(ANIMAL RESCUE) Arwen, a 10-year-old pit bull mix, was one of 89 dogs rescued from a hoarder in the Mojave Desert. Along with the others, she was kept in poor outdoor conditions with no shelter and barely any food or water. Fortunately, Karma Rescue and other animal rescue organizations recently stepped in and began their hard work of relocating the dogs to safe homes. But everyone seemed to be especially touched by Arwen, who was so unsocialized and had such little interaction with humans that she had no idea how to respond to them. Fortunately, Alex, a volunteer, compassionately decided to foster Arwen until her health improved, but very quickly fell head over heels in love with the sweet dog, and decided to permanently adopt her. Read on for more on Arwen’s story and see why she has a reason to wag her tail once again. — Global Animal
The Huffington Post
Arwen is a 10-year-old pittie mix. She was one of 89 dogs found in a bad hoarding situation. Our story starts in the Mojave Desert where an animal hoarder with 89 dogs is unable to care for the dogs any longer. It was winter and temperatures were in the 30s as a soft snow fell to the desert floor. 89 dogs were living outside in the cold with no shelter, and not enough food or water. We’ll never know how Arwen ended up in a cage out in the middle of the desert, living with a hoarder and 88 other dogs in deplorable conditions, but we know that her suffering is finally over.
It was January when Karma Rescue caught wind that an animal hoarder living in the Mojave Desert, a three-hour drive from Los Angeles, could no longer care for additional dogs that had recently found their way onto her property. She was desperate and asked for help. When Karma arrived, they found 89 dogs in a bad situation. Many dogs were in makeshift fenced-in dog runs; others were dumped in a field or simply running wild on the property. It was the dead of winter; a light snow had begun to fall and the dogs had no shelters to go into to get out of the elements. They were completely exposed to the sun, wind, rain and snow as it fell to the ground that January morning. Most of the enclosures had not been cleaned in a long time and were covered in wall-to-wall feces. When the dogs were fed, they got dry kibble haphazardly thrown in their pens, it landed on the ground, mixed in with their own waste; the dogs were so hungry, they ate the food anyway.
When Karma volunteers arrived they immediately began setting up makeshift housing and shelters for the dogs, and tried to fortify the enclosures so the dogs could not escape while they reached out to more rescue organizations and figured out how to help all of these dogs. Suzanne Happ, a volunteer with Karma Rescue, assisted in coordinating twenty rescue organizations and independent rescuers to get the dogs out and to safety. The operation is commonly called the Mojave Desert Dog Rescue.
For some reason Arwen stood out to the rescuers who found her locked in a small dog run. Her shy, yet sweet way actually hid a fearful, almost feral truth. Arwen’s exposure to humans had been so minimal, that she did not understand how to react to human interaction or touch.
Volunteers noticed immediately that something was wrong with her eyes. Her eyes were blood red; the inner folds of her eyes were swollen and inflamed. This poor dog was in constant pain. They didn’t know the extent of damage to her vision. Had she spent any more time in the desert, she would have become blind. It was later learned that Arwen and the other dogs had to withstand harsh desert winds that blasted sand into her eyes. With no shelter, there was nothing she could do but sit and wait for the sand storm to end. She had no doghouse to hide behind and no den to crawl into.
During the Mojave Desert Dog Rescue all 89 dogs were brought to safety. Arwen got into a van with a volunteer named Alex and some other dogs to be taken to a boarding facility but then someone suggested that Alex might make a good foster for Arwen and, fortunately, Alex was open to the idea.
In Alex’s loving care, Arwen was finally able to see a doctor about her eyes. They found out that her condition was worse than rescuers had first thought. Arwen had to undergo a painful eye surgery to remove the inflamed tissue from her eyes. The amount of tissue removed was disturbing even for the doctors. They ended up removing scar tissue the size of a cherry from each eye. With the removal of that scar tissue, she could heal and would finally be free from the pain it must have caused her. Arwen’s teeth were another matter. Turns out Arwen had been chewing on the wire fencing at the hoarder’s compound out of hunger and/or boredom. She barely had any teeth left and what was left had been ground down to nubs.