When animal lovers spotted an injured dog tied to its shabby kennel in Texas in early July 2017, they were immediately concerned for its welfare. However, it wasn’t until later that they realized just how awful the animal’s life actually was and their concern grew. That is when they endeavored to help free the helpless hound.
Life so far had been extremely hard on the mongrel dog who came to be known as Amelia. She spent her days largely ignored by her owners – chained to a small kennel in her keepers’ unkempt backyard in Texas. But while her owners were largely disinterested in Amelia and her life, some of their neighbors were greatly concerned. They were keeping an eye on the dog and how she was living.
They looked on helplessly as the dog’s condition gradually deteriorated. Amelia was forced to live in filth and squalor. More worryingly, and to add to the misery, she had recently given birth to a litter of puppies. But given that Amelia was tethered to her rude wooden shelter, she was severely limited in giving her brood the vital care they needed.
As the days passed, one concerned onlooker noticed that, on top of everything else, Amelia had picked up an injury. The beleaguered dog had somehow suffered a tear to her ear. Not only that, but she was also in heat. This receptive stage of her sexual cycle meant that Amelia could easily become pregnant. In which case she would give birth to more puppies in those squalid conditions, to add to the ones she was already unable to properly care for.
The situation was desperate and, with her owner seemingly unwilling or unable to do anything to help, someone had to step up for Amelia. This was when a call was made to Cindy Droogmans. Although her base is in Long Island, New York, Droogmans has plenty of contacts down in Texas. One of them reached out to Droogmans, the founder and owner of the animal welfare charity A-Team Elite Rescue Dogs.
A-Team Elite has had a lot of involvement with vulnerable dogs in Texas. Droogmans’ southern associates let her know whenever they come across any canine they feel is in need of expert help. From her Long Island H.Q. Droogmans helps to locate a vet close to the neglected or abused animal to organize initial treatment. Then she has the dog in question transported to Long Island. When the animal is safe at A-Team Elite, Droogmans houses them and gets to work in finding them a suitable forever home.
But often the first step in a canine rescue is actually persuading the dog’s owner to surrender their pet. In the case of Amelia, Droogmans sent along one of her “great people” in Texas, a woman called Laura. Fortunately, this contact was able to successfully convince Amelia’s errant owners to transfer her care to A-Team Elite. Laura pleaded with Amelia’s keepers that the hand-over was in everyone’s best interest.
But although her negotiating skills won the day, what Laura saw when she went to pick Amelia up will haunt her for a long time. “When I received the pictures for help I noticed the one ear,” Droogmans explained to animal-interest website The Dodo in July 2017. “Even when we were full… I could not leave this mommy with her seven puppies behind. Amelia was tied up on her ‘house’ in full heat, with her puppies running around. It was pure horror for a mommy dog.”
When Laura took Amelia to a nearby veterinary clinic in San Antonio, the animal professionals discovered that the poor dog was riddled with infections. Among the ailments Amelia was suffering from was heartworm infestation. Mosquito bites spread this small, thread-like parasite, which can congest in the heart and cause cardiac failure if not treated properly.
However, Amelia was now thankfully in the best possible hands, and her many serious problems could be addressed. Droogmans introduced A-Team Elite’s latest case on Facebook, the post said there was hope for the dog yet. And it was when Amelia’s plight reached the ears of A-Team Elite that she was given her new name. Droogmans explained, “The reason why this girl touched me [in the first place] is because of her ear.” It transpired that the injured ear reminded the altruistic animal lover of a previous case.
Droogmans’ Facebook post continued, “My first rescue, and also the face of the team, [was] Amelia who also has one ear. I adopted her when she was 30 pounds, skin over bones, barely [any] hair and… one ear. This girl changed my life in every way. [This] rescue is her legacy. This girl is now named after her, but we still need four female names and three male names starting with an A.”
As well as this appeal for “A” names for Amelia’s puppies, the organization shared several photographs documenting the dogs’ rescue. Among the images were some that captured the joyous moment rescuers untied Amelia from her kennel. From that moment on, she was able to be a proper mom to her litter of babies.
The members of the litter were duly dubbed Aleria, Amina, Angie, Aragon, Arion, Arrow and Atishia. Proud mom Amelia and her clan received the very best of care in San Antonio to set them on the road to recovery. But best does not come cheap. As a result, Droogmans had to issue an online plea for donations to A-Team Elite’s many supporters.
Luckily, the adorable family had no trouble attracting a legion of fans willing to part with good money to help deliver the pups and mom from a bad situation. Before long, the A-Team Elite Facebook page was awash with cooing comments for the German Shepherd-mix Amelia and her babies. It seemed like some people just couldn’t get enough of the darling doggies.
“They’re all beautiful. Thank you for saving them all,” read one such gushing comment from a besotted animal lover on a post about Amelia and her family. “Such a blessing they were surrendered, saved and will be given a chance with A-Team family,” wrote a fan. Another added, “All these puppies are just so adorable, and the mama dog has beautiful markings as well.”
In the last week of July 2017, the vet team in San Antonio deemed Amelia and her family well enough to make the journey up to Long Island. This was what Droogmans had been waiting for. This meant that she could finally start looking at adoption applications to find the perfect forever homes for each of the new guests at A-Team Elite’s H.Q.
To ensure it places all dogs with loving and secure families, the non-profit organization has a strict adoption process in place. Before families can even view a dog, they must first become an A-Team Elite-approved adopter. And before they can do this, the prospective adopters must donate $400 and agree to background and home checks.
Sadly, before A-Team Elite could find the dogs new homes, tragedy intervened. Unbelievably, six of Amelia’s puppies passed away, leaving just one – Aleria – left alive. In late August 2017, A-Team Elite announced the little one had found her happy-ever-after home. But this must have been bittersweet for poor Amelia, who was now left all alone.
As of September 2017, Amelia was still resident at A-Team Elite Rescue Dogs on Long Island, waiting for a family to take a chance on her. The turn of events made Droogmans emotional. “This girl deserves a much better life,” the charity boss told The Dodo. “We are looking for a family who has a lot of love to give to her.”
The volunteers at A-Team Elite were sure the dog would make someone the perfect pet. “She is very sweet and playful, always curious [about] what you are doing,” read a post on the organization’s Facebook page. So, hopefully, it won’t be long before Amelia finally catches a break and finds herself a happy and loving home.