Need To Stop
The day had finally come for Kelly Benzel to go and fetch her new adopted dog. She was happier than ever to bring her new family member home. She couldn’t wait to have him in her arms.
She had just pulled away and started driving but soon had to stop. Something wasn’t right, and it wasn’t long before she was on the phone with the police.
In Search Of A Dog
Kelly had a dog named Brewer but had been thinking of getting another. She didn’t want to buy one, as she was adamant that she wanted to help a dog in need of a family.
She found the perfect dog: Rocco, a white pit bull mix. She quickly got things rolling so she could take him home as soon as possible.
Sold For $50
Kelly had found Rocco through a Facebook page, where someone was offering to sell him for $50. It turned out the person who posted it was Rocco’s owner’s roommate, so Kelly never actually got to speak to his owner. (store.connect4education.com)
Kelly had her heart set on Rocco, so she let it slide and offered to buy him. Finally, the day came when she was able to pick him up.
Something Wasn’t Right
As soon as she met Rocco in person, Kelly fell in love. He was the sweetest dog she’d ever encountered. She got him in his car and drove away, ready to begin their new life together.
But a few minutes had passed before she realized something was wrong: there was a horrible odor coming from Rocco.
Not Always Cause For Concern
There are a few common reasons for a dog to smell badly. The first one, obviously, is a lack of hygiene. It was very possible that Rocco’s previous owners didn’t bathe him as often as they should have.
Another cause could be natural bacteria in dogs’ paws that give off a yeasty odor, surprisingly similar to the smell of Fritos. Perhaps Kelly was overly sensitive to that scent. Or maybe it was something more insidious.
Finding The Source Of The Smell
The smell was so foul that Kelly had no choice but to pull over. She walked over to Rocco’s seat and looked him over, trying to find the source of the stench.
She couldn’t see anything at first glance, so she removed the harness that Rocco was wearing. That’s when she realized the horrifying truth.
An Awful Injury
There was a long gash on Rocco’s chest, about 6 inches long and 1.5 inches deep. Kelly hadn’t noticed it before because it had been perfectly hidden by the harness he was wearing.
She immediately understood why the smell was so bad: the wound was infected. Kelly knew she had to get Rocco to the vet right away.
Getting Medical Help
Luckily for Rocco, the vet said it was possible to control the infection. She gave him antibiotics and pain relievers and told Kelly he’d need surgery to close the wound once the infection was taken care of.
Kelly let out a sigh of relief, knowing Rocco was now on the path to recovery. But she was still left with the question: how did Rocco get this injury, and who was responsible?
A Terrible Case Of Neglect
After a thorough examination, the vet concluded the wound had been caused by the harness itself. She said it was likely he had been forced to wear it constantly since he was a puppy, and as he grew, the harness became embedded in his skin.
Furious, Kelly immediately called the woman she had bought Rocco from.
Trying To Avoid Repercussions
The woman was caught off guard when Kelly told him about Rocco’s injury. Panicked, she tried to bribe her by promising her roommate would pay for the dog’s medical bills.
But Kelly wasn’t falling for it. She called the police, knowing that what had happened to Rocco was a clear case of animal abuse.
The Police Get Involved
After being contacted by Kelly and the police, Rocco’s previous owner tried to feign ignorance. He claimed he had no idea the dog had an injury on his chest.
He said the harness was for safety purposes, to keep Rocco from running away. Unfortunately for him and his roommate, the court thought otherwise.
Justice Was Served
Rocco’s previous owner and his roommate were charged with the mistreatment of animals and subsequently fined $1,500.
Though it was unclear whether any of the money would go to Rocco’s medical bills, Kelly didn’t care. She was happy that justice was served and, more importantly, that Rocco was now away from those who mistreated him so badly.
A Bond Of Love
Rocco took to Kelly right away, and now she can’t imagine life without him. “I have never felt this strong of a bond or this much love from any living thing,” she told AnimalKind.
Though he was out of imminent danger, his wound was far from healed. The path to recovery would be slow, but Kelly was there for him every step of the way.
A Slow Path To Recovery
The vet told Kelly it would take around two months for the wound to be clean enough and ready to be closed up. In the meantime, Kelly would have to change his bandages regularly and make sure it didn’t get infected again.
It was hard work and painful for Rocco, but he knew she was doing it out of love. And her efforts paid off.
Leaving The Pain Behind
After the surgery, Rocco’s wound healed up pretty fast. Soon, the pain and suffering were behind them, and they were free to enjoy family life together.
A year later, Rocco still bears a scar on his chest, but that doesn’t stop him from being Kelly’s happiest and most loving dog. But his story is only one among thousands of others that should be heard. Our next protagonist didn’t know what she was driving toward until it was too late.
Living In Holy Springs
Miranda Matkins was your average mom living in Holy Springs, North Carolina. She had two daughters, seven-year-old twins she loved to the moon and back.
A single mom looking to give her kids the best lives they could ever ask for, Miranda worked as a librarian in the local library. She had no idea how her occupation would lead her to save a life.
A Good Life
Miranda’s life was a simple one. She had divided her time between her darling daughters, work, and hobbies. As such, she led a very productive life as a mom, a career woman, and her own person.
When she wasn’t at work, she would spend time with Dora and Dana, her kids, or attend her book club’s meetings. But her far past perfect life was about to take a dark turn.
A Great Night
The night that the event took place was a quiet one for Miranda. It was deep in the rainy season, with the North Carolina sky turning dark every evening from the heavy downpour.
Miranda had already left work and picked up her kids from school. After helping them clean up, she had them finish their homework before dinner. Afterward, they watched a movie before the kids went to bed. Now free, there was only one thing Miranda had on her mind.
The Book Club
Miranda connected with a few of her book club friends over an online meeting to discuss a chapter of the novel they were reading. But halfway through the meeting, Miranda realized she’d forgotten one of her books at her friend’s place.
Seeing that her friend lived a few blocks away and it was relatively early, Miranda took a coat and jumped into the night. Her life was about to change.
Miranda wasn’t halfway down the block when she realized she’d made a colossal mistake. The rains had ceased throughout the evening, but now the sky was rumbling, the dark clouds above swirling unnaturally.
Miranda thought about returning home. She didn’t need the book at the moment and could pick it up later. But seeing that she was halfway to her friend’s, she decided to continue. What she’d find along the way would leave her speechless.
The Rains Begin
Miranda hurried down the block. But five minutes in and raindrops began pattering the roofs and tarmac road. The street she was walking on hued darker and more ominous.
The light rainfall soon warped into a hefty downpour, with Miranda sprinting to her friend’s house. But she was barely there when she saw it.
A Black Bag
Along the curb was a large black bag. At first glance, Miranda thought it was a trash bag filled with garbage. She couldn’t believe someone would leave garbage near the road like this.
But there was also a possibility that stray dogs dragged someone’s trash bag to the road. There had been an increase in such occurrences in Miranda’s neighborhood of late. Miranda neared the bag, continuing to jog on her way to her friend’s.
Miranda ran past the black bag to her friend’s place to pick up her book. But a few meters from the bag, a sound snared her attention.
The rains were pounding her neighborhood, pattering loudly as water began streaming down the path. But among all the chaos, Miranda heard the sound again. Something was calling out for her.
At first, Miranda thought she imagined the sound. Then she heard it again – a whine from some dog. She looked around, soaking wet from the rain.
“Hello,” she called out. “Here, boy. Come here! Can you hear me?” She wasn’t sure if the dog was a male or a female and tried “Here, girl” instead. But although the whining sound would continue, Miranda would see no pup in sight.
Trying To Help
With panic, Miranda forgot she was supposed to reach her friend’s house. With her phone’s flashlight turned on, she fell into searching bushes and behind trees for the distressed dog.
But after a few minutes of searching, she still came up with nothing. She stopped in the rain, wondering if she was losing her mind. It was then that her sight landed back on the trash bag.
Searching For Her
In the frantic minutes Miranda had spent searching for the dog, she’d forgotten to check the most important thing. The trash bag was right there, waiting for her to open it.
Hoping she wasn’t pushing her luck, Miranda walked to the bag, her shoes squelching as they dispensed rainwater. Miranda wasn’t even close to the bag when she saw it twitch and move. Her breath caught.
Secure The Bag
As any person in this situation would, Miranda ran to the bag. She called for the dog again, and the weakest whine came as an answer. It was emanating from the trash bag.
Miranda opened it without a thought but jumped back at what peeked its head out of the wet glistening folds of polythene paper.
A Hurt Puppy
Miranda threw her hand to her mouth as she saw what was staring at her. It was a tiny puppy no more than two months old, with a bruised eye and reddened fur.
Miranda ate back a cry. Did someone do this to the puppy, wrapping it in a trash bag and hoping for the worst? How could some people be so cruel? She knew she had to step in.
How Could They Do This?
Miranda beckoned the puppy, and the little buddy fought her way out of the trash bag. But instead of running to her, it gave a tiny whine before limping to her.
One of her front legs was injured, with a streak of red glistening against its brown fur. Miranda choked out a cry, her sadness quickly morphing into a burning rage.
You’re Home Now
Miranda took the puppy, heading straight back home. She didn’t even bother with the book that had gotten her out of the house in the first place.
She and her two daughters spent the next few months caring for the puppy. They named her Laney, welcoming her as their fourth family member. Until this day, Miranda is glad she ventured out on that night.
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.