When you own a pet, you’re forgiven for lavishing him or her with attention. After all, they’re your baby! You’ll have no problem spending top dollar to buy them the most delicious (and nutritious) food and to make sure that they receive the best medical care possible.
Unfortunately, in many parts of the world, people lack either the resources or the knowledge to care for their pets as well as they possibly could. And, sadly, those animals suffer the consequences. This can mean anything from being malnourished to suffering from otherwise treatable illnesses and infestations.
That’s exactly what happened with a South African dog by the name of Belle. By the time animal welfare workers got a hold of her, they noticed that she was dealing with an otherwise simple—and treatable—problem that had spiraled out of control…
It’s safe to say that the staff at Community Led Animal Welfare (CLAW), a South African animal rescue organization, has seen just about everything. But when they found a poor dog named Belle who’d been completely neglected by her owner, they knew this was no ordinary case.
Anyone who looked at her knew right away what the problem was. Belle was covered in ticks, especially around her eyes and ears. It was a tough sight. The ticks had drained her of so much blood that she’d become anemic and could barely move on her own, and the CLAW workers had to rush her to a veterinary clinic to receive emergency treatment.
They realized that Belle had so many ticks that trying to remove them one by one would make her lose too much blood and would put her life at risk. Instead they opted for powerful anti-parasitic drugs. But would they work? Was it too late to save Belle?
Miraculously, after a few days, the ticks began to paralyze. One by one, they came loose from Belle’s skin. Still, it wasn’t over. The workers now had to treat Belle’s numerous skin infections and put her on a special diet to help her battle severe vitamin deficiency.
Even though the parasite-killing IV drip was doing its job, it was still an uncomfortable process for the poor dog. Thankfully, all the care and attention of the staff truly bolstered her spirits.
As soon Belle was able to eat her new special diet—and once the last of the ticks fell from her body—the team made sure to get her outside as quickly as they could. In the warmth of the sun’s glow, you could see something new in Belle’s eyes: hope.
In no time at all, Belle looked nothing like the poor damaged dog who had appeared desperate for help before the literal life was drained out of her. Bit by bit, Belle was getting better.
Initially, the team assumed that being quiet and shy was just part of Belle’s nature. But as she grew stronger and healthier, she also grew happier, and they finally got a chance to bear witness to her true personality.
It turned out that Belle wasn’t a shy and reticent dog after all! She was loving, playful, and just full of energy. Thinking about how long she must have suffered because of those ticks was all the more heartbreaking now that they saw her true nature.
Eventually, Belle was able to eat normal food again and she completely regained her mobility. Then, there was great news! A young woman looking to adopt a pet heard about Belle’s bravery and decided to take her in. Now, Belle is healthy and has a happy, loving home.
The poor thing must have been so miserable with all those ticks, but thankfully she’s doing better now! Can you imagine how awful it would be if something like this happened to your dog?
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