December 24, 2008: 2008, Issue 52
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Today’s news:

Lone hound, recently abandoned, needs warm home

Carol Kreidemaker collects strays. Puppies. Kittens. Rabbits. Roosters. She’s a master trapper and nurturer.

But Kreidemaker has met her match: a beagle-basset hound who noses through trash between St. Raymond’s Cemetery and Ferry Point Park. The elusive pooch popped into Kreidemaker’ waterfront yard Saturday, December 20, then fled.

“If you see him, call,” Kreidemaker said. “This dog is haunting me.”

Kreidemaker’ neighbor first spotted the stray weeks ago. The dog has survived snowstorms and freezing weather. It hangs behind Schley Avenue’s JASA-Friendship House, near a Dumpster.

“I borrowed a large trap and kept stopping by,” Kreidemaker said. “But I never saw the dog, only skunks.”

The pooch startled Kreidemaker this past Saturday.

“I live on the waterfront,” Kreidemaker, a Schurz Avenue resident, said. “And I go out in the morning to feed the seagulls. On Saturday, I looked down and there was this beagle-basset hound. How he got to my beach, I don’t know.”

Kreidemaker’ beach steps were buried in snow, thanks to Friday night’s blizzard. She dove inside for boots, a leash, a collar and a can of dog food. Too late.

“He was gone,” Kreidemaker said. “I followed his footprints in the snow, along the beach to a huge mound of frozen rocks I couldn’t climb over. I kept calling him.”

Although Kreidemaker referred to the dog as a “he,” she doesn’t know whether the shy stray is male or female. Neither does Kreidemaker know its age.

“He must have been abused,” Kreidemaker said. “He doesn’t trust anyone. I threw down bread to him. I think he ate it and ran.”

Kreidemaker is determined to catch up with the hound and find it a caring home. She’s asking her neighbors to keep their eyes open.

“It’s a miracle he’s lived through such terrible weather,” Kreidemaker said.

On one of her trips to the JASA-Friendship House Dumpster, Kreidemaker did perform a rescue. She scooped up four tiny abandoned kittens.

“No bigger than my hand,” Kreidemaker said. “I’ve found homes for two of them. I’m still hoping to place the other two.”

Ferry Point has a feral cat problem, Kreidemaker said, and it’s getting worse. An average cat gives birth to five kittens each year; that adds up.

“You have thousands of cats,” said Kreidemaker. “They need to be neutered.”

Ferry Point has seen worse. Decades ago, packs of wild dogs ruled the streets.

The restarted Ferry Point Park construction has pushed skunks into the neighborhood. A feline colony calls the Throggs Neck Houses home.

According to Pelham Bay Park wildlife manager David Künstler, the borough’s park rangers haven’t noticed more strays – despite the economic downturn. Jamie Lehman, a Bronx volunteer with the NYC-based Neighborhood Cats, recommends her organization’s TNR seminars. TNR stands for Track-Neuter-Return.

“You take our course, you rent traps for free, you get the cats spayed and neutered for free,’ Lehman said.

If you come across Ferry Point’s mystery dog, Kreidemaker’s phone number is (718) 597-0212.

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