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Abused dog who had given up on life starts smiling again when he meets foster mum

A picture of Sanford, seemingly happy dog-happy
© DallasDogRRR - Facebook

The turnaround of a Texan dog that had been through the wars is all down to its carer, according to the animal shelter which shouted out for help.

By Nick Whittle

Published on the 08/01/2021, 10:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:23

Sanford was rescued in the spring of 2019 by a small Dallas shelter. He stayed there for a week, but was too sick to be looked after properly and so was transferred to Dallas DogRRR. There, carers realised that as well as having suffered a broken leg due to being hit by a car, Sanford had also been shot.

Whether the dog had been shot by someone in a botched euthanize attempt is unclear.

Nursing back to health

Workers at Dallas DogRRR took it upon themselves to nurse Sanford back to health. Yet, while the dog made outstanding improvements physically, his mental health was in poor shape. 

Speaking at the time to The Dodo, a spokesperson for Dallas DogRRR said, “He [Sanford] was physically broken … and when the volunteer went to see him, he didn’t really make any effort to come and say hello.

"It’s almost like he had given up, and he was just waiting for his time to come.”

Is your dog short of temper? Here’s how to communicate with an angry dog. 

Enter the fostering guru

Dallas DogRRR eventually called for the assistance of 52-times foster parent Karen Velazquez in an effort to bring Sanford out of his shell, and prepare him for a potential forever home.

Ms Velazquez willingly took up the challenge, but incredibly she saw nothing of Sanford’s broken personality. In fact, she was surprised by how lively and happy the dog looked.

“I can genuinely say that I’ve never had anyone as jovial as him,” Velazquez told The Dodo.

“He looks at me in a way that no other animal or human has ever looked at me, including my own pets. Essentially, the only time he is not smiling is when he is asleep or eating.”

Sanford is now waiting for his forever home.