In the United States alone, it’s estimated that there are approximately 70 million stray animals roaming the streets. Yet, only six to eight million dogs and cats enter animal shelters, and only around half of the dogs and cats in shelters actually get adopted. That leaves a massive amount of cats and dogs without a forever home to call their own.
For one canine in particular, who was later named Penny, she was homeless not because she wasn’t fortunate enough to have grown up in a home environment but because she had been neglected by her abusive owner. Penny had open wounds, had little hair left due to a serious case of mange, and looked like she hadn’t eaten for days. The dog’s sad eyes alone communicated that she had recently faced trauma. Although Penny looked like she was completely hopeless, she decided to attempt to get help for herself. That’s when she started clawing and yelping at the door of an elderly man’s house.
At first, the man assumed the scratching was possibly a wild animal like a fox or raccoon. It wasn’t until he heard Penny’s sad cries that he opened the door. The bald, shivering pup stood before his eyes. Not only was the homeowner a bit fearful of dogs, but the condition Penny was in left him even more frightened.
After getting a good look at the canine, it was apparent that she wasn’t a threat and just needed help. Plus, it was winter. He knew the cold weather would be no place for a hairless dog. So, he brought her in, fed her, and made her a bed out of blankets so she could go to sleep.
The next morning, the man phoned his local police department about the dog, who then referred him to an animal shelter. Volunteers from the animal shelter arrived, thanked the man for keeping her temporarily, and picked up Penny to take her back to the shelter.
The veterinarians at the shelter swiftly diagnosed Penny with mange and provided immediate treatment. According to the shelter’s president, “Within one week, she looked like a different dog. The vet was pretty impressed with her recovery.”