With the help of the Bedford County Humane Society and an ISF grant, we were able to rewrite Athena’s story with a happy ending after hearing how she got started. This beautiful girl, a one year old chocolate lab, was found with a broken leg which had gone untreated for months. The condition of the leg left Athena unable to use it.

Her horror story of life so far all changed on November 13, 2014 when the Bedford County Sheriff's Office responded to a complaint. The officers arrived at a residence finding the dog “chained outdoors, overly thin, with sores, a badly "damaged" leg, appearing to be broken”.

Without hesitating, the officers rescued Athena from her awful conditions stating it was a clear case of animal cruelty and neglect. After taking the dog into custody they turned her over to Bedford County Humane Society for help.

President for the Society, Todd Gates, told ISF when they became involved in Athena’s case, her mouth was full of sores and infections and she was severely underweight. The Bedford County Humane Society and the Metzger Animal Hospital staff concentrated on adding the much needed body weight to Athena and curing the infections and sores, thus giving her a better chance of surviving the next stage. Todd said, “We have had X-Rays, bloodworm and biopsies performed. This was then followed by a series of vet managed actions to stabilize her, give her strength, and cure the infections. Unfortunately, the Vet has determined that her leg must be amputated.”

This sweet dog, just a puppy really, found chained up in a disgraceful state now needed more than just love. Upon receiving Athena’s request for help and reading about her plight, ISF was only too happy to help their furry friend.

After much patience and love from the vet staff, Athena’s foster parents and the Human Society, Athena was well enough to be operated on. On March 17, the operation was performed. ISF followed Athena’s progress through the operation and recovery with great updates from Todd, “I just received this post operation picture of Athena. She is doing well and recovering in her foster home. Thank you again for your assistance in providing for this sweet girl!!!”

ISF asked Todd what Athena was like as we love to get to know all the beautiful animals this world has to offer. Todd expressed true amazement for Athena even after her start to a new life. “She is truly one of a kind. Despite the neglect and abuse, from the first day we met her, she has been sweet, warm, friendly, and anxious to please. She is extremely social, interacts well with cats, dogs, and humans alike. She is just a puppy, as demonstrated by her energy and bubbly personality. Her positive behavior makes the neglect and cruelty even more of a mystery and a crime.”

From the very beginning of Athena’s tale, the pictures showing the first haunting image of her rescue to her lounging comfortably in the foster home after surgery tell the story of what love can truly conquer. Athena's surgery was a complete success and she returned to normal, transitioning from a rescued animal, broken, fearful and alone to a full and complete recovery, surrounded by love. The best news of course was a date Athena will never forget – May 1, 2015 -when she landed her fur-ever home. But how did she find it you ask? Well, Athena quickly became the "local celebrity” in Bedford. After posting her story on the Humane Society Facebook page, she received many applications for adoption. The story got even better when her own foster family decided she was too lovely to let go and put in their own adoption application to keep her and make her a permanent part of their lives and home. So this beautiful creature, with a heart of gold, turned her love outward bound to her rescuers and care givers. From Athena’s natural ability to love them, they in turn fell in love with her.

Writen by Eve Capper

Edited by Bob Stone

ISF depends on your support to provide programs like our Medical Emergency Care Grant for Animals. Please consider donating today.