For several months local rescuers have been trying to help a stray dog who has taken up residence behind the Cochran Chapel United Methodist Church at Midway and Northwest Highway. The pastor hasn’t been happy about the dog being there and he’s made that clear. He claims the dog is aggressive to parishioners but not one person had yet come forward to substantiate that claim. Instead those who have seen the dog describe him as forlorn, shy and occasionally curious – but never threatening.
On several occasions the Pastor has called Dallas Animal Services demanding they catch and remove the dog. And they’ve tried – repeatedly – even resorting to using a tranquilizer gun at one point. But the dog always eludes them. Rescuers have worked teamed up with animal services as well and tried coaxing, cajoling, herding and even trapping the dog to no avail. They’re hoping that with time he’ll warm up to his caretakers or get comfortable enough with his feeding schedule that he can be humanely trapped. They’ve kept the pastor updated on their progress and done everything in their power to appease him.
Rescuers say that up until now the pastor has been impatient, ungrateful, demanding and downright rude. Even so, they’ve continued to politely ask for his patience and understanding and attempted to reassure him and reason with him. But today he confronted one of the dog’s guardian angels – a 70-year old woman – and told her that if she feeds him again, or even comes to check on him, he will have her arrested for trespassing on the Church’s property. He also told her that he is hiring someone to shoot the dog. He then phoned another of the dog’s guardians and reiterated his threat, adding that he wished the dog would get hit by a car so he wouldn’t have to pay someone to kill it.
The women are understandably distraught and local rescuers are calling on the Methodist Church to intervene. They want the pastor pressured to allow them to continue their efforts to save the dog, or they want him replaced immediately with someone more compassionate and kind who understands and respects all of God’s creatures. In addition, they’ve started a letter-writing campaign and a Facebook campaign. They’re calling on the local media to help, asking Dallas residents to contact the City Council representative for the area, and planning Sunday morning protests outside the Church to let parishioners know what their pastor is doing and how he intends to spend their money.
How you can help: Write, call or email Pastor Joseph Stabile at Cochran Chapel United Methodist Church, 9027 Midway Road Dallas, Texas 75209, phone 214-352-4889, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Call or email Dallas City Council member Angela Hunt, whose district includes the Church at (214) 670-5415 or email@example.com and ask her to intervene. If you can help with a Sunday morning educational protest, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, phone # and email address.
UPDATE: For those of you wondering, the other side of the story isn’t included here because the pastor isn’t returning calls. Late Wednesday, Dallas Police accompanied rescuers to the Church where they met the Church secretary who got in touch with the pastor by phone. The DPD officer convinced the pastor to back off and allow rescuers to continue to work to catch the dog with full access to the property. In return, rescuers for now have called off the protest and no more calls, letters or e-mails are being requested at this time. Immediate and alternate plans to help catch the dog “John Wesley” are already in place.
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