A few months ago, we asked some of our supporters for foster homes for six Australian Shepherds who were victims of a cruelty case.
The dogs had been kept in a chicken coop their entire lives, were under-socialized, terrified, and scheduled to be euthanized within days. In a remarkable display of support, the PAWS community came together and all of the dogs were saved hours before they were set to be put to sleep.
We knew that it would be a long road to rehabilitate such intelligent, sensitive dogs who had been shown the worst of humanity. In fact, PAWS was the only rescue group in the county who came through for these dogs. Other rescue groups believed that these dogs were “beyond hope.” But the volunteers at PAWS believed in the power of second chances and knew that our talented foster homes had the ability to perform miracles.
And what a miracle it has been to watch these dogs!
Where are they now?
Two of the six are in adoptive homes and the remaining four continue to make strides each and every day. We know that it may takes years of rehabilitation, but have promised these Aussies we will be with them every step of the way. PAWS strongly believes that dogs should not be euthanized for being terrified and under-socialized when they are victims of cruelty and neglect.
In fact, it is these dogs that in greatest need of monumental efforts by the rescue community.
Please enjoy the updates below on each one of the dogs. If you are interested in adopting, please click on the photo to be taken to the dog’s petfinder link. If you support the work we do at PAWS, consider making a donation. Sadly, one of the rescue groups that had promised to sponsor all the veterinary costs for the Aussies never followed through and left PAWS with a large outstanding bill. Your support is greatly appreciated!
The Pups and Volunteers at PAWS
Especially Rusty, Rose, Jacob, Suzie, Lucy, and Reds
Jacob’s foster Mom Dusan is a former PAWS adopter who immediately emailed and offered to open her home to an Aussie in need. Her adopted PAWS dog, Rocky, had come to her while recovering from a broken leg and survived an abusive home. Rocky had flourished in her care and she knew that he may be her best resource to help teach Jacob that he did not need to be afraid anymore!
Jacob arrived underweight and spent the first few days at her home shaking and curled up in the corner. Slowly, he started to come around and experience what life was like outside of the chicken coup. Jacob’s new favorite activities include frolicking in the grass and doing this funny howl/ yodel like noise every time he sees his foster Mom or Dad. He even attended his first dinner party a few days ago. The guests who had met him a few weeks prior commented that they could not believe it was the same dog! Jacob is well on his way to getting his forever home…
Lucy is now Daisy! She has been adopted by Laura and Scott and is enjoying her life with her new forever family. Lucy was welcomed into her new home with an endless array of treats, toys, and a bed that Laura had made especially for her!
Lucy was fostered by former PAWS adopter Donna who immediately fell in love with her, “morning kisses and the best bum wiggle ever!” Lucy became instant friends with Donna’s PAWS rescue dog Isabella and her older yellow lab. She quickly learned that Kong’s were just the greatest creation and that it was ok to eat her food in front of people. She found a “safe spot” under a desk in the living room and captured the heart of her entire foster family. It was very difficult for them to say goodbye to her, but it we keep reminding Donna that Lucy is only alive because she opened up her heart and home to a dog that the rest of the world had turned its back on. Thanks to Donna, Lucy will spend the rest of her life being spoiled by her adoring family.
Reds is one of the more troubled dogs in the group. She arrived to her foster dad Dave and simply refused to leave her crate or eat anything. When he tried to put her on a leash to take a short walk around the backyard, she thrashed around and nearly strangled herself. Dave built her a small penned-in area where she could spend the majority of the day in her crate and only have to take a few scary steps out of that crate to use the bathroom. He also discovered that she had a weakness for fresh cooked steak and bologna.
Slowly, over these last two months, Reds is making progress. She has since taken to leaving her crate and sleeping on the bed with Dave. Reds’ senses are easily overloaded and every experience is a new one to her. Dave’s endless patience and calm demeanor are helping to revive this gorgeous creature who was a shell of a dog when she first arrived.
Rose was dealt an extra challenge of having heartworm disease when she was pulled from the shelter. She endured the difficult heartworm treatment and has made a full recovery! Rose, like her litter-mates, is very timid and shy- but she is the most beautiful and gentle creature that you will ever meet. She has discovered that she loves comfortable surfaces and has basically taken up residence on the couch at her foster home. Rose’s foster Mom, Elly, also happens to be a dog trainer and has been working hard with her on making the transition from being locked in a prison to a life of freedom and love. Rose is still at the stage where she prefers to hang back and take it all in- but her love of her foster Mom is evident. Every time Elly walks in the room, Rose will start to wiggle with excitement. Rose is an extraordinary animal who continues to thrive each day and amaze us with her spirit..
Of all the Aussies, Rusty is the one who is having the hardest time and who will need the most work. Rusty was also plagued with heartworm disease and is finally feeling better. He was practically catatonic when he first came from the shelter. He would sit in his crate for days on end and refuse to even use the bathroom. All of us were so worried and wondered whether he could ever overcome his severe anxiety after years of abuse. With Rusty, we are thrilled for even the smallest amount of progress. When he started to come out of his crate to sit on the dog bed, we were overjoyed. Aussies are extremely sensitive dogs and Rusty seems to be the most profoundly affected by his previous life. We keep telling him that he can take as long as he needs because PAWS will make sure he never has another thing to fear for the rest of his life…
Meet the mother who did her very best to keep her puppies safe for all these years amongst these horrible conditions.. Suzie is remarkable and quickly showed us that she was ready for her new life outside of the chicken coop. She was fostered by seasoned Aussie rescuer Cheryl who helped transition her to a life of luxury.
After only a few weeks, Cheryl told us that she had wonderful news! A family that had adopted another Australian Shepherd from her a few years before that and were looking for another Aussie. They lived on a farm and could give Suzie the life she had always dreamed of. The family met Suzie and the rest is history. She is now loving life on the farm with her incredible new family… Congratulations Suzie- Now it is your turn to be taken care of!