START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
3,042,586 people care about Animal Welfare

Dog Pack Rescues Two More

Dog Pack Rescues Two More


Written by Paula Ford of North Carolina

It has been almost two years since I received an email plea for help with six dogs who had been dumped by a rescue organization at a home.  These animals had been at this home for three months without having received any veterinary care, socialization, or training and had learned how to escape the yard in search of social interaction and food.  Neighbors had made numerous complaints with local Animal Control and the email I received had news that without intervention, Animal Control would be on site the following day to seize the dogs from the home.  Did I mention that I was in my car, heading out of town for the weekend, and this situation was occurring about four hours from where I live?

I was determined that the reckless and irresponsible “rescue” of these dogs by a rescue group was not going to result in their inevitable death should they be seized by Animal Control.  After many calls by myself and others, we had four of the dogs spoken for by other rescue groups, but two dogs remained without rescue.  The decision to personally rescue the last two remaining dogs was an easy one, although I already had four rescued dogs at home.  Without rescue, one of the dogs — Wilson — would surely have been labeled “feral” and euthanized right away due to his fear aggression. This decision proved to be one of the best, yet most challenging rescue decisions I’d ever made.

When I went to pick up the dogs the next morning, one of them (Shadow) was fairly social and would allow human touch; the other one (Wilson) really was all but feral.  After quite some time of trying to get close to him, he had to be cornered and given no place to run except into a crate.  These two dogs were very underweight and had numerous parasitic infections, as well as conjunctivitis, that would have to be treated.

This is Shadow when he first arrived.

After weeks of receiving treatment, their health was improving and they had started to gain weight, but Wilson (re-named Peanut) was still unapproachable.  We slowly introduced our four dogs to Shadow and Peanut who watched closely, and with curiosity, as we interacted with our dogs, playing and training in the backyard. We never tried to overtly interact with Peanut, choosing instead to allow him to warm up in his own time.  We would talk to him but never reach out for him to try to catch him or look directly into his eyes.  It took several months, but Peanut finally decided that we were safe and he began to cautiously approach us.

The Dogs Showed Peanut How To Trust

Almost two years later, Peanut still has “spooky” days when he shies away from an outstretched hand and he is still extremely leash reactive, but most of the time he is playful, interactive and loving with us.  I credit my “core four” dogs with the majority of Peanut’s progress, as they showed him it was safe to be touched by us.  We had to meet Peanut at his comfort level and agree to his terms of interaction, rather than trying to prove to him that we were safe. (More Photos Here)

Peanut now loves to snuggle up next to me on the couch for a nap and is the picture of health.  Shadow and Peanut are integral members of our family and our pack, and they have taught this rescuer a great deal about rehabilitation of nearly feral dogs.  Peanut has made more progress than I ever really thought possible and is a testament to the ability of dogs to learn to trust again.  He teaches us daily that trust can be re-learned and that forgiveness is possible.  While I physically rescued Peanut and Shadow, our own dogs were the real rescuers here, as they taught Peanut and Shadow to trust again.

Brought to you by The Great Animal Rescue Chase


Related Stories:

Saving Smeegle from the Fiery Brute

Doggie Doppelganger’s Warm-Hearted Rescue Caper

100 Dogs Saved From Abusive Animal Rescue Groups


Read more: , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it


+ add your own
4:38AM PDT on Apr 18, 2014

Portugal Thank You Care 2

3:47AM PDT on Apr 18, 2014

Thank you

5:42AM PDT on Jul 21, 2013


2:24AM PDT on Jul 20, 2013

great story

12:26PM PDT on Apr 6, 2012

Paula, in your pictures, it looks like all six dogs are perfectly comfortable with each other.

I am so glad Shadow and Peanut have put on some weight - they were skinny minis when they first got to your home. Now, they look healthy and happy!!

You and your 4 dogs did a great job with the newcomers!!!

9:34AM PDT on Mar 20, 2012

É uma verdade é sempre bom ouvir pessoas maravilhosas e fazendo coisas grandes

8:48PM PDT on Mar 19, 2012

Paula, thanks for sharing a great story. I hear stories like this on an animal trainer show I watch. God bless you for rescuing these dogs. It just goes to show that a well-trained pack can be quite a bit more effective in rehabilitating a dog than a human can. Five stars for you and your pack, now bigger by two more lucky dogs.

Boo hiss on the rescue organization that did this to these dogs. I hope they've been reported and investigated.

9:39PM PST on Mar 6, 2012

Glad you enjoyed the "six pack" comment. Always nice to make someone chuckle! I have 5 dogs currently but you never know-that could easily turn into a six pack, at the rate i'm going. Lol! Hhhmmm...maybe I'm at 7, considering the 2 guinea pigs that I'm fostering think that they are dogs. Ha ha ha!

10:16PM PST on Mar 4, 2012

Thank you Paula for being there and giving so much of your time and love and caring to your sweeties -- the world is a better place with people like you in it. Thank you.

4:08PM PST on Mar 3, 2012

You are a special person to rescue two fearful, special needs dogs instead of taking the easy way out like 99% of people would do. Thank you.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

hope they get water and thoughts are with them and the other countries that need help

"Easter Jesus is coming" a sign I read in my neighbors yard. During Christmas they also have a sign saying…

Go Pitzer! You rock, as you often have in the past! I think I have to have a Word with my alma mater,…

Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.