In the United States alone, it’s estimated that there are approximately 70 million stray animals roaming the streets. Yet, only six to eight million dogs and cats enter animal shelters, and only around half of the dogs and cats in shelters actually get adopted. That leaves a massive amount of cats and dogs without a forever home to call their own.
For one canine in particular, who was later named Penny, she was homeless not because she wasn’t fortunate enough to have grown up in a home environment but because she had been neglected by her abusive owner. Penny had open wounds, had little hair left due to a serious case of mange, and looked like she hadn’t eaten for days.
The dog’s sad eyes alone communicated that she had recently faced trauma. Although Penny looked like she was completely hopeless, she decided to attempt to get help for herself. That’s when she started clawing and yelping at the door of an elderly man’s house.
At first, the man assumed the scratching was possibly a wild animal like a fox or raccoon. It wasn’t until he heard Penny’s sad cries that he opened the door. The bald, shivering pup stood before his eyes. Not only was the homeowner a bit fearful of dogs, but the condition Penny was in left him even more frightened.
After getting a good look at the canine, it was apparent that she wasn’t a threat and just needed help. Plus, it was winter. He knew the cold weather would be no place for a hairless dog. So, he brought her in, fed her, and made her a bed out of blankets so she could go to sleep.
The next morning, the man phoned his local police department about the dog, who then referred him to an animal shelter. Volunteers from the animal shelter arrived, thanked the man for keeping her temporarily, and picked up Penny to take her back to the shelter.
The veterinarians at the shelter swiftly diagnosed Penny with mange and provided immediate treatment. According to the shelter’s president, “Within one week, she looked like a different dog. The vet was pretty impressed with her recovery.”
As a few more weeks passed, Penny began to recover not just physically but mentally and emotionally. She went from sad and timid to social, interactive, and friendly. Additionally, the recovering canine started to show signs that she felt safe and could trust others again. Her sleep improved with time.
The police department also stepped in and was able to track down Penny’s original owner who would get slapped with a $1,000 fine and jail time.
Meanwhile, the dog was on the path towards a new life. Once her hair had almost completely grown back, and her post-recovery photo was posted on Facebook by the Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA in March of 2018, many were happy to see the dog’s progress.
Additionally, the shelter received several adoption requests, but due to Penny’s traumatic past, they wanted to ensure the canine went to a very good home.
Eventually, the shelter invited a couple to bring their two dogs down to see if they got along with Penny. Lo and behold, the couple and their family of fur babies were a great match for Penny, and the couple eventually adopted her.
To think that Penny went from a sick, abused, shivering canine to a happy, healthy dog a part of a loving home makes for a very emotional story! I bet she didn’t see that coming, but we’re sure glad she got the safe environment she deserves.