Victor, Sparta, NJ

Hi! I’m Victor. When my story started, I was abused and unwanted. I was Unlucky Victor.

I found myself in Liberty Animal Control, a high kill shelter in Hinesville, Georgia. My belly was so swollen that I was labeled “pregnant female”! I was so bloated I could not even move.

Meike Wilder from Carpathia PAWS saw me in the shelter and was determined that I would live. I still had this glance in my eyes that begging for a better life! She knew I couldn’t stay there one more day so she took me out of the shelter; she saved me so I could start my journey to wellness. My luck was changing!

A woman in New Jersey named Linda heard that Meike had too many dogs in her home waiting to be adopted. Linda is a long-time animal rescuer who rescues those that are in need and volunteers at various shelters. She told Meike to send her a dog because she could foster one in NJ. Meike chose me. Although Meike loves me and would love to keep me, she knew it wouldn’t be fair to me because all the animals she has. And she knew I will be in good hands with Linda.

So the plan was set for my journey up to the northeast for Linda to foster me and to start working on my heartworm. Then I’d be good for a neuter (no clue what that was) and they could look at those gunshot pellets all over my back. And finally, they could find out what was wrong with my hips.

On July 9, 2011, MOMS rescue‘s Karen Talbot drove down to Georgia and brought back almost 30 dogs, including me. My foster mom Linda drove to South NJ and picked me up. I was happy to meet everybody!

Mom Linda (that’s what I called my foster mom) was focused on getting me better, recovering and finally, moving me to a home of my own. This was her wish for me and she was in for a ride…

Here’s a quick rundown of my condition: My belly was so full of fluid because I had stage 3 heartworm. I had many gun shot pellets on my back and numerous bite scars and wounds on my face and chest that indicate fighting of some kind — I was perhaps a bait dog. Oh yeah, on top of that my hip/leg had obviously been kicked repeatedly and smashed.

But if you looked at me, you wouldn’t be able to tell. I played, I ran, I gave kisses…I did everything with a smile! You may noticed that I only used three legs when I ran but I was still fast. 🙂

I was immediately started on a long term heartworm treatment. And yes, an expensive surgery was needed to fix everything else, particularly my hip. Thankfully, Mom Linda told me that so many people — generous, caring people — responded. Funds for my surgery were collected, and we waited until my heartworm was at the point I could be operated on.

I also began my training so I could be the best Victor I can be. And I met hundreds of people, and yes, I love them all! OSCAR Animal Rescue in New Jersey put me on their list of adoptable dogs and started looking for my forever home.

Finally, my hip/leg was fixed, and some of the gun pellets — some are near my nerves and was causing pain — was removed. Boy did I feel better after that!!

I continue to take medication for my heartworm. My one leg will always be shorter than the other, but I do not let that stop me!

Oh, guess what? Mom Linda decided to keep me forever! 🙂 I’ve been in my forever home all along!

So that’s my story, a story of an abused bait dog who had a chance at life thanks to the wonderful people who saw beyond the bloated belly, scars, wounds and limp. I think it’s an amazing story because I’m a living proof of what love and compassion can do to a little unwanted dog, defying all odds!

Now I have friends and people who love me and keep me safe. And bring me turkey bacon. That makes me smile. 🙂

Victor — the (un)lucky dog

Mom: Linda

Editor’s note: In January 2011, Liberty Animal Control in Hinesville, GA, allowed no public adoptions. A small group of volunteers from New Jersey joined forces with a small group of rescuers in Georgia. MOMS Rescue of Hammonton, NJ, and Carpathia PAWS of Hinesville, GA have combined forces to make the significant difference in the life of NOT only one dog at a time BUT one shelter at a time. Within 12 months, they took Liberty Animal Control from 98% euthanasia rate for dogs/puppies to less than 2%!

How did they do this with NO money, facility, transport and means? Because they all stand together to become one voice for the voiceless, all volunteering their time and resources. It can be done and they are proof. Spread the word: Share this video and make a difference.