Friday, July 3, 2009

A great rescue story, and how you can help unloved animals this summer

I thought this story was wonderful, and I wanted to share it:

Actor-model Julie-Anne Younghans couldn't turn away from an abused dog in her town ... and Magic changed her life:

In September, I was paged by a man I had met on a movie set a few weeks before, who told me of a dog who was in very bad shape in south central Los Angeles.

Go and rescue the starving, stinky, dying, elephant-looking dog who needs to be put out of his misery, I was told.

I drove to south central L.A. the next morning to rescue Magic, the 8-year-old German shepherd mix from the hellish yard in which he had been chained all of his life. Magic stood sorrowfully in front of me, and I placed my hands on his bloody body to give him the comfort of knowing somebody was there to touch him without harming him.

His fragile, bald skeleton body trembled as he did his best to climb into my car. I then cried the entire way to the veterinarian.

In the weeks that came after, I watched this beaten-down, malnourished, flea-infested, ringworm infected, scabby, yet gorgeous, bright-eyed, perky-earred, tail-wagging, trusting soul go through an amazing transformation. Magic began to grow fuzz on his now clean skin, and he quickly gained weight, thanks to the food my vet shared with him as they buddied around the office.

At this very moment, Magic is lying here chewing on a snack next to his best pal, Mohammed, my black Lab. He is the kindest, gentlest, sweetest, most loving dog on the planet.

I later learned that his "owners" used slingshots on him, kicked him, starved him, and when he was lucky, ignored him. Once they dumped him in a parking lot and he sadly, but loyally, found his way back to the only "home" he had ever known.

Now he has a real home, with a family who loves him. But I'm the lucky one. Magic has taught me never to turn my back on an animal in need, and I'll always be grateful for his lesson of love.

I thought this was a wonderful story, but the sad reality is that this circumstance is all too common. The summer months can be especially difficult for animals who face the dangers of heat stroke, flea and tick infestation, heartworms, and overpopulation. Please help out in your own community by giving a voice to these unwanted, unloved animals.

If you see a dog chained constantly without shade, food, or water, get to the know the owner and ask if you can play with the dog. A scratch behind the ears, food, and a clean bowl of water could make a world of difference for a neglected dog.

If you see a cat with wounds or desperately seeking food, don't look the other way. He needs you to care for him by cleaning or feeding him. Just because the animal is owned by another person does not mean that he/she is well cared for.

Finally, never assume that someone else is already on the case. Many onlookers will do and say nothing, even when they wish something could be done. Please do more than feel sad or sorry about neglected animals. Take action—you could very well be their only hope.

1 comment:

Julieanne O'Connor said...

Thank you for posting my story. Magic passed away a few years back but lived much longer than anyone imagined. They thought he was 12 to 14 when I rescued him. He lived another approximately 10 years. Clearly they could not tell his age because of his condition and broken teeth at the time. Thank you again for sharing. So wild to have found this story tonight. Thank you.