It can be hard for any animal lover to resist the sweet, innocent eyes of a puppy — especially a puppy who was not given a safe and loving start to life.
Jessie DeFreitas, 21, already has four cats and a rescue dog to care for.
But the moment she laid eyes on a sick, rejected puppy brought to the veterinarian’s office where she works, her heart opened wide, knowing she could care for this puppy, too.
The small pup had a severe case of mange, so much so that only a skunk-like strip of hair covered her head and spine.
The puppy, named Honey by her former owners, looked pitiful. She was clearly in pain and desperately in need of proper care.
“When I was told we had a new dog, I had to see her. She may have had mange, but she had beautiful eyes,” DeFreitas told the U.K.’s Southwest News Service, as Fox News reported. “The vet said if the dog wasn’t signed over to them, she wouldn’t have survived.”
The American Kennel Club (AKC) defines mange as a “horrible, painful” skin disease caused by mites. Mange is common in puppies and dogs that are neglected, abused or who are strays. https://t.co/5minBXvvdL
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DeFreitas, from West Sussex in the U.K., knew that bringing the sick puppy home would be a lot of work, but it would be completely worth it.
“She needed constant care. I asked to foster the dog,” DeFreitas said. “My mum asked if I was sure because we already have four cats and another rescue dog at home. But everyone knows I love animals. At the vets I’m constantly asking about people’s pets.”
As DeFreitas got to know Honey, she quickly learned that her sticky-sweet name didn’t fit the puppy’s personality.
“When we first brought her home, she was a playful biter. Her original name, Honey, didn’t fit her at all,” DeFreitas said. “To me, honey is sweet and she is not.”
Instead, the frisky pup resembled more of a tornado, with sharp, nippy puppy bites and a habit for getting into everything, as puppies will do.
“My mum named her Terra with an ‘a’ because it fit her better — she can be a little terror,” DeFreitas said.
But over time, under watchful eyes and compassionate care, the little tornado began to calm. As her body healed, so did her spirit.
“She’s recovered really well. You can see it in her eyes — she’s become happier and happier,” DeFreitas said.
Her name is not Honey anymore, but the little puppy has found her sweet side after all.
“She’s amazing,” DeFreitas said. “She’s just the kindest and sweetest thing.”
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