When a dog is living on the streets, it faces many challenges. These include finding food, searching for somewhere warm and sheltered to sleep, and staying out of harm’s way. Dogs living on the street are also at greater risk of developing infections and other illnesses. As they do not have a human to care for them, these illnesses go untreated. This can lead to a dog becoming seriously ill, suffering from severe discomfort, and even leading to the death of an animal. I Heart Dogs reported that a dog living on the streets of Udaipur in Rajasthan, India, faced many of these challenges daily, Her situation became worse when she developed severe mange. This led to the poor dog suffering from constant itching and pain. With no one to help her, it seemed as though the dog was destined to a lifetime of discomfort.
Thankfully, there was help at hand to put an end to the dog’s suffering. This help came in the form of the rescuers from Animal Aid Unlimited. This hardworking and dedicated team of animal lovers devote their lives to helping the neediest animals in India. They respond to more than 50 emergency calls every day. It was one such call that highlighted them to the plight of a stray dog that was suffering from a serious skin infection. The team responded immediately to the call in the hope that they could help the dog in some way. On their arrival at the scene, the team found a shy dog sitting in a local street on a makeshift bed. It was immediately apparent that the dog had suffered for a while as the mange was a severe infection. The poor dog was covered in open wounds that had been caused by her constant itching. The team knew that she needed their help, but the only way for them to get her back to their facility was for them to gain her trust.
The rescuers described the dog as looking gnarly, shriveled, and as though she was fading away. They said that the dog had been tormented by the intense itching which had led to her skin turning crusty and developing large cracks that had become infected. Her efforts to rid herself of the itchiness had left the dog deflated and as though she had given up on life. At first, the dog seemed uneasy as the rescuers made their approach. However, this unease was soon lifted when they offered her some biscuits. The starving dog was grateful for their offering of food, and this was the first step in the rescuers gaining her trust. After she had eaten, the dog allowed her rescuers to wrap her in a blanket so that they could take her back to their facility. This was the first day of the beginning of the dog’s new life; one which had the potential for care, affection, and even love.
Arriving at the facility was only the first step in a very long journey to recovery for the dog. She needed months of medicated baths to rid her of the mange that had tormented her, along with other treatments to rid her of infection. Initially, the dog remained wary of human contact, which is probably because it is something that she had lacked in her life so far. Although it took time, she gradually gained trust in those who had rescued her as she realized they wanted to help her and would do her no harm. Since she first arrived at the shelter as an anxious and unwell dog, she has made great progress. She soon became a very sociable dog, and it was her ability to light up any room that led to her rescuers giving her the name ‘Shimmer’.
The staff at the shelter described Shimmer’s journey back to health. They have talked about how the dog was trembling with fear each time she needed to have her medicated bath. This fear was a combination of the pain from which she was suffering and her mistrust of humans It was a huge ordeal for the dog, but one that she faced bravely. It took a lot of patience form the staff to help her along in this journey. They were extremely careful to avoid causing any further pain when giving her the baths she so desperately needed. In time, Shimmer learned that touch does not necessarily mean pain. She now knows that touch from a human can become a source of comfort. The Dodo also told Shimmer’s story and even featured this case on their Instagram page. They told how Shimmer had transformed from a scared and hairless dog into a pretty, happy girl. They credited Animal Aid Unlimited in India with this transformation. This story attracted a lot of attention on Instagram, with almost 156 thousand people liking the post, and more than 2,530 people adding a comment.
Without the work of devoted rescuers such as those from Animal Aid Unlimited, it is likely that this story would have had a very different ending. It is possible that if Shimmer had been left on the streets in such a poor condition, that a combination of the mange, the infections in her wounds, the starvation, and her general poor condition would have led to her death. Sadly, there are many more dogs just like Shimmer who are left to fend for themselves on the streets with no one to care for them, feed them, or give them affection. This is a situation that applies to every country across the globe; it is not something that is only happening in countries like India. To help as many of these poor animals as possible, it is vital that organizations such as Animal Aid Unlimited continue to receive the support of the public. Most organizations rely on donations to continue their work and help as many animals in need as possible.