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Meet Darling

You won’t believe her story of healing.

On a hot day in May, the Humane Society of Southern Arizona was called in to assist with a hoarding situation. Forty terriers were found in various states of malnourishment, with matted hair and rotting teeth. Fifteen of the dogs were immediately transferred to HSSA, including the very sweet and docile Darling. Although she appeared to be in the worst shape, Darling was the only one that did not seem completely fearful of people.

At the beginning Darling was very lethargic and spent a lot of time sleeping. Regardless of what she had gone through, all she wanted was a comfy lap to sit in and snuggle.

Most visibly, Darling was suffering from hair loss and her skin had begun to form crusty scabs. Underneath her damaged skin, Darling was suffering from anemia of chronic disease. This occurs when the body has been forced to use excess red blood cells for so long that the bone marrow cannot replace them fast enough. Anemia of chronic disease is typically caused due to malnutrition because of an iron deficiency.

Darling was starving to death.

Darling Before
Darling Before 3

Darling’s eyes were also damaged. One eye had lost all vision and the other was severely compromised allowing limited vision. HSSA’s Shelter Veterinarian, Dr. Overton, elected not to remove the eye without vision because it had already undergone pthisis bulbi. This process causes the eye to shrivel and become a ball of scar tissue preventing Darling from enduring any pain. Darling may have limited vision but she hears really well. When people are close by, Darling’s ears perk up and her tail wags.

Darling was put on a regimen of antibiotics and a healthy diet. Over a two-month period, anemia of chronic disease resolved, her skin cleared and her hair grew back. The transformation was truly amazing to witness.

It is hard to tell if Darling’s condition was caused by neglect or lack of veterinary care. What we do know is that it was an honor to help her. HSSA’s shelter medical staff did a miraculous job transforming Darling and giving her a second chance at a better life.

It was no surprise that shortly after becoming available for adoption Darling found her
forever family.

Darling Recovering

Help HSSA provide for a pet in need by making a donation at www.HSSAZ.org/Donate

Learn more about dogs like Darling by by visiting www.HSSAZ.org/Adopt or by giving an adoptions counselor a call at 520-327-6088, ext. 173.

Darling After

Darling's Forever Home

“Daisy (previously Darling) has been such a blessing for me. I lost my husband of 59 years last year on the 14th of July and my 15 year old dog six months before that. I thought I was holding up very well, but Daisy has been a Godsent. The doctors say that the best tranquilizer has four paws and fur. They are right. She was very quiet the first week, but has settled in very well. It is now her house in which she allows me to live. She was house trained when I got her, but that is about all. She is now leash trained, and knows several commands. We are working on others. She is a real cuddle bug and has wormed her way into my bed at night. That’s okay, we both sleep better. I am so happy we found one another.” -Carol S.

Daisy 2