In the U.S., many times, dogs are treated like kids. They’re given comfortable digs, clothes, baskets of toys and sometimes eat better than most people do.
But that love of dogs is not universal. In many places, dogs are not pets or lovable animals: They live on the streets, are vicious and feral or are treated as disposable items.
Maureen Cattieu was shocked by the conditions she saw dogs living in in Cartagena, Colombia. She’d traveled to Cartagena to teach second grade, but her heart went out to the dogs she saw who were treated like garbage.
“Machete slashes, hot acid, tied to trees, no concept of giving food or water to an animal, no concept of spaying neutering,” Cattieu told WGRZ. “A lot of it now is educating the community.”
In July she stumbled across a particularly memorable and gruesome case.
“[He was] collapsed outside of a gas station, just with his bone halfway out of his skin, so we don’t know originally how it was amputated,” Cattieu said. “He didn’t move for days. He was severely anemic, he needed IVs, and then we had to get him healthy to do another amputation.”
Once he got the medical treatment he needed — and plenty of love and attention from his foster mom, Cattieu — he started to heal. And behind the scenes, an adopter came forward.
The dog, who was named Morris, probably had no idea what was happening. His world got bigger and bigger as he got onto a plane and flew 13 hours to Buffalo, New York.
Luis Balbosa, from Seattle, also flew to Buffalo to meet Morris. Having lost his precious dog, Johnny Cakes, Balbosa was ready for puppy love again.
“It was just a nice coincidence,” Balbosa said. “I mean he’s not Johnny Cakes, he’s his own dog, but it’s still nice because he reminds me a bit of him.”
“It’s something nice that I feel like I’m able to do, and so I’m happy to do it.”
“If you can let a dog know that you’re not there to hurt them, a lot of the time, they’ll decide to take a chance and trust you,” he concluded.
Based on the photos, Morris is doing much better than he was when he was found abandoned and wounded, and will no doubt spend the rest of his days comfortable and very much loved.
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