It was the start of an already busy day for the staff at Unleashed Pet Rescue and Adoption in Mission, Kansas, last Thursday morning — and then they saw her.
Outside the shelter was an emaciated boxer, lying motionless inside a bag full of garbage.
“Tears came right away,” Rebecca Taylor, PR manager for the rescue, told The Dodo. “We were not sure if [she] … was alive. She could not lift her head.”
Then they found another boxer nearby, who was tied up to a pole and also very weak. He could barely move his back legs.
The staffers rushed both dogs to the animal hospital to get checked out. They named the female Hope, and the male Triumph.
“We had to act pretty quickly, considering the condition both of the animals were in,” Taylor said. “It was heartbreaking.”
In addition to being very emaciated, Hope had an infection in her elbow and masses were discovered on her brain and adrenal glands. Triumph was diagnosed with muscle atrophy in his back legs, presumably from being kept in a cage too small for him to move around in.
The rescue has no idea where the two dogs came from — but they’re putting all their focus into nursing them back to health and showing them that they’re loved.
“Some things cannot be explained,” Taylor said. “So we have to focus on their healing and recovery.”
So far, Hope has successfully gone through surgery to help the painful infection in her elbow. Triumph is now in a foster home and is set to start physical therapy soon to regain strength in his hind legs.
They have been through so much — but it’s already clear they are up for the fight.
“Triumph is going to needs lots of TLC,” Taylor said. “It seems our sweet Hope is going to have a longer recovery, and we are listening to the vets as they plan the next steps for her. She is eating on her own; now we need to get her moving.”