One day, Ann Flores spotted a woman was pulling a very scared dog into the Harris County Animal Shelter in Houston, Texas. The dog had dropped onto the concrete in the parking lot and did his best to resist.
“He laid on his back and just rolled over,” Flores said. “It was like he was saying, ‘Please don’t take me in here.’”
If that wasn’t bad enough, she saw another woman dragging her dog into the shelter.
“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.”
Flores and her friend were at the shelter because Flores’ friend wanted to adopt a dog. But Flores couldn’t ignore the two women dragging the dogs inside. What really ticked her off was how nonchalant they seemed to take the situation.
“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 mentioned. “Why get an animal if you’re not going to keep it and do this to them? It’s not fair.”
Flores took a few photos and videos of the women, and forwarded them to the Harris County Animal Volunteers. When the group later uploaded a video of the two dogs, named Truman and Mandi, people were outraged and wanted the dogs to be helped.
Cypress Lucky Mutt Rescue went on to prepare both dogs for rescue, but they needed foster homes if they were going to leave the shelter.
Truman, the black and white dog who’d flopped, was scheduled for euthanasia on Monday, four days after his stay at the shelter. His sister, Mandi, was lined up for Tuesday. Sadly, the shelter couldn’t hold them any longer than that because it was already crowded. But thankfully, people willing to foster them stepped up.
Truman is still being looked after by Cypress Lucky Mutt Rescue. It was actually Kellie Donoghue, director of Grace Mercy Love German Shepherd Rescue, who went to pick him up from the shelter on Monday. Instead of waiting for the shelter staff to bring him out, Donoghue went to Truman’s kennel herself.
“First I heard him howling,” Donoghue said. “We tried to get him to walk, but he just pancaked flat on the floor and wouldn’t move.”
Shelter workers had to carry Truman to Donoghue’s 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.”
Donoghue hadn’t gotten a chance to perform a temperament test on Truman. She decided to take him to a friend’s house to see how he’d react to her children, cats and other dogs. Something amazing happened on the way there.
“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 aced his temperament test! He also became more relaxed with Donoghue’s. When they drove to meet Truman’s new foster mom, he fell asleep in the car.
“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 now living with his foster mom Christina Caballero with her other dog and three cats.
“He’s always wagging his tail,” Caballero said. “He’s very happy.”
But Truman still has challenges to overcome. Vets discovered that he was heartworm positive, and he has to be treated before being adotped. He’s also struggling to cope with the indoors.
“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 left the shelter a day after her brother. She is also living with her foster mom, Jackie Duncan. Mandi was also discovered to be heartworm positive, and she’s had other health issues to deal with 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.”
Just like her brother, she didn’t know how to behave indoors. She is now finally adjusting to her new life. “She has a ton of love in her,” Duncan said.
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