Meet Dora from the Kentucky Humane Society by Andrea Blair

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Dora. Photo Courtesy of Kentucky Humane Society

The Kentucky Humane Society, located in Louisville, Kentucky, is a private nonprofit animal shelter and pet adoption agency. A grant from The Grey Muzzle Organization helps fund medical diagnosis, treatment and advanced behavior help for senior pets.

The Kentucky Humane Society (KHS) is Kentucky’s largest pet adoption agency and no-kill animal shelter, finding homes for more than 6,500 dogs and cats a year. Half of KHS’s pets come from overcrowded public shelters from throughout the state and region. We transfer in many senior pets into our adoption program who otherwise wouldn’t have much of a chance at adoption. A grant from The Grey Muzzle Organization in 2014 allowed us to send 26 senior dogs for diagnostics and surgeries, as well as heartworm treatment. One of the dogs Grey Muzzle helped us save is Dora.

Dora waited patiently for a home. Photo Courtesy of Kentucky Humane Society
When Dora first arrived at the Kentucky Humane Society, it was clear this senior Pit Bull Terrier had lived a very hard life. Her legs were bowed, her teeth had been filed down to nubs, and the scars on her sides and flank suggested she had been hurt many times in her life. When she came to us, Dora was still lactating, suggesting that the poor older dog had been bred quite recently. Her heart was enlarged many times over from heartworm, and we knew she was in for some difficult heartworm treatments. At first, Dora seemed to be afraid of the grass; we suspect she may have been kept locked in a pen and used as a breeder for years.

In spite of everything she’d endured, Dora was a happy, wiggly girl who craved attention from everyone she met. One look into her eyes and we knew this girl deserved a happy ending to her once tragic tale. Dora’s enchanting personality melted the hearts of staff and volunteers alike, and we knew we could find someone who would love her forever.

The treatment for Dora’s heartworms was especially hard on her body, as she was a very high positive. To help her heal, she was sent into a quiet foster home between treatments, where she began learning what it meant to be a loved and cared for pet. When the time came for Dora to begin looking for a home of her very own, she returned to the Kentucky Humane Society’s shelter and waited patiently.

Mary had been looking for a new canine friend for months. She originally looked for a companion for her older dog (also named Dora). After her dog passed away, she continued her search for the right dog to bring home. When Mary stepped into the Kentucky Humane Society’s lobby, she walked right past the older dog in the Dog of the Day Room. Luckily for Dora, Mary’s children’s father noticed Dora and suggested they bring the old girl some treats and offer her a little love before they left. Mary then went on to look at the other adoptable dogs.

Dora found the home of her dreams. Photos Courtesy of Kentucky Humane Society
But none of the other dogs seemed like the perfect fit for the family. A disappointed Mary returned to the lobby, where she learned the old dog’s name: Dora. Instantly, Mary knew she had to go in and meet sweet Dora. Mary was a little leery of Pit Bull Terriers, as she had never spent time with one. But when she met Dora, her concerns evaporated. Dora greeted Mary as though they had always been family. When Mary brought in her two-year-old son to meet Dora, she watched in awe at how gently the dog played with her little boy. Mary knew that with Dora’s age and health issues, only a select group of people would consider adopting her. It was then that Mary made the decision that Dora should come home with her.

A grateful Dora quickly became a part of the family. “Dora really appreciates having a home and loves everyone who is a part of the family,” says Mary. Mary believes adopting Dora was a great decision.  “Adopting an older dog lets you skip the puppy phase, and Dora seems grateful to have the home,” she says.

After undergoing six months of heartworm treatment paid for by The Grey Muzzle Organization, Dora was finally pronounced heartworm negative. Dora’s dark past is finally behind her. In her new home, Dora is treated like an absolute queen. She has children to play with and snuggle next to, and a bed of her very own. Dora’s story continues to inspire her family, as well as everyone she meets. This sweet girl is living proof that no matter where an animal may come from, or what they’ve been through, they can learn to love and trust once more.

Visit Who We Help for additional information about The Grey Muzzle Organization's grant recipients, including the Kentucky Humane Society. The Grey Muzzle Organization improves the lives of at-risk senior dogs by providing funding and resources to animal shelters, rescue organizations, sanctuaries, and other nonprofit groups nationwide.
 
About the Contributor: Andrea Blair is the PR & Marketing Director for the Kentucky Humane Society (KHS), based in Louisville, Kentucky. Andrea and her husband, J-D, are dedicated foster parents to shelter animals. Since Andrea joined KHS in 2012, she and J-D have fostered over 30 animals, most of them senior, special needs dogs. She and her husband love to foster these grateful seniors, who often blossom once they are in a home. Once these dogs are relaxed, happy and healthy, Andrea and her husband help them find their forever families.