On one of the routes I used to have to cover from time to time, through a really super tough neighborhood, there was a crazy terrier. Not a very big dog. Not sure of the breed, but a terrier. Maybe a twenty, twenty-five pound dog. When he was loose, he would try like hell to bite you. Generally, if you could keep your mailbag down low so that he'd tear into the bag instead of your shin, and back away, once you were about fifty yards or so from his yard, he would stop pursuing you. All the while barking like a totally crazy fucker. Which is what he was: crazy.
His owners generally kept him in a homemade box crudely constructed of old lumber and chicken wire that they would force him into, ass-first, and then nail shut. The box was so small that he could not stand up--only crouch. His little face would be looking out of the chicken wire and he would...well...scream at the world from this hideous space barely big enough to contain his form.
When they'd let him out (don't ask me how--I never saw them do it--but sometimes he was out) they would tie him to a length of gigantic chrome chain with some kind of electric wire that they would twist around his too-tight collar and onto the chain which he would have to drag around and which weighed far, far more than he. The times when he would be loose and try to bite anyone who walked by were the times when the wire would break or his collar would break.
He had been pepper-sprayed so many times that it was like water to him. He was immune. After a number of applications, any mammal will become immune to that stuff.
Every mailman who encountered this dog--after the initial shock and excitement of just trying to get away without being badly bitten--was sympathetic to the dog's situation. All of us called the cops. Nothing happened. We called Animal Control, but nothing ever happened. We called the Humane Society. Nada. (Understand this was a high crime war zone neighborhood. They leave the mailman alone because...well, we bring the checks.) You couldn't personally rescue the little guy because any move was answered with savagery.
For the dog had been driven mad by the evil fuckers who owned him. Another mailman explained that what they were doing was intentionally driving the poor fellow crazy so that they could use him in dog fighting. This, I am sure, they eventually did. I feel certain he died either in a battle or from the wounds of battle in some horrible place.
Instead of being loved and cared for, he was brutalized and killed.
We mailmen tried. The system doesn't generally work; despite what the TV shows will tell you.