On May 27th, TAF received a plea for help from Animal Control. In critical condition, three emaciated Cocker Spaniels had just been dropped off at their facility and were in dire need of emergency medical care. When the photos of the three emotionally and physically beaten down dogs came through in a text, I was aghast. One dog looked like a matted, urine soaked carcass that was left to rot in the sun. The other two dogs looked vacantly into the camera, holding on to whatever life they had left in them. It would not be long before they succumb to starvation. Upon arrival at the shelter, Animal Control was waiting for us.


The compelling photos that had brought us there in no way prepared us for what was to follow… such an act of moral turpitude is hard to fathom. The first thing to hit you was the smell of urine. It was pungent and burned the inside of your nose. The next was the outline of their skeletons and matted urine stained fur that wrapped around their legs and ears. Lady and Rosies’ eyes were lifeless, glazed over and they looked like they were about to fall over. When it came time for the third dog to come out, Chomper could no longer stand. At that point, his life depended on the amount of time it took to drive to the ER. When Chomper (13 years old), Lady (11 years old) and Rosie (5 years old) were put in the car, their last bit of energy seemed to leave their bodies with a big exhale. They all were limp in their crates and didn’t make a sound. Once at the ER, the critical care team was waiting for us. Upon opening Chomper’s crate, we thought that he had already passed. Once we saw his eyes open, he was put on a cart and rushed inside. One by one all three pups were brought in and life-saving measures were put into play. As long as we knew they could have a good quality of life, we were willing to do whatever it took to give them a second chance. All three dogs were in the critical care unit for days. Starvation and severe dehydration had wreaked havoc on their bodies and at times their prognosis was bleak. A dog Chomper’s size should have weighed between 29-35lbs. Chomper weighed in at 11 pounds. For the girls, they should have weighed between 26-33lbs. Lady would go on to weigh 14 lbs. and Rosie only 10 lbs. As a point of reference, TAF’s therapy dogs Bentley (Chihuahua) and Hazel Grace both weigh 11 pounds.

Once Lady and Rosie started to show signs of improvement, they were both transferred to a different floor at the ER. Chomper was not so lucky and would have to stay in the ICU much longer. We knew that realistically the odds were against him and that we could lose him at any time. Even so, we wanted to give him a fighting chance and we were fortunate enough to have donors who helped make that possible. When the time came for the girls to be discharged from the ER, we had two foster homes ready for them. However, once the two were picked up it was apparent that the two depended on one another and separating them would cause distress. Lady was like a mama bear to Rosie and kept her close. Rosie was a scared little girl and looked for her mom in almost every situation. Before coming into our care, their world must have been very small and the abuse that they endured brought them even closer together. Defying all odds, Chomper’s condition started to move in a positive direction. Before long, he was on his way to be reunited with Lady and Rosie in their foster home. That was not the original plan but what we quickly learned that sometimes you just don’t have control over what the universe has planned for you.

When the girls started putting on weight and becoming stronger, it became quite clear that Lady was now the alpha dog. She had become very pushy when it came to Chomper. Multiple times their previous owner had bred the two and needless to say Lady was over it. After witnessing this behavior, we felt comfortable making the decision to split them up. There was no question that Lady and Rosie needed to be adopted together. Breaking up the two would have caused serious emotional distress. When it came to Chomper, we knew that it would be an adjustment without the girls but that was not necessarily a bad thing. On his own, Chomper would be able to get the extra attention that he needed to thrive both emotionally and physically.

With that being said, we are so happy to announce that Lady and Rosie have found a forever home TOGETHER!!! The girls have moved to a quiet suburb outside of Chicago. With a big fenced in yard to run and explore, they are over the moon happy! Even more important to these two abuse survivors, they now have a mom and dad that love them. They will never go without for as long as they live. Every morning they will be met with a kiss, a bowl full of food and endless possibilities of what the day will bring. In short, Lady and Rosie have been given the gift of a happily ever… a gift made possible by an amazing couple that wanted to give two rescue dogs a second chance. TAF would like to thank everyone that played a part in saving the lives of Chomper, Lady and Rosie. You are proof that there are truly selfless people in the world that are willing to go out on a limb to help the weak and forgotten. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Now we continue to help Chomper through his recovery and we look forward to sharing his journey with all of you! *We have posted video of Lady and Rosie on their adoption day!