When Magnolia, a senior shih tzu, arrived at a South Carolina animal shelter, she was in a sorry state. It's unknown exactly what kind of neglect or abuse she endured before getting there, but one thing was for certain: Her fur was severely matted. The staff at Lancaster Animals Shelter called in the Lancaster SPCA to ensure Magnolia could be cared for properly.
When the staff of the Lancaster SPCA saw Magnolia, they were overwhelmed by her condition but offered their support and their care. Diana B. Knight, Lancaster SPCA president, offered to foster Magnolia herself, and the little dog's journey of healing began.
Staff believed Magnolia to be about 9 or 10 years old when she was brought to their facility. They knew her grooming was neglected, and they thought she was simply ignored for years of her life, perhaps all of it, by uncaring owners.
After the staff saw her, they quickly realized Magnolia was trapped inside her own fur. When a dog's fur hasn't been groomed and has been allowed to become this matted, it is often extremely painful. What's more, Magnolia was covered in the smell of her own urine, which she was unable to escape.
It took time and effort, but soon, Magnolia's hair was cut, and she looked like a brand-new dog!
Not only was Magnolia happy to be able to run and play again after getting the shaving, but she also showed an intense desire for affection. She always wanted to be petted and held, as if to make up for her lonely years.
“After living what we believe to be nine to ten years in filth and in a neglected place," Knight told The Dodo, "she is enjoying car rides, toys, walks and is being spoiled by all who visit her. She is one of the worst we have taken in.”
Magnolia isn't a young pup — at 9 or 10 she is considered a senior dog. The staff, however, think she has lots of life left to live with a forever family, which they pointed to as they urged people to consider adopting Magnolia.
It took Magnolia quite a while to recover from her ordeal, and while she did, she got to enjoy time with other shih tzus who were also being fostered and receive love from her foster family. Knight called her a "typical shih tzu" who just wants love and attention.
Staff got some good news about Magnolia in early January 2020 — she has been adopted by her forever family.