We all know about the horrible conditions puppy mill dogs endure. But one of the saddest kinds of stories we see all too frequently is a similar level of neglect, or even worse, in an owner’s home. Lena’s elderly owner was not able to care for her properly, and when the owner passed away, Lena went to family members without much dog experience and little money to spend on her care. When this small old dog wandered off from their unfenced yard, she ended up in a huge shelter.
A veterinary examination showed Lena’s kidneys had failed, she had severe anemia, and a ruptured disc that made her unable to control her back legs and caused her back to hunch up. OldDog Haven in Washington State says, “She was in worse shape than most of the puppy mill dogs, just from neglect, and she would have died in that kennel all alone.” Instead, OldDog Haven committed to Lena even though her time was very short. They cleaned her up (she couldn't see out of the hair over her face and the crusted-closed eyes), held her, fed her all she wanted, and let her sleep in front of the fire. Lena loved being cuddled, and she loved string cheese. She lived only a few days, but she ended her life in the arms of someone she trusted.
Lena was one of the beneficiaries of a Grey Muzzle grant to OldDog Haven, for their program that helps dogs from shelters who have only a short time left.