Melissa Hevenor
Thursday July 09 , 2020
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Archive for August, 2011

Forever Grateful and Thankful for the Love and Support

Monday, August 29th, 2011

As many of you know, the last several weeks have been extremely challenging for me, over the recent misfortunate events involving my puppies. If, for some reason, you do not know what I am referring to, please read the last blog post. To provide a brief update, I have secured legal assistance to help me in the pursuit of regaining custody. Regardless of the outcome, I am grateful for the learning experience that this painful time in my life has provided. It is in the darkest hours that those with the purest of heart and brightest healing light, shine through. This has really been a time of reflection  for me and a time of learning who my true friends are. I want to take this chance to thank my fans and supporters who I consider like friends and family, for their continued prayers. I especially want to thank one fan, Jill, who was kind enough to send a care package filled with everything I like, in terms of food, and other items necessary for personal care. She also sent treats for my kitty who is currently living like the Siamese queen that she is. There are many of you out there who have also helped to make this trying time more bearable, Jolie, Kevin, Lorna, Kimberlee, Lisa, Holly, my soul sisters, Becky and Racca, and so many more. Please continue to pray that, at the very least, my therapy dog, Chaz, is returned, as he and I have never been apart more than a few days. I a a firm believer in astrotravel, and a spiritual connection, particularly when it relates to animals. In fact, a few nights ago, I had the most amazing dream, where one of my mentors who is extremely spiritually gifted, popped into my dream, in her jolly way, and announced that she had brought my dogs back. The interesting thing is that when she revealed the four dog leashes, each dog looked a little bit transparent. Therefore, I became alarmed and said, “Oh my God, are they in spirit?” “No, no, no,” she reassured, “I taught them to astrotravel, so they are with you in spirit.” It was the most amazing experience because I could feel, smell and hold them just as though they were right there. Another dear friend of mine, Andrew, recently purchased Barbra Streisand’s latest album for me, as he knows that her music is very healing for me, after reading my memoir, and there is one song on there, entitled, “What Matters Most”, that I dedicate to my fur babies, because it discusses the importance of love and how it transcends time, space and emotion. Therfore, once again, I want to thank everyone for their continued support and prayers. Always remember, no matter how hard the rain falls, if you continue to look up and seek God’s love, eventually you will see the rainbow. Forever grateful and thankful for the love and support. Love, light and blessings, Melissa

Worst Day of my Life- the System Failed Both Me and My Fur Babies

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

On Monday, August 8th, I asked our men and women of service, at the Coral Springs Police Department, to help me, believing that my one dog was dying right before my eyes. Therefore,  I made the decision to call Animal Control, as no other service would provide transportation which I could not secure myself because I’m in a wheelchair and don’t drive, and my transportation had already left my home by the time I realized my babies were in trouble.
First, let me make it clear, that I elicited the unit’s help myself. There was no complaint filed against me and before reaching out to the unit, I had made numerous attempts to attain help. I have four dogs, and have always been able to care for them better than most owners. In fact, a few years ago, Monica Fedderwitz came to my residence because a neighbor made a complaint that they were barking a great deal. When she arrived at my residence, she did not indicate to me that she was with Animal Control. She only showed me her badge as part of the Coral Springs Police Department, and she had no warrant to enter my property. Regardless, I let her in, and she examined that they were living under very good conditions, and left the premises with no further issue. On Monday, August 8th, I called Animal Control because I had been outside of the home for several hours leaving the dogs in the care of a woman by the name of Linda Murphy, who was a cousin to my current housekeeper. They were under the care of new people because I have been out of work since May, 2010. Therefore, I went from earning $6500/mo. to $615/mo. and couldn’t afford the previous daily petsitting service that my dogs were accustomed to. The new individuals agreed to watch and walk my four little dogs while I was away, on and off, for 3 days while I was going to job interviews and other events to promote my business that involves my newly published book about my life. When I arrived home Monday evening, at 11:30 p.m., I found all four little dogs in their crates, with food piled almost up to the roof of the cages, three of the four dogs ate quite a bit of the food, but did not consume all of it. One day prior, I had purchased a four-pound bag of dog food, for the next few weeks. When I entered the room, the bag of dog food was empty. I immediately opened the cages, to let the dogs outside. All four of them had severe diarrhea, and did not even make it outisde the house before relieving themselves after consuming so much food. Thereofrfore, feces was spread throughout the room, and I, being restricted to my wheelchair, was unable to clean it up. I frantically began trying to call friends for help and was not able to reach anyone. After allowing the dogs to walk outside, I noticed that my King Charles Cavalier was the only dog that had consumed the majority of the food that was left in his cage. He began shaking and whimpering, I picked him up, as he continued to have severe diarrhea, and held him. I immediately called the 24-hour animal hospital and was informed that someone would need to bring the dog in. Unable to drive, I called several animal rescue numbers I found searching on the Internet, only to be greeted by a voicemail stating that there was no more room available for additional dogs. Three weeks prior to this incident, I called an animal shelter in Boca Raton, as recommended by my previous groomer, statinfg that I was out of work, and needed additional assistance to provide food and care for the dogs, only to, once again, be informed there were no spaces available. During this time, there were periods of two days where I could not afford enough dog food, and fed them human food, always checking the internet to make sure it was safe for them. Therefore, they had lost some weight due to the dietary changes and inconsistency of amounts consumed. About ten days ago, I called my vet, explaining the situation, that I needed help with the dogs, and was told that someone would get back to me. 24 hours later, I got a voicemail giving me the Boca shelter number that had already refused to place the dogs. Once more, on Monday morning, I called my groomer, begging for assistance as I knew, at the very least, Chaz, my King Charles, needed to get emergency assistance. It was at that pointI was given the number for the animal control unit.

Officers arrived about 45 minutes-1 hour after the initial call. I immediately escorted them to where the dogs were, as they had been placed back in the crates while I made phone calls to try and get assistance. The first person indicated to me that I was not allowed to go anywhere near the animals and began taking photographs of the feces that was covering the room. She also indicated that there was some feces, outside, throughout the house, and that was due to my wheelchair tires tracking it, as I was frantically going back and forth to and from the phone, and checking on the dogs. She then told me she was calling a community service worker to help me find placement. I am completely capable of caring for my daily needs and my house, with the exception of cleaning the floors and other extranneous cleaning efforts. I was repeatedly begging the female officer to help my dogs. She said she could not do anything until her supervisor arrived. Therefore, she stood in my garage with two other officers, waiting for the supervisor for three hours, while my King Charles lay shaking violently in the back of the cage, and demanded that I not go anywhere near the dogs to give them comfort. I was also forced to stay outside in the heat, until the supervisor arrived. Finally, an older gentleman, claiming he was the supervisor, entered the house, and took one look at my King Charles, and said, “He looks like he is nearly dead. We probably have to euthanize him.” At which point, I became hysterical. Then, the senior officer asked me where I would like the dog to be taken. I said, “Please take him to Riverside Animal Hospital on Wiles Road, because they have all of his records and I believe that it’s the closest facility.” The police officer stated that the dogs could not receive help until I signed a surrender form, surrendering them to police care. I did not receive a copy of these forms, nor did I understand that, in doing so, I was giving up all my rights to the animals. I was asked repeatedly where my family was, to which I explained, “I do not have family. If I did, they would be called. The dogs are my family.” The senior officer even suggested that perhaps, one of my friends who had finally arrived on the scene, because they were coming from Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, could take one or two of the dogs and care for them for me, so I could maintain contact. She stated, “No. She must sign these papers.” Then, a crime scene investigator arrived, who, after briefly introducing himself, said to me, “You had better go ahead and sign those papers and you better not be lying about anything, or you’re gonna be in a lot of trouble.” Both the policewoman and the crime scene investigator were probing me for dates and details about the dogs’ care, when I was extremely emotionally distressed because my dog had still not received help. They removed my King Charles finally, at 4:45 p.m. Then, the officer asked me if I understood what was going on after I had signed the papers, even though I had told her I had two Master’s and was working on my doctorate in Marriage and Family counseling. Then, she said, “The community service person has arrived, and thank God, so did my friends, because she stated that she was finding me placement for an assisted living facility, when my best friend said, “That’s crazy! She’s able to care for herself. She’s just been struggling financially, and searching for additional assistance to help with the dogs for weeks.” That’s when the policewoman offered her mother’s business card as a housekeeper and said that she’s trustworthy to help me clean the house. As she removed the three last dogs from the house, she allowed me to say goodbye to them, and became emotional herself as one dog placed a paw on either side of my neck and would not let go, crying out excessively. At that point, she stated, “Wow. They really love you.” I said, “Of course, I’m their mother.”

The next day, a social worker arrived, finding that the house was perfectly clean and that I was not a harm to myself or anyone else, and asked me why it was that they had been asked to come to the house. I informed him that my refrigerator had stopped working, however, I was in the process of talking to church services to try and receive a new one, as well as the air conditioning that had stopped working for the sixth time, although I was working on getting assistance with that as well. I called the policewoman to inquire about my dogs, and she stated, “Call your vet. You’re responsible for the bill, if you can cover it.” I then told her I would but I would need to do it in payments. She told me to speak to the vet. When I called the vet, he apologized, stating that he did not realize I had called a week and one-half earlier, because he was on vacation. Therefore, he told the officers that I had been a great pet owner, but didn’t understand why I didn’t call him, unaware of my previous phone call, until he checked the records and did, indeed, find that I had called for help. He then told me that one of his vet techs, who was very familiar with my King Charles Cavalier, wanted to foster him or adopt him, because he knew the dog and that way, I could still be able to see him. The policewoman stated that was impossible, that they were going to a rescue group. Finally, today I collected their clothes and toys, and called the policewoman to ask her if someone could come to pick up the dogs’ things, so they could have belongings that they were used to. To which she replied, “I can’t do it because I am going ovn vacation in a few days. Give them to my mother when you see her tomorrow, when she comes to assess your house for cleaning. I will be seeing her later tomorrow.” I then began to cry, and she stated, “Why are you crying? We are not pressing charges against you.” And I said, “I’m worried because my KIng Charles has been trained to be with me, as a disabled person, and after a few days, if he’s not in my presence, he’ll refuse to eat.” To which she responded, “You are the one with the problem. The dogs are eating just fine and are very happy. They do not give a shit about you and they will be put in a good home away from you.” Then, she said, “Be careful, because I’m trying to take your cat away from you, so you better get her to the vet, and I will check that the vet actually sees the cat.”

(My cat is a 13 year-old Siamese and she has always been slimmer, but in the last two years, has become skinny, which, according to the vet, is due to old age. There’s always food and water at her disposal at all times. The policewoman stated that she was coming back to the premises and if the cat did not “fatten up” by the time she returned, she would be removed from the home. She also stated that the only reason they were allowing the cat to stay with me from the beginnning, was because she was old and no one else would want her. I am fully able to accept that due to financial difficulties, the dogs will have better quality of life in an environment outside of my home, however, I asked the policewoman if I could get a job and prove financial stability, could I have at least one of the dogs. She stated, “No. That’s why I got you to sign those papers.” I can live with them going to another home. I’m asking that I be allowed to have contact ocassionally, for my own mental health and to ensure that the dogs are happy and healthy. I am asking for any advice or assistance as the system has failed both me and my dogs, and I need help. Love, light and blessings, as always, Melissa