Last Sunday, There was a Breakout from Oakdale Federal Prison.
This is a story of prison life, the rescue and breakout of a prison hound, pieced together by several of Don’s friends and family, we thought you would enjoy. Especially you animal lovers out there!
About a year ago, this starved, half hound looking mutt, maybe 40 lbs, staggered into the Oakdale camp. Some prisoners at the camp there fed and bathed him. He stayed around eventually coming and going until one morning he looked as if he’d gotten into a fight with a big raccoon. His face had been bitten from his left eye to his mouth. Ear bleeding. It was certain he’d lose sight in that left eye and he looked and acted all but dead himself.
Somehow, someone, no doubt one of the Southern White Boys, named him “Leroy”. Anyway “Leroy” looked like a Leroy and it stuck. Leroy is handsome, has the colors of a thoroughbred Pointer, white with brown splotches, brown ears, the body of a hound…kind of. The prisoners nurtured him back to health. Our favorite inmate at Oakdale, Don Siegelman, put antibiotic cream on his wounds and started caring for him. Others pitched in. After a couple months Leroy’s skeletal ribs weren’t showing quite so much. Soon the prisoners were giving him whatever food scraps the prisoners could come up with or purchase from the commissary.
Prison can be hard on animals too.
One day, two cages from the Pound were sent into the camp. Several pets were taken, but Leroy ran, a hound dog prison breakout. They said “We’ll come back for that one.”
Don had been told by an inmate who works at city hall that dogs are given a one week reprieve to see if anyone claims or wants to adopt them, then they are put to sleep.
The “executioner” came and took three dogs. Don promised to find Leroy a home, so he was spared. The “executioner” took the other dogs and cats to the Oakdale City pound.
Not All Prisons are Hostile to Pets.
2 Programs where Pets are Teaming up with Prisons
New Leash on Life Prison Pet Partnership
Don wanted to save Leroy from this fate. He contacted a friend who is an animal lover, Carolyn Haines, and she volunteered to keep Leroy for Don until he could find him a good home. Carolyn and another friend Barbara, joined forces and before they knew it Barbara had recruited a friend, Cindy, to come with her on the rescue.
The Rescuers: Roads flooded and closed, rain was fierce!
On Sunday it happened! After much planning, phone calls, emails and effort, cooperation, money, flights from Minneapolis to Atlanta to Mobile, van rental in Mobile, a trip to see Carolyn in Mobile, then a fourteen hour drive to Oakdale it happened. The roads were flooded and closed, the rain was fierce. So this morning after a few hours sleep, Barbara and Cindy came for a short visit and gathered up Leroy.
Cindy and Barbara both have had experience in rescues. They used to pick up children in Asia who were up for adoption and fly the children back to the states when the new parents couldn’t afford the trip.
The night before Leroy had a six-hand bath and re-bath. Between his toes and under elbows, everywhere. He is such a calm dog. He just stands and enjoys the experience. The inmates hand picked every visible flea…there were no ticks. He will still need the Frontline between the shoulders but he was cleaner than any dog west of Alabama and had been towel dried after shake/spraying three nearby inmates. Everybody wanted to feed him because they know it’s his last night…Don took him out for a last late night walk.
Sunday two inmates brought Leroy prancing through the hallway of the dorm out the front door. He was wagging his tail and smiling as Barb and Cindy helped him into the back of the rented van for the transport back to Alabama where Carolyn lives with her family of rescued cats, dogs and horses.