Why do people have pets if they can’t properly care for them? Why have a dog if you’re just going to abandon it at a shelter? Ann Flores went to the Harris County Animal Shelter in Houston, Texas with a friend who wanted to adopt a dog. While outside, she saw two women attempting to drag two unwilling dogs inside.
Ann was horrified by what she saw. The 3-year-old black and white dog flopped over on its back on the hard cement in the shelter’s parking lot.
“He laid on his back and just rolled over,” Flores told The Dodo. “It was like he was saying, ‘Please don’t take me in here.’”
This first woman was acompanied by another woman who was also attempting to drag another dog inside. “They were both pulling, but the dogs wouldn’t budge,” Flores said. “They had to pick them up because they just would not move. They would not walk in there.”
The two dogs were named Truman and Mandi; they were brother and sister. As the women fought to get the dogs inside, they were laughing. This angered Flores. “They didn’t care,” Flores said. “They were just laughing and giggling because the dogs wouldn’t move. To them, it was just like throwing trash away. There was no remorse, nothing.
“I was really, really angry, and I could feel my blood pressure rise,” Flores added. “Why get an animal if you’re not going to keep it and do this to them? It’s not fair.”
Ann snapped some photos and took videos of this incident and sent it to the Harris County Animal Volunteers who posted it to their social media. Cyrprus Lucky Mutt rescue tagged Truman and Mandi for adoption, but foster homes needed to be found for them before they could be removed from the shelter. Because of overcrowding, the two dogs were scheduled for euthanasia within a few days. The rescue group found them foster homes quickly.
Kellie Donoghue, director of Grace Mercy Love German Shepherd Rescue went to the shelter to retrieve Truman. She accompanied shelter staff to his kennel so they wouldn’t have to bring him to her.
“First I heard him howling,” Donoghue told The Dodo. “We tried to get him to walk, but he just pancaked flat on the floor and wouldn’t move.”
They ended up carrying the frightened boy to her car. “He was so terrified and he was peeing,” Donoghue said. “But he was wagging his tail the whole time, which tells me that this dog just needs love, but doesn’t understand that humans can provide love.”
Truman finally fell asleep in the back seat of her car. She hadn’t yet performed a temperament test on him to see how he’d respond to her children, cats and other pets. During the drive to her friend’s house, something incredible happened.
“The whole time in the car, he just wanted to be near me,” Donoghue said. “He was starting to warm up to me a bit in a 25-minute car ride, which you don’t often see. Sometimes it takes a really long time for dogs to open up to humans.”
Truman passed his behavioral test with flying colors; but he did have some health issues. He’s heartworm positive. He fell asleep again in Kellie’s backseat as they drove to his new foster home.
“In just an hour, we saw a fantastic transformation of a dog who wouldn’t even walk and being flat on the ground and shaking, to feeling safe enough to sleep in the car and get close to me,” Donoghue said. “He’s going to be just a fantastic dog to live with.”
Truman is living with his first-time foster mom Christina Caballero and her other dog and three cats. “He’s always wagging his tail,” Caballero told The Dodo. “He’s very happy.”
despite being heartworm positive, Truman also has to work at becoming an indoor doggie. “I guess he was never allowed inside and he was mainly an outdoor dog,” Caballero said. “If I want him to come in, I have to offer him a treat every time. I have to make him feel like it’s OK to come in.”
Mandi got lucky too; she was taken from the shelter the day after her brother and is now living with her foster mom, Jackie Duncan. Like Truman, Mandi is also heartworm positive. She also had other health problems too. “Her eyes were completely swollen, and her right eye was almost shut,” Duncan told The Dodo. “She is missing fur all over her body. She has mange … and she was so timid and scared.”
Like her brother, Mandi is slowly emerging from her shell. She had trouble becoming an indoor dog. But with lots of love and attention, she’s transforming into a new dog. “She has a ton of love in her,” Duncan said.
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