R8 Canines

If you’re an animal lover it’s best you don’t read Willa Rohrer’s column in the latest Philadelphia Weekly. In fact, you may want to stop reading this post right now. Rohrer starts by describing a horrific scene on the R8 line (which happens to be my commuter line as well), and then drops it to talk about the riders and scenery instead. This wouldn’t bother me if the initial paragraphs were not quite so heart-rending.

“…there was the time–four years ago, or maybe five–when I saw dead dogs all over the train tracks in North Philly. Actually, it wasn’t just one time. Every day for two weeks it seemed like a new corpse or piece of corpse appeared alongside the inbound R8, scattered among empty cans of spray paint, discarded tires and toys…I mistook the first one for a rumpled sack before I realized it had a face. The next one was missing its face but had paws. And so on.”

I expected the next sentence to be something about her calling animal control or city hall. Nope. She writes about it making her feel sick and how the dogs soon vanished, then quickly switches topics.

Stray dogs do not wander into one place to die missing faces and random parts. They were obviously mutilated somehow. Hit by trains? Cars? Tortured? Apparently Rohrer didn’t care to find out.

After reading this piece I spent the rest of the ride trying not to cry, and closely examining the snow-dusted debris in the north Philadelphia area. If I had seen dog corpses as such I would likely have talked to the conductor, then called every animal control and cruelty prevention phone number I could find. This is most certainly a mystery that deserved to be solved.

1 Comment so far

  1. Andrea (unregistered) on March 8th, 2007 @ 12:30 pm

    That’s horrible! If it was enough to make her feel sick, then it should have been enough to bring it to someone’s attention: SEPTA, the conductor, animal control. Maybe the first reaction would be “at least it’s not me” but after seeing this scene every day, with new corpses every day, I’d have to say something.



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