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Two Starving Dogs Make Quite a Comeback!

by Bethany Meissner

Photo credit: Rimrock Humane Society

Every pet deserves a permanent and loving home. However the road to that home isn’t always as easy as it should be. Thankfully there are organizations like Rimrock Humane Society to help pets in need along the way. The pets rescued by Rimrock Humane Society are grateful for more than just the dedication of organization’s foster families. Because of you, Rimrock Humane Society received a large donation of nutritious whole meat Halo dog and cat food. That food helped two abandoned dogs, along with many other pets, recover after being found in terrible condition so that they would be ready for their forever home.

Sandra Church, with the Rimrock Humane Society, is currently fostering two dogs, found starving and ill, now healthy and named Stella and Jefferson. The principal of a school on a nearby reservation called Rimrock Humane Society to ask for help with “two shepherd-type dogs [who ] had been hanging around the school.” Rimrock responded to the call for help.  “The dogs were starving and very sickly looking, but super sweet and just in need of a good rescue,” shared Sandra. The group managed to capture the dogs and immediately took them to their local veterinarian.

The dogs were in bad shape. Both were carrying more than 40 ticks each. Their coats were coarse, “and they itched all the time – they were miserable” Sandra wrote to us. That wasn’t all. The male dog, Jefferson, was completely deaf. At one point the veterinarian even thought Jefferson might have skin cancer. Upon learning that he just had benign sebaceous cysts, “we were joyful,” Sandra said.

 Stella, the female dog, had her own troubles. She had a low grade fever that took two months of compassionate care to be successfully treated. In addition, Stella  had a large lump on her left rear ankle. When the veterinarian removed the lump, they found a bullet inside! 

It took months of veterinary care and a lot of foster family love to help these two dogs. In addition Jefferson and Stella also needed high-quality nutrition to heal from their medical problems and become ready for adoption. Sandra shared that Stella and Jefferson loved Halo’s salmon dog food and that Halo’s nutrition was vital for their rehabilitation. She wrote, “we are always amazed at how love, good medical care, and super nutrition can so change…these animals.”

Photo credit: Rimrock Humane Society

Apparently Stella and Jefferson weren’t the only ones who benefited from eating Halo while in the care of the Rimrock Humane Society. “We have so many animals out here who need (help) so badly,” Sandra shared. Because Rimrock didn’t need to buy food, the group was able to redirect their money on veterinary care and training so they could help a lot of special needs pets. Plus, the food itself helped the pets.

“It was freaking phenomenal,” said Sandra, “all the skin issues went away” for the animals eating Halo. In addition, it was clear that the nutrition was helping the animals’ coats and even their defecation. Sandra added that it wasn’t just the people who appreciated the Halo food: “We never met a single cat or dog who didn’t love the food.”

Stella and Jefferson are still living with Sandra. The veterinarian has given the thumbs-up for both of them to be adopted and Sandra will soon post detailed adoption profiles for them on Rimrock Humane Society’s website. At the moment they’re still trying to decide if Stella and Jefferson should be adopted together or not. They’re good buddies and Jefferson seems to rely on Stella to be his ears. “Jefferson can read Stella’s body language really well,” according to Sandra and they get along great, although they can be slightly competitive with both dogs wanting attention and toys.

Photo credit: Rimrock Humane Society

Although Sandra clearly adores the two dogs, she is excited to see them find their forever home. She has been fostering for almost 20 years and loves when her foster dogs get adopted. She told us, “The reward is great when you see them doing so well” in their new homes. She jokes that her hard work for the animals she rescues with the Rimrock Humane Society is “paid [for] in slurpy kisses and happy tail wags.” Sandra acknowledged that fostering can be hard for some people, especially at the beginning. 

“You have to look at all the positives for the animal. It can’t be about you, it has to be about the critter,” Sandra said. She did clarify that “sometimes you do have to make a few mistakes,” admitting that she struggled with sadness when her first three or four fosters were adopted. It was when she saw a foster dog happily jump into the car with her new family that Sandra stopped being depressed and only took joy from the adoptions. Sandra added, “I didn’t think I could do it, but I did,” adding that she’s probably had about 300 dogs in her home over the years. We are so grateful for Sandra’s amazing heart, and certain Stella and Jefferson are, too.