A German Shepherd rescue dog warmed the hearts of animal rescuers as they saw the dog’s picture. It showed that the dog was alone in the rain, clutching a stuffed toy in his mouth. The rescuers eagerly sprang into action and rescued the poor dog.
Nikki, a German Shepherd had spent months roaming the streets of Detroit. Homeless and starving, he still managed to survive these challenging times. Thanks to the scraps he got from the garbage and the generosity of people in the neighborhood.
It was in early May when hope started to spring in Nikki’s life. His photos circulated among the rescuers in Metro Detroit and made them all tear up.
“I got some private messages and pictures of this dog carrying her stuffed toy, and it was raining in downtown Detroit. It was gut-wrenching and heartbreaking,” said Gail Montgomery, the cofounder of Almost Home Animal Rescue League.
Montgomery and her team immediately took the necessary actions to rescue the dog. She asked South Lyon Murphy Lost Animal Recovery and asked them for some help. Luckily, they found Nikki with her cuddly toy friend and rescued him.
“We took her to an emergency hospital, and they treated her. Unfortunately, she’s got heartworm disease and other internal problems. They found plastic bags, twigs, and bones in her stomach,” Montgomery said.
After being checked by the vet, Nikki was sent to Almost Home, a foster home and a no-kill animal league where Nikki could continue her treatment and recovery.
Montgomery shared that the German Shepherd rescue was totally stressed out due to being out in the streets for a long time in strong weather conditions. “Her body wasn’t really functioning properly because she was on the roads for so long,” she said.
The fact that Nikki had been holding onto a toy was a sign that she was stressed and anxious. According to veterinary behaviorist Dr. Meredith Stepita, toys provide dogs with mental and physical stimulation.
They also act as an aid to self-control in times of stress and anxiety. She explained that some dogs place high value on toys and chewing on them makes them calm down.
Luckily, Nikki is now getting better and healthier in the comforts of her foster home. Her healthy diet of chicken and rice gives her ample energy and makes her stronger each day. She is not only healing physically but also emotionally and seemed to have left her gloomy past behind.
Montgomery learned that Nikki has started to show more of her personality. She said the dog constantly hugs her foster parents and does not even need her stuffed toy anymore.
“She still kind of sleeps on it, but she’s not obsessed with it like she was in Detroit when she was walking around,” Montgomery said.
Living with her foster family has helped improve Nikki’s life in many great ways. She is now living the life and has even been to the spa with her family.
“They’re giving her so much incredible love,” Montgomery said. “The nicer you are to her, the more affectionate and kinder she gets.”
As a co-founder of a foster-based animal shelter, Montgomery wants to inspire animal lovers with Nikki’s story and to remind them that there are more animals that need help. They might not make it to the news but they also need help and love from humans.
“I think that this is really a wake-up call for people. I think people see this, and it makes people realize that dogs are out there,” says Montgomery. “Nikki’s not the only dog that’s wandering around Detroit. She just happened to have her stuffy with her, and it was raining. It was a perfect storm.”
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