Until we find a long-term solution for how to deal with the millions of unwanted pets that end up in shelters every year, there will still be kill shelters. No one likes this fact, but a fact it is.
It’s one thing to rail against the shelters that euthanize unwanted cats and dogs and question the humanity of those who operate them, but it’s another to actually doing something about it. Fortunately there are groups who make it their goal to frequent kill shelters and rescue the animals that look like they can be rehabbed.
Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue is a group in Tehachapi, California. Their “About” page states that they are “a large breed dog rescue specializing in pulling from high kill shelters in the Kern County California area.”
“We save at risk dogs and rehabilitate them both behavioral and physical problems that may prevent them from being adoptable, and teach the community to spread awareness that big dogs are not mean dogs.”
“What makes us unique is that we pull from the county’s outlying areas that usually get no foot traffic and therefore have an almost 100% euthanasia rate. Currently, our adoption success rate is 99% for all dogs that we intake.”
While they focus on rescuing bigger dogs, there are others who come their way that do not exactly fall into the “large breeds” category. Cue a small, spindly creature that’s come to be known as Freddie Mercury.
When Freddie was first found, she was in horrible shape. She wasn’t put together like a normal dog, and while her uniqueness made her special, it also posed quite a number of health issues.
“Freddie was found as a stray underneath a car and got turned into a shelter,” the rescue organization wrote on Facebook on Dec. 18. “How she survived the cold weather we have no idea.”
“She then had 17 teeth extracted as she still had a row of deciduous teeth in front of her adult teeth. During her dental the veterinarian discovered she had no epiglottis which is the flap at the back of the throat that opens and closes to prevent fluid from going into her lungs.”
Because of this, little Freddie had contracted pneumonia after aspirating liquid. That happened before she got to the rescue, but it was up to the rescue to iron out her problems.
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“She was in pretty rough condition the first three days we had her as she was sick, malnourished and lethargic.”
While her mouth was clearly misshapen, her front leg was concerning, too. She held it oddly and it stuck out at a weird angle. It proved to be a deformity, something little Freddie will have for the rest of her life.
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Fortunately, she found her way to the rescue through a foster mom who soon became her adoptive mom. Angela Adan was the one who picked Freddie up from the shelter, but she also fell in love with the quirky creature and decided to play for keeps.
‘I don’t get emotional when I go to shelters to pick up dogs because I know it doesn’t help a scared dog if I’m over her crying feeling sad for her. Tonight, however, I cried for this little one,” she explained.
Adan doesn’t know how much time she’ll have with Freddie, but they’re both making every day count, and Freddie couldn’t have found a better human to love her.
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