That was the case for one poor little dog named Ellie Mae who was found all by herself. While no one knew if she would be okay, a rescue team worked hard to give the dog a second chance.
After Ellie Mae’s owner died, she was left alone in the house. No one was even aware until workers arrived to clean out the house.
“She looked like an animal you’d see by the side of the road, weeks after it had been hit by a car…a filthy mass of stained hair, misshapen by huge mats,” the Nebraska Humane Society described.
The dog couldn’t move… her legs were so tangled in fur that she probably hadn’t walked in a long time. She was carried in to the Nebraska Humane Society and placed on anesthesia and a breathing tube, and a medical team quickly got to work.
The team feared for the worst. Ellie Mae was the worst case of matted fur they had seen, and they feared the dog’s legs might require amputation due to restricted blood flow.
They got to work, making their way through years of matted fur with clippers and scissors.
It was no easy task, nor a pretty sight. Painstakingly removing the fur revealed the dog’s extremely long toenails and “years of grit.”
The fur was so overgrown that it made up nearly half the dog’s bodyweight: they ended up cutting 9 pounds of fur off the 11-pound dog.
Luckily the story has a happy ending. Despite initial fears and a foot infection, all four of Ellie Mae’s legs were okay.
She still wasn’t in perfect health; after not using her legs for a long, she had some muscle wasting and stumbled while walking at first. She also required hernia surgery and some dental work.
But just hours after her surgery, Ellie Mae was able to go outside, and looked like a whole new dog.
The Nebraska Humane Society says that Ellie Mae has only gotten stronger in the weeks since.
“Two weeks later she loves to explore and greets everyone with a sweet face and a happy demeanor,” they wrote. “She is mobile and seems to appreciate being able to move and sniff and see the world before finding warm blankets to curl up in!”
It’s an amazing recovery, one that shows that even the most seemingly far-gone animals can have a second chance, as long as they’re given the proper care and love.
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