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Tue, Sept. 17

Rescued dogs on road to recovery

When Murphy was first rescued he had severe mange, infections, and was malnourished. Today his wounds are healing, he’s healthy, and he’ll soon be ready for a forever home. For video:
Courtesy/Yavapai Humane Society

When Murphy was first rescued he had severe mange, infections, and was malnourished. Today his wounds are healing, he’s healthy, and he’ll soon be ready for a forever home. For video:

When you spend time with Murphy, his patchy fur and scabby wounds just sort of melt away because you get lost in his eyes. As you pet him and whisper words of encouragement that you hope he can understand, you forget about his physical condition—seeing past it only to enjoy his company. Murphy is a normal dog. He likes treats, has a cute little curl in his tail, and stands up to put his front paws on you when he wants attention.

Murphy came to Yavapai Humane Society (YHS) with a group of 12 dogs from northern Arizona. Many of them had severe mange and were emaciated. Murphy was one of the worst. A resident had been trying to help these dogs, taking them in off the street as strays, doing his best to save them from being kicked, beaten, and narrowly missed by cars intentionally trying to hit them. But helping so many is more than anyone could do—the resources needed were far too great. The resident reached out for help, and a partner of our New Hope program (which networks and transfers animals to/from YHS to give each pet the resources it needs to find a forever home), Blackhat Humane Society contacted us.

The rescue was heartbreaking. The condition of the dogs was very poor, and the very fact that they were strays in the first place, so cruelly treated on the streets, was disheartening. We took the 12 dogs in the worst shape that we could help right away.

The dogs were treated and fed immediately, and we left 150 pounds of food with the resident for the other strays he took off the streets. A $10,000 grant from the PEDIGREE Foundation is supporting the medical treatment for these dogs during their stay at YHS, which has so far reached six weeks. Their care has incurred costs that significantly exceed our average of $400 to care for each animal in our shelter.

When they arrived at the shelter, two of our amazing volunteers, Rosita Wood and Evelin Clabes gave them medicated baths. For Murphy, he was also treated for tapeworms, the open and infected wounds all over his body, was given flea and tick treatment, and we put him on a healthy diet which helped him gain 20 pounds in just a few weeks.

Starving, Murphy’s muscles were so weak that he couldn’t walk. As a matter of fact, the resident who rescued him from the streets was actually saving up to have him put to sleep because his condition was so poor and it appeared the humane thing to do, even though the thought was breaking his heart. However, we believed we could save him and give him a wonderful quality of

life. Today, he is completely free of parasites, the infections on his skin are healed, he is up to a healthy weight, and his muscles are growing strong (hence the miracle of his ability to stand up on his hind legs and

put them on you when he wants attention).

This is true of all the dogs. Two have already gone to their forever homes – Chevy and Meeko! Another, Raven, has been transferred to a reputable New Hope partner who specializes in rescuing and rehoming Golden Retrievers. Raven will remain in the good hands of their caring foster volunteer until his fur is grown back and he is ready for his forever family. The rest are healthy and simply growing back their fur as well. As for Murphy, he is going to a great YHS

foster home until he is completely ready to be adopted. After each of these dogs have their spay/neuter surgeries they be available for adoption within weeks.

We are so happy to have been able to help these pets in need. It is the volunteers, donors, adopters, partners, and caring employees that have made a happy ending to this miraculous rescue. The day when each has been adopted into the perfect home—which is coming soon—will be a joyous one!

Elisabeth Haugan is the Marketing & Development Director for Yavapai Humane Society. Contact YHS at 928-445-2666 or email

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