Puppy left to starve and die in a cage is living the best possible life now!
As much as all injured animals deserve a shot at life, it’s difficult to feel hopeful when they’re in rough shape.
During times like these, it’s often best to euthanize the poor creatures so they no longer suffer. A puppy seemed like one such creature. After being left to die of starvation, she was barely breathing and her situation seemed utterly hopeless.
But then, something truly special happened. The Austin, Texas Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Division responded to a call about a dead dog left in a crate at a busy intersection.
A puppy, covered in feces, was so emaciated that her ribs and bones protruded from her skin. That’s when officers discovered something truly shocking.
“We realized she was alive, but just barely, so we rushed her to the Austin Animal Center where vets began emergency treatment,” said Officer Ewa Wagner.
“Her temperature was too low to even register on a thermometer and she wasn’t moving at all,” Officer Wagner continued. “We didn’t think there was any way she would survive.” A puppy weighed just 9.5 pounds, despite being estimated to be roughly a year old.
Elizabeth Mancera, a veterinary technician at the shelter, was one of the first to receive the “almost-lifeless” puppy.
“She was covered in feces and freezing cold and wet. I talked to her the whole time and even though she couldn’t move her body; she looked up at me with pleading eyes. I kept telling her she would be okay.”
Elizabeth spent hours trying to save the puppy’s life. In an attempt to raise her body temperature, she gave her a warm bath and even used a blow dryer. It took almost two hours, but it finally worked!
“Everyone thought she was going to die,” Elizabeth said. “During those first few hours, I just talked to her and told her she was loved and that nothing bad would ever happen to her again. I told her she needed a name and I picked Sophie. When I told her that was her name, she raised her head for the first time and looked at me. I knew then, Sophie would live.”
Elizabeth brought Sophie home; she wore diapers and needed constant care because she couldn’t move or walk. After a few days, Sophie was able to stand up. Meanwhile, Elizabeth remained devoted to her the entire time.
A $5,000 reward was also offered to anyone who found the person responsible for being so cruel to Sophie.
Within weeks, Sophie was recovering well—she even reached an acceptable weight of 25 pounds! Elizabeth realized that she wanted Sophie to be hers forever.
“It was right around Thanksgiving and I was watching Sophie gently play with my [other] dog,” Elizabeth said.
“She was so happy and I could see a special connection between them. After all Sophie and I had been through, I knew she was going to be my dog. I reached down and kissed her, letting her know she had found her forever home.”
Now that she’s fully adopted by Elizabeth, Sophie still regularly visits the shelter. Even accompanying officers as they teach people about animal cruelty.
“It’s still hard for me to see those pictures from when she was found,” Elizabeth said. “It breaks my heart to think of her cold and suffering with no one there to help her. Saving Sophie has done so much for me. I have anxiety and just being near her calms me and makes me happy.”
As painful as it is to think that somebody would hurt Sophie so much, at least she is now living a happy, healthy life. Hopefully, whoever abandoned her will be caught. In the meantime, we can all wish Sophie the best!