This story sounds like something you might read in a novel, but unfortunately the events really happened to this innocent little dog. Maybe if we call attention to the problem, animal abuse will finally stop.
When a small terrier puppy was rushed to Project Hope’s sanctuary in Mississippi last year, her rescuer thought she had been attacked by a wild animal. The little dog was barely alive as the man picked her up from a ditch on the side of a country road. She was taken directly to the organization’s veterinarian and what he discovered was horrifying.
After shaving back her fur, he saw that she hadn’t been attacked by a wild animal, but had been tortured by a human being instead.
Project Hope’s recent report stated, “Someone had poured boiling water on her head that had dripped and swirled around her ears, down her back and onto her sides, severely burning her skin as it flowed.”
The little puppy amazingly survived this act of extreme cruelty and because of her remarkable will to live, Doll Stanley who is the director of Project Hope named her, Phoenix.
It became Doll Stanley’s main objective to keep Phoenix alive. During her first night, Phoenix moaned in pain. But over the next few days the staff saw signs of a spirited little puppy emerging.
That was a year ago and during that time Phoenix has blossomed into a smart and sweet natured healthy dog. She was loved so much by the staff that they put off placing her for adoption.
Project Hope is one In Defense of Animals’ sanctuaries. Their mission is to “bring justice and compassion to rural America.” The conception of a sanctuary in the Deep South was the brainchild of Doll Stanley who saw the need to help abused and neglected animals in the area. She’s been their director for the past 15 years.
In addition to rescuing the worst of the abused pets in the South, Project Hope carries out raids on puppy mills, animal hoarders and dealers. They also tackle dog fighting rings and work to strengthen Mississippi’s animal cruelty laws. To date, Project Hope has saved the lives of thousands of animals.
Finally the staff couldn’t put off the need for Phoenix to be adopted into a home of her own. She was chosen to be put on a van and taken to one of the IDA partner organizations that place homeless pets with new families as part of the Homeward Bound program.
However somewhere along the long journey to Salem, NH, Phoenix decided to choose the person who she wanted to become her new guardian.
Glen Bidwell was the transporter who shuttled Phoenix and several other dogs on the last leg of their trip. Here is what he had to say:
“I first met Phoenix at 1:30 in the morning in Winchester, VA, by that time she had already been in a crate for over 13 hours. I took her for a short walk and a small drink of water and Evan, the driver who had gotten her from Mississippi to Virginia, mentioned that she had been pretty badly abused. She was going to my last stop in Salem, NH, so she was one of the first loaded onto my van. She ended up behind my passenger seat on top of the other crates, so I could turn around just a little and see her and also stick my fingers in her crate. Whenever I used my cell phone or 2-way radio she would sit up and look at me. It wasn’t long before I snapped a picture of her with my phone and sent it home. I was smitten.”
And apparently Phoenix felt the same way because when they arrived in Salem, she refused to leave the van. Phoenix went home with Glen that day.
Glen reports that family life has agreed with Phoenix. She shares her new home with Glen’s wife and son, a dog named Seamus and several cats. And every day she hops into the same van where she met Glen, for a ride that she knows will take her back home at the end of the day.