Special Stories


By June 11, 2016 June 5th, 2017 No Comments

SHE HAS NO REASON TO TRUST but still she does.  Dusti’s condition when Animal Control brought her to the  Animal Welfare League was heart wrenching.  She was severely underweight, her muzzle, neck and ears were covered in open

In this photo Dusti's wounds have begun to heal and she resting quietly as part of her heartworm treatment.

In this photo Dusti’s wounds have begun to heal and she resting quietly as part of her heartworm treatment.

wounds,  she had a large puncture wound on the top of her head and was missing her front teeth; top and bottom.  As if that weren’t enough, Dusti tested positive for heartworms.  She slept the first night at the AWL on a comfy bed with a full belly and seemed to understand that she was safe.

No one knows for sure what part people played in Dusti’s situation but it’s amazing to see a young dog who has been through so much and still has a love for people and a need to please them.  She greets people in a seated position and slowly inches forward for a pet.  Human approval is what she lives for.

Dusti's bandanna holds her bandage in place

Dusti’s bandanna holds her bandage in place

Dusti was sent to foster care with an  AWL employee.  Heartworm is a serious condition. Treatment is painful, expensive and takes several months. During treatment, Dusti had to be kept very quiet so that the heartworms, as they died, didn’t lodge in her arteries.  Her other wounds began to heal but the puncture on the top of her head was problematic.  It just wouldn’t heal and her foster mom had to keep her head bandaged and the bandage secured with a bandanna. Finally an appointment was made with Dr. Kingsbury at Punta Gorda Animal Hospital who found the reason Dusti’s wound wouldn’t heal; a bullet still lodged in her head.  Once the bullet was removed, Dusti’s wound healed quickly.

The bullet that wouldn't let her head wound heal

The bullet removed from Dusti’s head

Not all of Dusti’s wounds were physical.  She has nightmares and only feels safe if she is sleeping at the end of her foster Mom’s bed.  She still fears people but wants to please them.  She gets along well with other larger dogs but she is timid around  cats and small dogs.  Her response to small animals is to remove herself from the room.

Because of her background and training, her foster mom is often called upon to take in sick or abused animals while they heal.   She falls in love with each and every one of them.  But to be practical, and to have space for the next Dusti who needs her, she can’t keep them all. It’s difficult to get an animal adopted directly from a foster home but she feels Dusti has been through enough trauma and is finally feeling safe. For that reason she is reluctant to bring her back into the shelter environment.  If you would like to give Dusti her “happily ever after” call the shelter at (941) 625-6720 to arrange to meet her.  Be prepared to fall in love. You can help Dusti find her forever home by liking and sharing her story on facebook.

Punta Gorda Animal Hospital was kind enough to discount Dusti’s surgery and it was paid for out of the shelter’s emergency medical fund.  If you would like to help other’s like Dusti you can donate to this fund here.  Thank you!


Life is good!

Life is good!

Is that for me? It looks deeeelishus!

Is that for me? It looks deeeelishus!