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Man opens door and finds a stray dog just begging to be rescued

Ted Kooser's poem begins "Only one cell in the frozen hive of night
is lit, or so it seems to us." It must have seemed like that, too, to a hairless, bleeding dog who ventured onto the front steps of a home in Earlton, New York, in January of this year. Someone had dumped this miserable pooch in the frozen north to fend for herself after neglecting her long enough for her to get into terrible shape.
When the resident gentleman opened his door, the last thing he expected to see was a skinny dog with skin so bad it hurt to look at it. But being of the kinder sort of man, he brought the poor creature inside—and called the police.
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“It appeared that she had been dumped by the roadside and abandoned,” a spokesperson for the Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA wrote on Facebook. “It was a frigid night, and it was assumed she came to the door looking for food and warmth. She was in bad shape,” Ron Perez, president of the Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA, recalls. “She had some open lacerations on her face and neck, and was pretty much devoid of any hair. It was sad. It’s always sad to see them like this.”
The tearful shelter volunteers gave her the name Penny and immediately started taking care of her. Penny's awful skin condition was caused by demodectic mange, a condition caused by any of a variety of demodex mites. An inflammatory disease, it is exacerbated when the number of mites inhabiting the skin become too many for the dog's immune system to fight. It can lead to skin lesions, genetic disorders, problems with the immune system, and hair loss. In the worst cases, it can be fatal. Chris Reeder, a board-certified vet at BluePearl Veterinary Hospital in Franklin, Tennessee, explained, "Generally, it's more debilitating than fatal, but in certain situations it can be." Penny's skin was so dry that every time she scratched, it broke open and got infected.
To everyone's surprise, Penny responded to the loving care and treatment more quickly than anyone expected. “Within one week, she looked like a different dog,” Perez said. “The vet was pretty impressed with her recovery.” Within a few weeks, her hair had made amazing recovery, although it is doubtful that it will all every grow back. “She’s a real fighter and very resilient,” Perez said. “Her stress levels are clearly much lower now, because she’s interacting with people and she has proper food and is sleeping correctly.”
The police were none too happy about Penny's story, either. Within 24 hours of finding her, the person who let her get into this shape and then abandoned her was apprehended and charged with animal cruelty. If convicted, he faces a $1,000 fine and possible jail time. While that's good, what Penny herself has found is even better.
After the Columbia-Greene Humane Society posted her story on Facebook, people began calling to apply to adopt her. But the staff and volunteers wanted to be sure they got a really special home for Penny. When a couple applied, they were ecstatic. “We got a lot of applications to adopt her,” Perez said. “But these two individuals are fantastic pet owners. They took it slowly and came and visited with her a couple times a week. They brought their dogs in, and everyone got along fabulously. I’d like to think this will be the last home she’ll ever go to.”
The end of this story is a happy one. Penny has settled into her new home and is so glad that she chose the right "frozen cell in the hive of night" that cold, cold January day.
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What do you think about Penny's plight? Are you glad that there seem to be many more people of Perez' ilk than that of the person who abandoned this sweet dog? I can tell you, I am!
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