Bashed, shot and bloodied: Rescue dogs’ amazing stories

Everyone deserves happiness, even the pets nobody seems to want.

They're often blind, deaf, old, injured, nervous or anxious and far from perfect.

But these are the pets that have been through hell.

They've been tortured, abused, neglected or abandoned in bushes, homes or by the sides of the road without food or water and they're the ones who need the most love.

Thousands of animals are desperately waiting for someone to discover them in an animal shelter and take them home.

And when that somebody does, it has the most heartwarming outcome, for both the pet and their new owners.

These Queensland animal foster carers saved their rescue dogs from the brink of despair and have helped them endure incredible transformations.

After suffering unimaginable cruelty - either from being shot, brutally bashed or left to starve to death - these dogs have been given a second chance at life.

Their owners share the stories of how they helped their beloved rescue dogs overcome incredible adversity to become their best mates.

Lucy the dog was beaten and left for dead before she was given a second chance.
Lucy the dog was beaten and left for dead before she was given a second chance.

LUCY

It's hard to imagine this beautiful black and white dog.

But Lucy, a bull arab cross, was unrecognisable when she discovered bloodied, bashed and close to death in bushland where somebody had dumped her and left her, presumably, to die.

A hiker found Lucy and called the RSPCA's Animal Rescue Ambulance and described a brutal scene at the time.

"We found Lucy lying on the ground not moving. She had bloodstains all over her body and a significant amount of blood coming from her head and one eye. It was amazing Lucy was still alive," the RSCPA brochure read on Lucy's rescue.

Lucy's injuries were extensive; both her front legs were broken as was her skull, she had multiple cuts and wounds over both front legs, a large wound on the top of her skull, the left side of her face was severely swollen with one eye swollen shut and she was bleeding.

She spent the next 20 days in the animal hospital with round the clock care.

Debbie Taylor, who lives at Caboolutre, adopted Lucy seven years ago after seeing Lucy's story appear on the news.

"The RSPCA were trying to find who had injured her and dumped her, it was distressing to see, she had a lot of wounds," says Taylor.

 

 

Lucy the dog now fully recovered with her owner Debbie Taylor
Lucy the dog now fully recovered with her owner Debbie Taylor

Taylor alongside her husband, Warren, had made the decision to adopt a dog days earlier.

When they saw Lucy, they were compelled to help her.

"We wanted a friend or a sister for our other dog, Max, and when she was on the television, I felt sick that had happened but it seemed as if it was meant to be, she was meant to be with us."

Lucy is now seven-years-old and thriving, says Taylor, who can't believe her transformation. It was a long road to recovery for Lucy, who is now blind in one eye from her injuries.

"She is everything to us," says Taylor.

"It feels really, really good to have been able to help her, I feel like we're protecting her now, nothing else is going to hurt her.

"We don't know how she was treated in her early days of life but we certainly give her the life she deserves now, we have the best toys, best vets, our dogs have the best of everything that's for sure.

"She's completely different, she is more outgoing, she plays with other dogs and she's the best of friends with Max, they don't go anywhere without each other."

Taylor says their lives have become richer since meeting Lucy.

"Animals don't deserve to have people injure them, it is a privilege to have pets and they should be treated as such.

"They're not a toy, they're not a car, they're nothing like that, they're another little person and they're like children."

 

 

Happy was left to starve to death in a suburban backyard before she was rescued and fostered by Sanny Just and her family.
Happy was left to starve to death in a suburban backyard before she was rescued and fostered by Sanny Just and her family.

HAPPY

When Happy was found in a backyard garden, she was moments away from death.

At three-years-old, she should have been over 30 kgs and bounding with energy.

Instead, she was 15kg, skin and bone and had been collapsed in the backyard. After a neighbour made an animal welfare complaint, police found Happy in the corner of the garden, unable to walk, lift her head or reach water.

"She would've died the next day," says her now-owner Sanny Just.

"It was really the last point to rescue her and give her chance of a life.

 

Sanny Just with Happy the dog who she rescued last year when she was on the brink of despair. Pictures: Jamie Hanson
Sanny Just with Happy the dog who she rescued last year when she was on the brink of despair. Pictures: Jamie Hanson

"The RSPCA didn't think she would make it, she was so dehydrated which was really, really sad."

Happy, a ridgeback cross staffy spent a month in the RSPCA's animal shelter being nursed back to health and soon after, landed in the hands of animal foster carer, Just.

It didn't take long until Just wanted to keep Happy for her own family.

"She was with us maybe Two-and-a-half months and initially the police officer who found her wanted to adopt her but decided in the end it wasn't the right fit.

 

Here is Happy thriving after being adopted by her new family.
Here is Happy thriving after being adopted by her new family.

"I knew Happy either had to go with the police officer or she was staying with us forever."

In July, 2019 she joined the Just family and they immediately named her, Happy.

"She is now over 30kg, happy, healthy and loving life," says Just.

"We named her Happy … she is constantly wagging her tail, it doesn't matter what she's doing she's always wagging her tail."

Fostering a rescue pet isn't for the faint-hearted but Just was ready for the challenge and says it's been more rewarding than she could've imagined.

"Sometimes I really think she looks at us and is always so grateful," she smiles.

"It feels really good to give her the home she has, I would love to help more dogs.

"These dogs went through so many things and they definitely deserve to go to a good home and get a second chance."

 

 

A bullet was discovered in Reggie's leg and it had to be amputated but she’s found comfort and love in her new family since being adopted.
A bullet was discovered in Reggie's leg and it had to be amputated but she’s found comfort and love in her new family since being adopted.

REGGIE

Carol Neal never thought the first dog she owned would be a six-year-old three-legged 'bitsa' when she was in her 70s.

But it was the start of a unique friendship.

Carol and her husband, Jeff, adopted Reggie, a kelpie and stumpy tail cattle dog cross, in October last year after he had been shot in the leg.

"He was found by a council ranger and was limping," remembers Carol.
"He was taken to the RSCPA and X-rayed and they found he had a bullet in his leg and had to have the leg completely amputated.

"He also had rotten teeth where he was chewing on a chain.
"You only wonder what might have happened to him in his past life."

Carol saw the pictures of Reggie online and fell in love with all his imperfections.

"He had such a lovely face," she smiles.
"We knew, if he needed it, we had the patience and capability to take care of him but in the end, he didn't need it, he is just a normal dog.

 

Carol Neal with her rescue dog Reggie
Carol Neal with her rescue dog Reggie

"I tell you what, having three legs doesn't hold him back."

Carol, who lives in Samford Valley, often wonders what would've happened if they hadn't given Reggie the home he deserved. Would he have ever been loved?

"There are so many hundreds of dogs waiting for the right person to rescue them," she says.
"I had it in my mind that I'd rescue a female greyhound or small female dog but you just never know what you're going to rescue or what you'll fall in love with online."

Reggie has led Carol and Jeff to completely change their lifestyle and, Carol says, she couldn't be happier.

"He gives us purpose, we don't have children, and it's given us a living, breathing thing that we are responsible for and gives us something to do, we need to give him walks, cuddles and play with him and he's enriched our lives," she says.

"We know nothing about Reggie's previous six years and what sort of life he's had before us so we are making sure we're laying down new memories for him."

 

Originally published as Bashed, shot and bloodied: Rescue dogs' amazing stories


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