using hamburger as a lure, long enough for the help to arrive.
Artecona had brought a burger of their own to entice and make friends with the dog—which often works—but after having had a whole burger already, he’d had enough. He’d also decided that the humans were getting too close for comfort, and quickly made off down the busy LA street.
“I just don’t want him to go into the intersection,” said Hagar, knowing that pursuing a dog into the streets can be dangerous.
This time, though, it looked like making friends with food wasn’t going to work, and sometimes, sneaking up from behind is the only option—Hagar had become quite sneaky and adept at using his “gentle” snare after so many rescues.
It’s always a bit of a nail biter to watch Hagar tip-toe up to the unsuspecting pooch from behind, but as soon as the loop slips over the dog’s head, it’s over. The dogs can bark, whine, and flail about for a few moments, but they almost always calm down and realize that they’ve been saved.
This time, the dog was too nervous to make friends, and that would have to happen later on, once he had been taken back to their headquarters. After crating him up for the drive, they decided to name him Maxwell.
Maxwell was exhausted from living on the streets. They realized how malnourished he was when they bathed him, and soon, his playful side began to come out. Once dogs realize they are safe forever, their scared behavior changes completely.
Maxwell was taken to LA Animal Rescue, which would foster him while they searched for a forever home to adopt him. It’s always a dog rescuer’s hope that these loving animals will find a new loving owner to give them a new life.
Photo Credit: YouTube Screenshot | Hope For Paws