Dogs might be man’s best friend, but it doesn’t stop nearly 3 million dogs from being taken into shelters all over the country. There are many reasons why, ranging from their owners not being able to take care of them or their owners passing away.
For example, one stray was found living near a freeway.
But this one didn’t want to be rescued.
She ran away from anyone who approached her. Thankfully, a group of people were determined to help her!
Hope for Paws is a non-profit organization that’s been rescuing strays and providing care and shelter for abused and lost animals. This organization has been around for almost a decade, and they have provided help and comfort to various dogs, cats, and other animals that have been abandoned.
They operate mostly in the Los Angeles area, although they have volunteers and rescuers in many different places. One of their most memorable rescues this year involved a scared dog living by the freeway.
It all started when Hope for Paws received a text about a dog living in a forested area near the freeway. The rescuers went to the freeway to try to lure her to them, but the mocha-colored canine was resistant. She barked as soon as they got near. They tried whistling and talking to her but to no avail. She was not impressed.
Eldad Hagar, founder of the Hope for Paws organization and active rescuer, even offered the dog food. However, she was so scared that she barely noticed the treats being extended to her.
Eventually, her fear won out, and she bolted.
The rescuers weren’t able to find her again. But no one was prepared to give up on the dog. Instead, they decided to come up with a better plan to bring the dog in. It took two days for the dog to be seen again near the freeway. This time, Eldad was ready, and he was taking with him another rescuer from his organization, Loreta Frankonyte.
The priority was to keep the dog from running to Ventura Freeway, so Eldad and Loreta planned to cut off any chance of escape by covering the bottom and top of the hill. With Loreta’s GoPro camera connected to Eldad’s phone, the latter would be able to see the dog’s movements and prevent her from running away from them.
Armed with dog treats, Loreta started scouring the area for the dog. After a while, they heard barking close by. Loreta eventually found the dog. Eldad was ecstatic that they found her, but he was afraid that she would bolt again if she felt cornered. He told Loreta to make sure the dog wouldn’t run up to the open highway.
Because the dog ran to the bottom to escape them two days before, Eldad decided to stay and guard the bottom area. Then, later on, Loreta yelled out:
“She’s running towards you!”
The dog flew through the bushes and trees, and Eldad managed to get the leash around her!
She tried to run, but the leash kept her close. Eldad tried to console her, trying to appear harmless. Loreta arrived and began handing out dog treats.
At first, the stray was so scared she didn’t want to come close but, driven by hunger, she started sniffing Loreta’s hand before grabbing the treats. The dog was skin and bones! Good thing she ate everything Loreta brought with her. The rescuers were later able to get her into the car, where she had more dog treats.
Loreta named her “Hanako” in honor of her late dog, Coco Hanako. They then learned that the newly christened Hanako actually had a microchip. Was this going to lead to a tearful reunion?
Not quite. After Hanako was bathed and fed at an animal hospital, Loreta and Eldad were able to uncover the canine’s story. She first belonged to a woman who adopted Hanako and her sister from a local shelter to save them from being put down. Then, she gave them away to two strangers. She didn’t know what happened to the dogs after. It seemed that Hanako had a less fortunate fate.
But since the woman was the legal owner, she was able to sign Hanako over to the Hope for Paws. Later, Hanako was fostered by the L.A. Animal Rescue until she was adopted by a new family!
Eldad and Loreta visited Hanako in her new home, and they were floored by the transformation! Hanako was now named Luna, and she was a friendly, bouncing ball of fur. She looked healthy and happy, and she couldn’t stop kissing her rescuers. Hard to imagine she was the same scared and bony dog Eldad had seen near the freeway!
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