Animal cruelty should never be tolerated. Angela Stell, founder and director of NMDOG, works hard to make sure no animal has to suffer inhumane treatment.
You could tell the dog had been chained for a long time by looking at her neck. The fur around it was stained black from where the chain had rubbed against it.
It wasn’t a lightweight chain either — it was made of heavy, thick-linked metal and was tethered to the dog’s neck with a large padlock.
NMDOG is an organization that rescues chained dogs. They are constantly searching for dogs who need help. One day Stell found 5 chained dogs on a property in Miguel County, New Mexico, where it is illegal to keep dogs chained when the owner is not present.
“I’m not sure if somebody else was staying on the property or coming to the property, but overall, these dogs were just kind of abandoned and forgotten,” Stell added.
Stell got in touch with the Animal Welfare Coalition of Northeastern New Mexico to give these dogs their freedom. The county sheriff department eventually took the dogs into custody.
Stell helped the dogs escape extremely cruel circumstances. It was obvious from the black marks in their fur that the dogs had been chained for a long time. One dog, who would be named Violet, was only two years old, and she had possibly been chained her entire life.
Stell told The Dodo that the police department “found that the guardian of the dogs was in jail on unrelated charges, and he was not on the property able to provide daily care that these dogs needed.” Without her help these dogs might not have escaped their tragic situation.
Rescuers with NMDOG brought the dogs to the vet, where they are currently staying in medical boarding. The dogs needed extensive care. Violet’s skin had been badly sunburnt, and she had suffered from a condition called flystrike, in which maggots gnaw at an animal’s flesh.
“She was very, very afraid, and is still a little timid,” Stell said. “If you raise your hand to do something, or move your hand too fast, she kind of ducks and cowers, like you’re going to hit her. I can’t imagine what somebody did to make her do that. But she is coming around with nice words and good, positive interactions.”
Despite all this, there is hope that the dogs can have normal, happy lives. Stell has shared that Violet is relatively healthy, “although she still has a lot of fear issues to work through.” Violet still cowers when a human raises a hand or moves too quickly, “but she is coming around with nice words and good, positive interactions.
” She even has her own squeaky toy! The raccoon is her favorite of her stuffed animals, and Violet is getting more and more comfortable curling up in a soft blanket. She is well on her way to having a normal puppy life.
“She’s very sweet, and she’s opening up to us and the staff at the clinic,” Stell said. “She really likes her stuffed animals, and she likes to curl up in her blanket. She likes to go for walks. She’s just learning about the world around her, and not being chained anymore.”
Stell believes Violet never got to have a puppyhood. But now, she finally can. She even got her very first toy — a squeaky raccoon.
The dogs need more care before they are ready to leave the vet, but soon they will be up for adoption. Soon each of them will be a part of a loving family. It is heartwarming to see these dogs undergo such a drastic transformation.
“She needs a home that will treat her as a member of the family, and keep her inside with them the majority of the time, because she’s really going to be prone to sunburn,” Stell said. “She needs a little princess home.”