The canine was cowering in the darkness amongst the spider webs and wooden boards. It was a treacherous area even for a small dog, but for a human, it was perhaps more so. And yet, if the rescuers were to save the stray, they had to follow him.
Those rescuers were Hope For Paws, a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles, California. The group was founded by Audrey and Eldad Hagar in 2008. Since then, it has saved countless animals from the worst situations and continues to do so, both directly and through educating pet owners.
On April 1, 2016, the group uploaded a video onto its official YouTube channel revealing another attempted rescue. To be more specific, it was called in to help a stray poodle that had been living on the streets. They were contacted by a Good Samaritan called Chynna Arias.
Arias had seen some of Hope For Paws’ rescue videos and gave them a call as a result. Apparently, the poor pooch had been observed creeping around the neighborhood for at least five months. However, he was a bundle of nerves and hadn’t let anyone approach him.
The dog had survived on food that generous neighbors had left out. In addition, he had made his home under one of the local houses. Hope For Paws were happy to help and sent out two rescuers, co-founder Eldad Hagar and Lisa Chiarelli.
When the team arrived, they were guided to where the stray – who came to be called Scotty – was living. In order to find the pooch, they had to crawl into a narrow access hatch under a local property. And that was when they spotted him.
The poodle was hiding in a small space behind a network of cobwebs and wooden planks. Despite Chiarelli’s skill with the soft snare, though, the dog resisted the attempted quick rescue. Instead, he retreated further back into the wooden labyrinth and out of reach.
Hope for Paws’ video recounts how the dog managed to squeeze into a small gap out of reach of the rescue team. “Scotty had wedged himself behind some boards where we couldn’t get to him,” Hagar described. They couldn’t see him properly either, but they found a solution.
Hagar used his camera to peer around the boards, and into the narrow gap where Scotty was cowering. “For over an hour we tried to convince him to come out, but he was too scared,” Hagar revealed. But then he noticed something.
One of the planks concealing Scotty looked loose, so Chiarelli pried it open with a metal pole. While the gap was still too small to allow much access, Hagar managed to get his hand in. He grabbed hold of Scotty’s tail and manoeuvred him out of the nook.
The move was desperate, but it paid off, and Chiarelli managed to loop the soft snare over Scotty’s head. However, then the team were trapped in a small space with a terrified trapped dog. With no means of escape, the dog flew into a frenzy.
“Scotty was so scared of humans that he bit my leg in an effort to get away,” Hagar said. And Chiarelli didn’t escape unscathed, either. During the rescue she suffered a bleeding head wound from a rusty nail. Eventually, though, Scotty realized he was amongst friends and began to calm down.
Once the Paws team’s lucky leash was around Scotty’s neck, he was like a different dog. He even let his rescuers pet him, and Hagar took the opportunity to apologize for grabbing his tail. During this time, Scotty also proved what a sweetheart he really was.
Happily, he showed no signs of further aggression. Indeed, Scotty refused to bite Hagar again, even when the rescuer bravely put his finger in the dog’s mouth. After a total of two hours under the house with Scotty, then, the team were finally able to bring him into the light of day.
The following day, Scotty had all his matted fur shaved off and proved all the better for it. “After he was neutered, vaccinated, and chipped, [Chiarelli] took him home to foster,” the video explained. Chiarelli’s two dogs – Frankie and Lola – helped Scotty settle in.
In fact, Chiarelli’s furbabies were excellent at teaching the young pup some necessary socializing skills. Scotty learned the basics of playtime from Frankie, who was happy to bounce around with a new pal. It’s even possible that was Scotty’s very first playdate.
And from Lola he learned how to groom other dogs. Social grooming – or allogrooming if it involves members of the same species – is an important part of canine development. Dogs strengthen their emotional connection to others by licking, which is a useful socialization tool for Scotty.
Sadly, Chiarelli couldn’t keep Scotty, and her other work meant he had to be fostered elsewhere. The pooch ended up waiting for his furrever home at the Shelter Hope Pet Shop in Thousand Oaks, CA. But he didn’t have to hang around for long.
On April 3, 2016, Samantha Green left a message on Hope for Paws’ Facebook revealing Scotty was living with her. Green quickly fell for the pupper’s charms. “Scotty is such a sweet dog, and we fostered him Thursday and Friday night,” she said.
“He clicked so well with the family that we ended up adopting him Saturday night,” Green continued. Scotty now has a loving home, and it would appear he even has a sibling, too. It just goes to show that true family are the ones who love us and bring us into the light.