Chain of Hope received a call from a woman who said that her dog was not in good shape and she couldn’t take care of it anymore. I called her back. She was in Independence, which we normally don’t work in. Not because they don’t need help, we just have our hands full with KCMO. She said that her dog had fleas, ticks and poison ivy. She said she scratched all the time and was missing some hair. I asked her if she was bleeding and she told me that the dog was bleeding on her back end and it was raw. I asked her if they had tried anything, bathed her, etc. and she replied that none of them wanted to touch her because they swore she had poison ivy and they would get it. She told me that she couldn’t even afford to feed the dog anymore. This all sounded bad and very sad. This dog needed our help. I asked her if she’d be home for awhile and she told me that she would be home until 3:30 pm. I told her I would be over before then to look at the dog and talk to her.


I arrived at her duplex at 2:15 pm and knocked on the door. There was no answer. I went around back to see where the dog was and there she was-way down the hill in a pen pretty far from the house.

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I walked down the hill to meet this poor thing. One of the first things I noticed was what she had to eat. It was disgusting! It was some kind of pasta stuff with baked beans on top.

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The dog was absolutely precious! A beautiful yellow lab mix. She was not chained-she had a huge pen that she could run around in. It had tall grass and lots of weeds-no wonder she was suffering with fleas and ticks. She was missing hair on her back and back end. She scratched constantly! It hurt just to watch her. When she turned around, I could see that her rump was bleeding.

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This dog was suffering badly with fleas. I highly doubted that she had poison ivy-it looked like a severe flea infestation, that we unfortunately see all summer long. She was at a good body weight and she did have a bucket of clean water when I got there. I went back up the hill to go knock again. I pounded loud and knocked several times, but no one came to the door. I noticed some rabbit hutches on the side of the house. I went over and looked and in one hutch, there was one rabbit. In the other, there was a dead rabbit and a live rabbit.

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No one was home and I couldn’t take their dog without them being there, so I left with the intention to call her and come back later that day. I headed back to Chain of Hope. When I finally got hold of her, she said that she had been there, but she’d fallen asleep! (Yes-this happens to us all the time). I told her that I would head back over.

Debbie and I went back over to this house and this time, the young woman came outside to meet us. She talked about how they couldn’t care for their dog. She said that she had fallen on hard times and had had to bring the dog over to her mom’s and kept her there for a couple of months. She said her mom didn’t care for the dog very well. She said, “I’m sure you saw what she had in the pen to eat” and I told her that I had seen it. She said rather disgustedly that that was what her mom fed her. She said her mom wouldn’t let her give the dog a bath, let alone bring her inside. It was just a mess and this poor dog had fallen through the cracks. She wanted us to take her.

When they were getting her out of the pen and bringing her up the hill, the mother was outside feeding the rabbits. I heard her say that Merle was dead. I went up there and said, “I saw him dead in there at 2:00 this afternoon. I was alarmed and asked her if she fed and watered them. She got upset with me, pointed to the food and said, “I feed my rabbits everyday. Merle was old.” This was a very unhappy woman-the same one who fed the dog crap and wouldn’t let her kids give her a bath. What a hard heart she seemed to have. Thank goodness her daughter had cared enough to call for help and to sign her dog over to a better life. We are grateful for that.

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We got this girl back to Chain of Hope. We put her right into the tub and Debbie and I gave her a bath. There were thousands of fleas on her! They were running and jumping off of her in droves-it was disgusting. We got her all cleaned up and gave her a Capstar to help kill the fleas. Her skin was red and irritated. This girl had suffered, she had been itching with all of those fleas for a long time. We named her Dawn after the soap we were bathing her with : )

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We got Dawn set up in our isolation room where it’s quiet and let her settle in. She absolutely loved her dog bed! Every single time I went into her room, she was on her bed. She was very happy and quite comfortable.

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Here she is after having a peanut butter bone for the first time!

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Thankfully, April and her husband offered to foster Dawn! We love it when our dogs can get into a foster home. Nothing helps our dogs more than to go into a foster home and get ready for adoption, yet we never have enough of them!

Dawn is a great dog! April says that Dawn is one of the easiest dogs that she has ever fostered and Dawn has blossomed. She really needs another dog to play with in her forever home, April says. Dawn is about 2 yrs. old and her skin and coat are looking great. Neglected no more!




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If you are interested in adopting Dawn, please go to our website and go to our adoptable pets page to find the application. Dawn has tested positive for heart worms and is taking her pre-treatment medication. She will complete her treatment in about a month or so and will be as good as new.

Dawn is the total package-she’s a very pretty dog, has a truly sweet personality, and she obeys really well. Thank you for your support so that we can rescue dogs like Dawn and continue our mission!