Update: The Spokane man who was raising money to rescue his dog that he raised from a shelter in California successfully picked up the dog!
Read more here.
SPOKANE, Wash --- A Spokane man is willing to travel thousands of miles to save a dog he raised since it was a puppy and he needs your help.
Zach Banka remembers his four-year-old pitbull mixes Deku and Navi as loyal and loving.
“Deku was very protective, not aggressive at all but he was always right by your side. Navi is just a lover,” Banka said.
About a year ago he had to rehome the brother and sister. He stayed in contact with the new owner.
“I heard from him a couple times over the last year and it sounded like they were doing pretty good,” Banka said.
Until this past Thursday when he got an unexpected phone call from a strange California number. On the other line was a worker from the Chula Vista Animal Care Facility. The animal care facility is about 30 miles from the Mexican border. They were calling to tell Banka they had Navi.
“First thing I did was asked about Deku, because they are inseparable. They had informed me that he was put to sleep, because they couldn't find a chip on him which they found afterwards,” Banka said.
Apparently, the dogs were picked up abandoned and running the streets. Banka said the dogs’ chip information was not updated, so he was still listed as a contact for the dogs. He learned the dogs were out on the streets for about a month, and they were at the shelter for about that same amount of time.
The shelter disputed that story. Officials told KREM 2 the dogs were only held for about two weeks before Deku was put down and Banka was contacted. Shelter officials said the dogs were "fearful and spinning" and it was "difficult to fully scan the dogs on intake." Workers determined the dogs were not safe for public adoption and said no local rescue was able to take them in.
Shelter officials said they re-scanned the dogs before putting Deku down and did not locate a chip. They were able to find a chip on Navi.
Banka said he immediately called the new owner. He said he was given a very vague explanation for how the dogs got loose. He was told someone let them out of a car and they ran away.
Banka does not know why the dogs were in Chula Vista, but more bad news was coming his way.
He was told he had a week to claim Navi before she would also be put down. Banka took to social media for help in hopes of raising enough money to travel down to Chula Vista and pick up Navi.
“The last couple of days have been really emotionally draining,” Banka said. “It's about going to cost about $2,000 maybe more."
Wendi Preston, a local animal rescuer, saw his post and wanted to help.
“Her story cannot end in a high kill shelter just outside Mexico. I just can't let that happen,” Preston said. “In high kill shelters everything moves so fast and decisions are made just like that.”
Chula Vista representatives claimed they are not considered a high-kill shelter.
The clock is ticking and Banka still needs the funds to save Navi's life. He is determined to save Navi and then find her a new forever home.
Ways to help
1) PayPal spot on our web site www.pnwanimalwelfareproject.org (be sure to put "Saving Navi" in the information section)
2) Mail a check or money order to:
% Saving Navi
PO Box 273
Newman Lake, WA 99025