A man answered. “Animal Control, Scott speaking.”
“Hello, Scott. This is Karen Carver and I have you on speaker with my friend Jean Hays. We are looking into lost dogs. A friend of ours has lost her dog.”
“I haven’t picked any up in a couple of days. Lost dogs isn’t a big problem in Greyson.”
“What do you pick up?”
“A lot of cats. Javelina that have become a problem, the occasional rattlesnake. Reports of rabies. That kind of thing.”
Jean shivered at the thought of trying to corral a mad javelina. “Margaret at the Humane Society said there’s a growing problem with dogs being stolen.”
“Yep. I get reports on that but I wouldn’t get involved unless it was something like a dog fighting ring.”
“Those still exist?” Karen asked.
“Not in this area so much though two years ago the police busted one up. I had to pick up the dogs. They were a mess. We had to put some down immediately they were in such bad shape.”
Jean’s stomach rolled. She could see from the way Karen was making a face that she was horrified too. “What happened to the dogs?”
“We had to destroy the fighting dogs after the trials. They’d just been de-socialized. It wasn’t safe to adopt them out.”
“How awful.” Jean took a breath. “If we sent you a copy of the flyer, would you keep an eye out for the dog?”
“Sure. Be happy to.”
He gave them his email and Karen promised the flyer would be right to him. “So what now?” she asked Jean when she hung up.
“I have no idea.”
They were sitting at the kitchen table trying to come up with ways to find dog-nappers when Peggy came home. She hung her tote on the back of an empty chair and dropped into its neighbor with a sigh.
“Tough day?” Karen got up and poured her daughter a glass of iced tea, then set it in front of her.
“You could say that.” Peggy picked up the glass and drank half of it before putting it back on the table. “Some guy came in first thing this morning. His arm and leg were savaged. Dog bite he said.” She snorted. “More like dog attack.”
“What happened?” Jean asked.
Peggy shook her head. “He said he was out walking and a dog bit him. But the way his arms and his right leg looked, it was a vicious attack. Both me and the doc tried to get him to say where the dog was but he wouldn’t. We offered rabies shots but he refused. So we ended up patching him up and sending him on his way.”
“How horrible. Why wouldn’t he take the rabies shots. A strange dog attacking him for no reason? That sounds like rabies to me.” Jean crossed her arms and sat back in her chair.
“Me, too.” Peggy drank more of her tea. “We had to report it, but we can’t make people take a treatment.”
“What about the report? Won’t the Health department do something?” Karen poured her daughter another glassful of tea.
“Maybe.” Peggy sighed. “So what have you two been up to all day?”
Jean told her about the search, their conversation with Paul and the Animal Control guy.
“Dog fighting rings?” Peggy asked. She sat forward, her face a study in concern. “What if my dog bite guy was running fighting dogs?”
Jean and Karen both froze, staring at Peggy.
Peggy’s voice rose. Her face animated. “Yeah, dog fighting may do that to a guy trying to get a fighting dog out of the ring.”
Jean put a hand over her mouth, eyes wide. “But the Animal Control guy said there hasn’t been a dog fighting ring in the area in years.”
“Maybe so,” Peggy answered. “But that doesn’t mean there isn’t one now.”
“Can you get the guy’s name and address?”
Peggy’s head shook violently. “Oh no. I could be disqualified from nursing for giving out patient information. Even jail time.” She stood up and grabbed her bag. “I’m going to take a nice hot shower and study.”
“But…” Jean started.
Peggy raised her hand. “Nope! You two are going to have to sort this out for yourselves.”
Karen nodded. “Fine. I’ll call you when dinner’s ready.”
“Thanks, Mom.” Peggy left the kitchen after giving her mom a peck on the cheek.
Jean sighed. “Well that’s too bad.”
“True, but Peg is close to getting her license. She doesn’t want to jeopardize all the work she’s done.”
“I don’t blame her. I just wish we could get the guy’s name.”
“We’ll figure out a way.” She got up and rinsed out Peggy’s glass. “You staying for supper?”
Jean glanced at the crockpot. The roast beef smell had been making her hungry all afternoon. “No.” She got up from the table with a deep breath. “I think I’ll go home and give my brain a rest.”
“I have plenty.”
“I’m sure you do.” Jean grinned. “But I mooch over here too much. Thanks for the offer.” She headed for the kitchen door.
“Okay. Your loss.”
“Too true. Call me in the morning.”
Jean left the kitchen and rambled to her car. How can we find out the dog-bite guy’s name? Who might know about dog fighting rings?
The next morning Jean was sitting on her patio with her third cup of tea, a legal pad and pen on the table in front of her. The top page was half full of ideas on how to find dog fighting rings, half of them crossed out. She wasn’t surprised when the phone rang. The handset was on the table next to the pad. “Hello?”
“It’s Karen. You up and around?”
“Yeah. I’m on my third cup of tea. I’ve been trying to think how we can find this dog fighting ring.”
“I’ve been thinking about that too. I’ll be over in a minute.”
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