On June 22, Onslow County Animal Services (OCAS) in Jackson, North Carolina picked up an emaciated, nearly-hairless stray dog with a severe case of Demodectic mange.
Adoption First Animal Rescue specializes in saving death row dogs from euthanasia. They pulled the pitiful pup out of the shelter and placed her with one of their seasoned foster moms, Heather Corradino-Llantada.
The moment she took the dog in her arms, Heather knew something more serious than skin mites was wrong. The poor pup was burning up with fever. Heather rushed her to the vet where her temperature registered at over 105 degrees.
Workers at OCAS had guessed her age at 12 weeks due to her size, but the vet determined she was actually six-months-old. Life as a sickly stray had stunted her growth. She was soon diagnosed with anemia and a potentially deadly case of Canine Distemper.
Heather named the puppy Amaani – which means hope, aspiration, and desire – to help give her strength in the tough days ahead.
“There were several instances that medically, she should have passed away, but she displayed a fighting spirit and will for something better,” Heather told iHeartDogs. “Amaani spoke with her eyes that she was going to fight–I was more than willing to match that will, regardless of the personal sacrifice.”
“These are the ones that are first to hit the Euthaniasia List in any shelter, therefore making them the ones that I prefer to take,” she says. “‘Cute and fluffies’ stand a much greater chance for adoption or rescue. I don’t want the easy stuff. I want the challenges that most won’t take!”
She was extremely fearful, depressed, and shut down when she first arrived, but after weeks of gentle care and reassurance, she learned how to trust. Now, her favorite spot is snuggled up on the sofa or “spooning” in bed!
“She loves to be catered to and can be quite the diva,” Heather says. “On the other hand and despite her ‘fun-size’ she can definitely hold her own–make no mistake! There’s never a dull momentwhen she’s around!”