It started with a call to the Humane Society of North Iowa. A distressed landlord, after being forced to evict tenants, came upon a shocking scene: “eight emaciated, malnourished, and filthy dogs,” according to the Humane Society, who were left behind when the tenants fled. Fortunately, seven quickly went to adoptive homes after being cleaned up.
The last, Goldie, was not so lucky. Goldie, an elderly Golden Retriever, had been imprisoned in an outdoor kennel for three weeks. She had no food and little water. Shockingly, Goldie, in order to survive, and begun eating her tail. When the landlord found her, the dog was in agony. Bone was exposed. Half her tail was gone.
According to Sybil Soukup, executive director of Humane Society of North Iowa in Mason City, Goldie lived with a “motley crew of individuals of varied ages and intellect living in filth.”
The landlord tried to care for Goldie, but a vet recommend euthanasia. He was about to bring her in when he took an alternate track. He called the Humane Society. The shelter told him to come in right away, and he did.
What the shelter staff found surprised them, but in a good way: Goldie was in terrible shape, to be sure, but "excited, bloodied half-tail wagging, and seemingly anxious to make new friends." Goldie wanted to live, clearly. She was 20 pounds underweight, but game.
“Goldie’s story of survival shows us just how resilient this beautiful girl is,” said Soukup. “She endured three dismal weeks of neglect and abandonment, confirming that pets are not disposable or something you leave behind when your life moves on.”
The shelter had her tail amputated and put her on a high-protein diet, and Goldie thrived. She put on six pounds in two weeks. Her surgery is healing. She's ready to be a dog again. Once she's completely healed, she's ready to be adopted.
She won't have a problem.
After news agencies got wind of Goldie's story of survival, she's gone viral. Adoption offers are pouring in.
“When we came to work today, our answering machine was full, and every other call today has been about Goldie,” Soukup told the Globe Gazette.
“I’ll bet we’ve had a hundred calls.” she said in another story. One came from a woman in Sydney, who lives on a five-acre farm. Money has been pouring in, too, on behalf of Goldie. “Monetary donations through PayPal have come in from Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, and of course lots from throughout the state of Iowa and locally,” said Soukup.
The shelter is accepting applications through the end of this week, then "our shelter manager will have the daunting task of going through them to determine which one can provide the most appropriate home for Goldie,” she said.
In response to the tragedy, the president of the Humane Society of North Iowa's board of directors took the opportunity to make some comments on the shelter's Facebook page. It's worth a read:
"Pets are not disposable. We simply don't get rid of one to get another. It's a lot of fun to have a new puppy, but what about the one that you already committed to? It is a life-long commitment.
"At the Humane Society of North Iowa, we deal with society's 'throwaways.' We deal with the issues created by previous owners and the sadness they feel after being abandoned. They are not garbage that we just throw away when we get tired of them or they get sick. Before you get a pet, make sure you have the time, money, and stable home to care for it for life."
Hear hear. Let's hope Goldie finally finds that stable home she deserves.
Who knows, perhaps it's with these kids, who attached this photo to their adoption application:
Photos via the Humane Society of North Iowa's Facebook