WARNING: This story contains images that may be upsetting to some readers.
It was a shocking discovery, something no animal lover ever wants to see: a tiny, white dog found collapsed in a gutter and suffering from injuries so horrific, there didn’t seem to be any hope she would live.
It appears the female Maltese x had been bitten on the face by a much larger dog and the wound had been left untreated. An abscess had formed, one that was so large, it covered the little dog’s entire forehead and was pressing badly on her left eye. To top it off, she was extremely thin, almost bald for malnutrition, and had pink, inflamed skin from a heavy flea burden.
As Alice Thompson, Shelter Manager of the Wingecarribee shelter, said: “This little dog was a serious mess.”
It was a member of the public who found the dog — since named Chloe — and quickly brought her into The Lost Dogs’ Home in Wingecarribee, NSW. Staff rushed Chloe to the nearest animal hospital, where she had emergency surgery to drain the abscess and mend the large wound left over. She was also given various flea treatments and pain medication to keep her comfortable. However staff knew the little dog had quite a while to go before she would be healthy enough to find a new home. After no owner came forth for her, Chloe was put into our Foster Care Program to recuperate and receive some much needed TLC.
“Chloe’s foster carer constantly kept us up-to-date with her progress and told us Chloe had the sweetest nature, not a mean bone in her body,” Alice said. “None of us could understand why and how someone could allow such a delightful little dog to get into this condition.”
Once Chloe was well enough to return to the shelter, she quickly cemented herself in every staff member’s hearts by insisting on being carried around like a baby and getting her belly tickled. She became a favourite at the shelter and it was a bittersweet moment for staff when, two weeks later, a lovely local couple adopted her.
“We were ecstatic for her, because we knew she was going to an amazing home where she would receive the care and love she was never shown before,” Alice said. “However we knew we’d miss her terribly; she was such a special little dog.”
Her new owner Mike regularly calls the shelter with updates and reports that Chloe has settled beautifully into her new home and is now best friends with a Shih Tzu cross named Mr Scruffles.
“Mike said Chloe is a real character and never leaves his side,” Alice said. “She still loves to fall asleep in someone’s arms and is just such a loving little dog. She’s definitely found her perfect owners and they are absolutely smitten with her.”
Mike and Chloe recently visited the shelter so staff could see how well she is doing. True to form, Chloe promptly feel asleep as soon as she was cradled by staff member Steph, much to everyone’s delight.
“For the little dog that looked close to crossing the rainbow bridge, what a wonderful life Chloe now has ahead of her,” Alice said.