Abandoned, malnourished, with matted fur, infected legs or severe obesity, the people who work at shelters across North Texas have seen it all and have helped surrendered pets in hopes that they have a better chance at finding forever home.
Lisa entered a Texas shelter in January 2017 with her sister Mona. She was skittish and had a case of mange and a secondary skin infection that made her uncomfortable. In foster care, Lisa blossomed. Her fur grew in and her confidence soared -- as well as her training skills. Lisa was adopted and lives happily with a little boy who loves her dearly.
Velda was surrendered to a shelter by her owner in 2014. The owner had too many cats and couldn't care for them. Velda's fur was matted and covered in urine and feces, but under all that fur was a super sweet cat that loved to give kisses.
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Workers at the Richardson Animal Shelter bathed, shaved and made Velda presentable for adoption. Sure enough, shortly after her "makeover" Velda found her forever home.
Lovable two-year-old Blue came to the Richardson Animal Shelter needing lots of help. He had what shelter workers thought was a broken leg, but a veterinarian determined it was either a birth defect or he had a very old injury.
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The vet had to amputate his left front leg, but his spirit remained intact. He recovered completely, and while he only had three legs, the gentle giant didn't slow down.
The dog with a million-watt smile was adopted in 2015 and showed his new friends he still loved to play around.
Some nice Irving citizens brought Livvy to the Irving Animal Shelter when they found her all alone on the side of the road. She was only about three weeks old and needed to be bottle fed, so a shelter worker fostered her. Livvy grew up fast, she moved from the bottle to big kitty food and would play until she tired herself out.
When the spunky, feisty little girl finally weighed two pounds, she returned to the City of Irving Animal Services to be spayed. Livvy was transferred to the DFW Humane Society and almost immediately was adopted by her forever family.
Shelter workers and volunteers often fall in love with the pets they watch over.
When Sophie’s stay at the Irving Animal Shelter stretched into a month, one of the shelter volunteers realized no one was coming for her, so she took her in.
Sophie went from being skinny, afraid and alone to safe, happy and loved.
Forest was hit by a car in January 2015 and strangely ended up running into the emergency room waiting area of Methodist Hospital.
A Richardson animal control officer picked him up.
A veterinarian found Forest surprisingly had no broken bones, just bumps and bruises and a cut on his forehead.
After a four month stay at the shelter, Forest found his forever home.
Tiblet arrived at the Richardson Animal Shelter in 2015.
He was undernourished, lethargic and full of parasites.
After lots of TLC and veterinarian care, he was ready to be neutered.
A short time later he was adopted and went to his forever home.
Boss also had a long road to adoption that started in August 2015.
He arrived at the Richardson Animal Shelter malnourished, with an extensive skin infection and hair loss.
After three months of love and care he filled out to a healthy weight, his skin cleared up and his hair grew back.
It didn't take for Boss to get adopted.
The newest resident of Hurst Animal Services won't be available in time for Clear the Shelters, but his story shows the care of the community and shelter workers.
When a Labrador named Bud was found hiding and afraid in a drainage ditch, he could barely walk and had a serious skin condition. Volunteers coaxed him out and handed him over to the shelter.
A veterinarian determined he had not one, but two torn cranial cruciate ligaments, flea bite dermatitis, a secondary skin infection and heartworms.
The vet gave a discount on Bud's care and the rest of the money to pay for his numerous procedures came from community donations.
Bud had his first surgery, and was neutered, on June 7. He'll have this second surgery on his other leg the first week of August and while he's recovering he'll be treated for heartworms. He's already recovering from his skin problems.
Bud will be available for adoption in mid to late September.
Skinny's Transformation from Fat Cat to Pretty Kitty
And who could forget Skinny the cat? In 2012, she came into Richardson Animal Services weighing a whopping 41 pounds. Skinny was put on a diet and her progress was well-documented on NBCDFW.com. She slimmed down to 19 pounds thanks to exercise and a special diet.
Eventually, in 2013, the orange tabby went home with the vet that oversaw her care. Skinny joined a dog and another cat at Dr. Brittney Barton's home, along with her husband and three children. We’re happy to report Skinny is still watching and maintaining her perfect figure.
CLEAR THE SHELTERS 2017
We wanted to share these happy endings in hopes that you'll visit one of the dozens of local shelters taking part in Clear the Shelters on Aug. 19, 2017. Refer to the interactive map below to identify a participating shelter near you. These shelters will be waiving or discounting fees as part of the one-day adoption drive