Sometimes good things can come from horrifying situations. Nobody knows that better than those who are involved with pet rescue.
Almost every rescue case brings with it something positive. Even if it started out in the most negative way possible.
That was certainly proven when a little dog named Wanda was tossed over the fence into a stranger’s yard. She probably thought her life was over. A life that hadn’t been all that great to begin with.
Ravenswood Pet Rescue in Wisbech, Fens of Cambridgeshire, England is no stranger to the negative side of animal rescue. They’ve seen it all. Abuse, neglect, malnourished and injured animals that did nothing wrong except coming into contact with the wrong human.
At least, before Wanda made her unexpected appearance in a stranger’s fenced yard, they thought they had seen it all. Such sad sights are merely another day in the life for most rescue workers. Especially those in active rescues such as Ravenswood.
But, little Wanda, with her loving personality and wagging tail touched hearts that had been toughened by having “been there done that” for years.
Despite being used to dealing with dogs with illnesses, disease and injuries, Wanda’s appearance was like something out of a nightmare. Mucus dripped from clouded eyes, her ears were filled with scars and matted hair, and her skin and coat were in deplorable condition.
After a cursory examination of Wanda, Ravenswood employee Shelley Ridgan realized Wanda needed a lot of work — and none of it would be cheap. Like most rescue facilities, Ravenswood doesn’t operate with unlimited funds.
They needed to find someone willing to support Wanda’s medical care financially, for them to be able to save her. There were those who thought Wanda should be given that peaceful last sleep.
But, then she would lick their hand, or wag her tail as they touched her, or look up at them with eyes that couldn’t see through all the obstacles to her vision. That’s when the magic began.
Invariably they would not only change their mind but would make a donation to help Wanda.
Those changes of heart prompted Shelley to start an official fundraising specifically for Wanda’s care. “What can I say,” she reported on a GoFundMe page set up for Wanda’s care. “The worst case I have ever collected, thrown over a lady’s fence late last night.”
“The girl has sarcoptic mange, ulcers in her eyes, entropia in both eyes, hematomas in both ears. … Vets reckon she’s only about 2 or 3 years old, and as you can see, [she] has recently had puppies.”
“I cried all the way to the vets. … We are going to raise funds to try and get this girl better.”
And donations began pouring in. What had started as just another day picking up an abandoned animal in someone’s backyard quickly became something beautiful. Just as Wanda was responding to the love and care, people responded to her situation.
Shelley had originally asked for donations totaling the $3000 they expected to be the minimum to get Wanda back on her feet. Within a week, over $8000 had been donated.
It wasn’t that Wanda’s case was so unusual. She was “just another rescue.” Like the United States, Great Britain is no stranger to animal abuse and neglect. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals fields over a million phone calls every year and investigates almost 150,000 complaints annually.
But, Wanda was much much more than “just another rescue” to the hundreds of people for whom Wanda’s story struck a chord.
“The GoFundMe page just went crazy; people were donating so much money, hundreds by the hour,” a shocked Ringan told the Wisbech Standard. “The money raised is going to help us to give Wanda a safe and secure future.”
Indeed, the response was so impressive that GoFundMe decided to make Wanda the face of an online campaign. The crowdfunding organization even arranged to have a pair of donors meet the newly rehabilitated dog.
“I couldn’t believe the difference in Wanda when I got to meet her,” donor Donna Preston said. “She was like a totally different dog.”
“It was so great to see where my money was going and that it had made a real difference, just with a few clicks of a mouse.”
Both the US and GB SPCAs urge everyone to “give a few clicks of a mouse” and donate to help dogs like Wanda get a better life.
Wanda’s story didn’t go from rags to riches overnight by any means. She spent four weeks in isolation while her mange was being treated.
She also required daily medication to treat her wide range of maladies.
It was touch and go at first, but after three long months spent in an intensive care unit, the dog started to take a turn for the better. She was placed in a home with a wonderful foster family who fell in love with her delightful personality as it emerged from behind all the problems.
We could have predicted her fabulous personality. Wanda is an English Cocker Spaniel (called simply a Cocker Spaniel in the UK, where what we think of as a cocker is referred to as an American Cocker) a breed well known for its merry demeanor.
Can you imagine what Wanda felt as she went flying over that fence? Unable to see where she was and having no idea what was going to happen next?
I’m pretty sure not even Wanda’s fairy godmother could have predicted that within a few short months Wanda would have a new career as a model. Or be living in a beautiful home with people that love her and her canine siblings.
But, that’s the kind of thing that happens when good people take a negative situation and make it better. That’s the kind of magic that can turn a nightmare into a fairy tale life. One dog at a time.
See Wanda’s GoFundMe video –