They say good things come in small packages, but this one contained nothing besides pain and suffering. In fact, the cruelty inflicted upon the poor creature inside the cat crate left animal lovers the world over disgusted. The Almost Home animal shelter even claimed that it was one of the worst cases of abuse that it had ever seen.
Almost Home is based in Southfield, Michigan, and is a non-profit founded by Gail Montgomery and her daughter Lauren. The organization began life as the Almost Home Rescue League group in 2001 and maintains a 100 percent no-kill policy on the creatures it rescues, regardless of their age, health or condition.
But when the shelter’s employees arrived to work one Friday in August 2016, they were unprepared for what was waiting for them on their doorstep. It seemed that someone had left a cat carrier cage outside on the sidewalk, so they rushed over to see what was inside.
Gina Perry – one of the rescuers who found the crate – couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the contents. “When I first saw the cage I was expecting a small dog; I thought it was a Chihuahua or a cat,” she told Fox 2 news. However, what was actually inside brought the team to tears.
Yes, the workers’ hearts broke when they saw a bulldog’s sad eyes peering out at them. Someone had not only abandoned their pet in the hours before the shelter opened, but they had also left her in a cage so unsuitably small that she must have been forcibly pushed and squeezed into it to make her fit.
After all, the carrier was designed for a much smaller animal. Nevertheless, her previous owners apparently treated her more like luggage than a living creature and stuffed her in the container regardless of the damage that it caused to her body.
“She’s about 55 pounds and this is up to 20,” Perry told the media in reference to the maximum weight recommendation for the cage. “This is way too small for her.” The poor dog was obviously distressed, and the team needed to get her out of her prison.
However, the dog had been crammed into her container so tightly that she couldn’t simply be pulled out. “She was crying because it was very painful for her,” shelter assistant manager Karissa Parran told The Dodo.
“She was wedged in there so deeply. It was horrible,” added Parran. The rescuers realized that the cage would have to be broken just to get its captive free. Staff were stunned that anyone could have done this to the poor animal; the traumatized dog was obviously suffering.
“As I was trying to open it she was just screeching and crying and I couldn’t get it open fast enough because I couldn’t figure out how to get her out,” Perry recalled. Eventually, however, the team was able to take the cage apart and get the bulldog out.
The horror didn’t ended there, though. Once the dog was free, the group were able to see the extent of the damage her owners’ actions had inflicted on her. The bulldog – who Almost Home named Sarah – had suffered terrible injuries from her forced confinement, leaving her with potentially lasting damage.
“She’s been crying, peeing and pooping on herself, but she can’t help it,” Parran told Fox News. When the rescuers managed to get a good look at Sarah, they realized that she couldn’t move her back legs – her ordeal in the crate had left her partially paralyzed.
However, despite the horrors she had endured, Sarah seemed to have nothing but love in her heart. Even in the depths of her pain and fear, she didn’t show any aggression to the people gathered around her.
“She was in horrible pain,” said Gail Montgomery. “She never once tried to bite us or growl at us. She was pure angel all the way.” Yes, when Sarah was free, she showered her rescuers with affection and kisses until it was time for her to be sent to the vet for a medical assessment.
So while Sarah was being looked after by veterinary staff, Almost Home checked its security footage for any sign of her unceremonious arrival. As near as they could tell, the bulldog was left on the street at 9 p.m. the previous evening.
Therefore, Sarah had been left in the same torturous conditions for around 12 hours. Subsequently, the police were alerted and the security tapes handed to them, but so far the bulldog’s abusers still remain at large. “We will find out who did this. We can’t let whoever did this get away with it,” Parren insisted.
Meanwhile, Sarah’s medical had revealed that she was suffering from a herniated disc, which was causing the paralysis. The operation to help her would cost $10,000 and would give her a 50 percent chance of walking again, but the road to recovery would be a long one.
Almost Home, however, saw that Sarah got the care she needed. And, although her injuries had left her with swelling on her spine, the affectionate dog’s life finally started to take a turn for the better when she found a foster home willing to give her the love she needs until she can recover enough for adoption.
The plucky pup has even managed to stand unaided and take the first literal steps toward recovery. Sarah’s loving nature, it seems, hasn’t changed a bit either. “She has so much charm and so much personality,” Montgomery said. “It’s hard to even imagine it if you haven’t seen it.”
It may take a month or more before Sarah is ready for adoption, but thanks to her rescuers at the shelter, she now has a great chance of finding her forever home. More details and ways to support Almost Home can be found on their website.