Zelda all dressed up for Halloween as a hot dog. November 8, 2018. (Photo courtesy of P.A.W.S.)

CK animal control shares abandoned dog’s rehabilitation story (VIDEO)

A local animal shelter has put together a video depicting a local dog’s harrowing tale from being found flea ridden, tied to a fence to her happy forever home.

Zelda relaxing on the couch in her new forever home. Noevmber 8, 2018. (Photo courtesy of P.A.W.S.)

Zelda relaxing on the couch in her new forever home. November 8, 2018. (Photo courtesy of P.A.W.S.)

On September 23, Pet and Wild Life Rescue (P.A.W.S.) in Chatham-Kent received a call of a dog tied to a fence outside of the Wallaceburg animal shelter.

According to P.A.W.S. manager, Jason Hamm, she was very aggressive when an animal control member tried to untie her, was covered in fleas and was visibly malnourished. Hamm said her entire rib cage was visible and she wouldn’t allow anyone to touch her.

Chantelle Kuhn works with the organization as a foster home to house animals while they wait for adoption. She worked with the dog, now named Zelda, during the long rehabilitation process.

“It took us a couple of days before we could pet her or do anything,” Kuhn said. “We flea treated her, which was even a challenge to get near her. We slowly tried to rehabilitate her with treats. She eventually came up to us, but before we had to just put food and water in the cage because she didn’t want to come out to see us.”

Kuhn said the pup would shake and growl every time someone tried to get close to her. She added workers had tried pretty much everything until the “eureka moment.”

“As soon as we introduced her to another dog she just flipped like a switch,” Kuhn said.

Zelda out playing with her new family. November 8, 2018. (Photo courtesy of P.A.W.S.)

Zelda out playing with her new family. November 8, 2018. (Photo courtesy of P.A.W.S.)

“She just gained so much more confidence and got so much happier.”

Kuhn said once Zelda was comfortable around other dogs, she took the pup into her foster home with her other dogs and really started to see Zelda flourish.

“She had no clue what toys were and by watching my dogs she observed what a dog’s life should be,” Kuhn said. “She’s a big cuddler now, it’s hilarious. She wiggles her bum as soon as you see her. If you give her any attention her bum starts wiggling.”

Kuhn said Zelda clearly hadn’t socialized with other dogs much, if at all, previously in her life and meeting other dogs and seeing how they trusted humans was the real turning point. She added when Zelda first came into her home, the pup wouldn’t approach Kuhn unless other dogs were around.

Kuhn said the transformation Zelda went through was truly amazing.

“She went from this dog that was scared and shaking all the time to one of the goofiest dogs I’ve ever met,” Kuhn said.

The foster parent and her boyfriend got so attached to Zelda, they simply couldn’t let her go.

“It would break my heart to see her leave my house because she finally is so comfortable,” Kuhn said. “She thinks my house is her home and we definitely consider her family.”

While Zelda’s story turned into a positive one, Hamm said it could have been handled a lot better by whoever left her tied to the fence. The manager advised anyone who wants to surrender a dog to bring it into a shelter. He said the Chatham facility is open seven days a week and the Wallaceburg shelter is open Monday to Friday.

Hamm added while there is a surrender fee, they could waive it under special circumstances.