Have you ever been to an animal shelter? With all those sad-looking dogs and cats staring at you, it’s pretty difficult to go home without adopting a new pet. Most people know exactly what that feels like, but they have no idea how much the shelter staff does to get animals ready for adoption.
Follow along as we tell the story of Muriel… a sweet doggy whose old owners left her a little worse for wear. Just a heads up, though — you may want to get the tissues ready! Her story with shock you and upset you, but also warm your heart.
#12 What’s That?
Last year in Pakistan, animal rescue crews were called to a neighborhood where residents had repeatedly reported seeing a wounded dog lying in the bushes. She was whimpering and clearly hurt. Even worse, she had swollen nipples — that means she had recently given birth. Sadly, her puppies were nowhere to be found.
#11 Calling For Help
When animal rescue crews arrived on the scene, they had no idea as to if they would be finding this dog dead or alive. The neighbors’ reports had been all over the place. Some said the dog was already dead, while others seemed to think she was suffering from a thorn in her paw.
#10 Somebody Help Her!
What the rescuers found, though, was far worse than anything they could have expected. The dog, whom they named Muriel, had a large gash in her head, a case of paralysis so severe that she couldn’t move her hind legs, and was so severely malnourished that she had to be started on an all liquid diet!
#9 Off To The Shelter
They immediately loaded Muriel up in their van and began the process of relocating her to an animal shelter in the area. She was too weak to walk, so the rescue crew members wrapped her in a towel and carefully moved her into the vehicle. To say they were gentle would be the understatement of the century.
#8 Too Weak To Move
Shelter staff immediately assessed Muriel. They discovered that she was completely unable to move her legs. This was partly due to damage to her spinal cord that took place while giving birth, but also because she was incredibly underweight and malnourished. Clearly, this little girl had A LOT of healing ahead of her.
The worst of Muriel’s injuries, though, involved her head. She had a four-inch long gash right next to her left ear. It was severely infected, and looked like it was caused by an axe. Who on earth could bring themselves to swing an axe at a sweet doggy’s head?
#6 Wrapping Her Up
They carefully cleaned Muriel’s wounds using antiseptic, and then gave her several sets of stitches. Finally, they wrapped her head wound up with gauze and gave her some medication for the pain she was undoubtedly feeling. After all this medical attention, though, all Muriel wanted was a little rest…
Because Muriel was so malnourished, she had to be started on a liquid diet. This allowed her to start gaining weight in a safe way that wouldn’t shock her system too badly. After a few weeks, though, she was happily munching on crunchy kibble like any other normal dog!
#4 A Little Rest
Even though she needed constant supervision by the shelter staff, Muriel was able to get some quality sleep in. Because her body had been so damaged and abused, she was weak and exhausted. Shelter staff only woke her up when it was time for a meal. Other than that, she got to catch up on her sleep.
#3 Lots of Work
After catching up on sleep and getting some meat on her bones, it was time for Muriel to begin her own version of physical and psychological therapy. She was incredibly distrusting of all humans, and needed to work on regaining the strength in her legs. But, it all paid off…
#2 Feeling Better
Within a few weeks of therapy, Muriel was walking again. In addition, she was being affectionate and loving towards her caregivers. She quickly became a favorite with the staff who loved to spend their breaks taking her on walks. Still, it was time for her to find a new — and permanent — home…
#1 A Happy Dog
These days, Muriel is happy with her new family. She has several favorite chew toys, and even likes playing with other dogs at the park. As far as shelter dogs go, it’s clear that Muriel is a success story. She’s happy and healthy, and it’s all thanks to that great shelter staff.
Muriel’s story has a happy ending, but many other animals do not experience this same type of success. Fortunately, with the help of volunteers and generous donors, countless pets who were left to die like Muriel was are able to have a second lease on life.
The next time you visit the animal shelter “just to look” or “play with the puppies,” take a minute to think about Muriel. Anyone can make a difference — even just a few dollars or one adoption can change the life of an animal forever!
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