When you come across a dog-fighting operation, it is not a pretty sight. Dozens of neglected and severely emaciated dogs are tied up with heavy chains and left with no food or water. Sometimes these traumatic experiences scar a dog for life, while others still crave attention and love from humans.
Rescuers from the SPCA of Texas found 14 dogs at a suspected dog-fighting operation in Able Springs, Texas, in August. When rescuer Madeline Yeaman walked up to the site, all of the dogs were jumping and wanting her attention. All of the dogs but one.
That’s when they noticed her. Emaciated and severely hydrated, she was knocking at death’s door. She had a giant collar clamped to her neck that was attached to a heavy chain tied to an old car axle. She had no shelter for her to hide from the scorching Texas sun.
She was in such bad health that she became too weak to even move. It took time to get her to stand, since all she wanted to do was sit there with her head down. The veterinarian examined this poor pup, and said she had “almost no blood pumping through her veins.”
They took her in immediately to get her treatment started, and named her Gwen Stefani. The first thing they did was hose off her cracked, wounded, flea-infested skin. She was given multiple blood transfusions, and of course water and food.
As days went by, Gwen began picking her head up higher and higher until she felt like a dog again. “No longer was Gwen lethargic and hopeless,” the SPCA wrote. “She greets everyone with a wiggly body, wagging tail and trademark pit bull smile.”
As her body healed, her spirit began to shine and she started breaking out of her shell. Now she enjoys running around outside and getting showered with love and attention, all of the things that most dogs take for granted.
“She’s definitely not missing anything,” Yeaman told The Dodo. “She’s got people loving on her all day long. She gets to go play outside all day long. It’s amazing what a change of environment and care and people can male in a dog’s view of the world.”
Watch Gwen’s journey from depressed, sick dog to one happy, healthy one in the video below: