Your donation will help us afford the cost of medical care and boarding for poor Carina, until she can move into a foster or new adoptive home. Read Carina’s full story below and CLICK HERE to go to our ChipIn page, where you can donate to Carina’s recovery. Every little bit helps us help her!

The first time I saw Carina, she was curled up in the fetal position, her eyes locked shut, and her entire little body encompassed within Gary’s arms. When Gary gently set her on the ground for me to assess her condition, I immediately felt the urge to scoop her right back up off of the ground. She could barely stand, her bony and emaciated body seeming as if it would collapse at any moment. Her head was tilted down as if the weight of her sorrows physically restrained her from looking at us. With her head still down, she would slowly peek up out of her dark soulful eyes and give a tiny tail wag. After only a second, her eyes drooped right back down as if even that was too exhausting in her weak state.

Gary, Carina’s good Samaritan, found Carina huddled and shivering on the side of a ditch on a country road in Illinois. Unsure of what to do, and knowing that he could not take another dog home to his house, he immediately got on his cell phone and began to call for help. He reached animal control and agreed to wait in his truck for them to reach the scene. The animal control officer showed up with a catchpole in hand; but as he began to approach Carina, she shook and cowered in fear. Gary was worried that she would flee and offered to attempt to coax Carina towards him with food in his hand.

As he slowly approached Carina, he sadly saw that not only was she in terrible condition, but she was also dutifully sitting next to the tiny body of her dead puppy that had become engulfed in melted snow residue that had washed into the ditch. He approached her slowly, low to the ground with food in his hand. Her eyes revealed her internal conflict; does she leave her puppy to eat the food that she needed so badly? Slowly, she crawled to Gary and quickly devoured the snack from his hand. He sat there patiently with her while she sniffed and circled to familiarize herself with the help that she was being offered. Just moment’s later Gary caught a glimpse of a tiny tail wag as Carina carefully crept up into his lap to cuddle into the warmth he had to offer. Gary scooped Carina up and carried her almost lifeless body into the back seat of his pick-up truck. He wrapped her up in old blankets and towels, and she melted from exhaustion. He thanked the animal control officer for coming out, and offered to find an alternative place for Carina to go. Gary knew that she would not stand a chance in an over-crowded shelter, and would most certainly be euthanized within days of her arrival.

Gary began his search for a safe place for Carina. He had recently fallen on hard times, and between caring for his elderly father and working numerous jobs to pay for his own survival, he knew his fixed income would not cover the costs to care for another dog. He began to call all of the rescue groups he could find in the area, each time repeating his story and plea for help. Gary stayed with Carina in his truck all day and evening hoping and praying one of the groups would call back to help. Gary’s neighbors helped place a Craigslist ad in search for a place for Carina. He received a few calls back in response to the ad, but had a bad feeling about each of them, later explaining to us that he was so worried that she would get back into the wrong hands again and be used as bait, breeding, or worse.

Gary’s call for help came into our Muttline and touched the hearts of our volunteers. While we knew that we were over-capacity and had no foster homes available, we just couldn’t let this one go. After a quick shuffle, a huge offer of help from Dr. Marcy, owner of the Pet Doctor Inc., and a lot of team work, we arranged to pick Carina up and transport her to a temporary safe house at the Pet Doctor clinic for medical care. This bought us some time so we could search for a foster or adoptive home while Carina regained her health at the clinic. I excitedly called Gary back to offer our assistance, he gratefully accepted, and an hour later I met tiny sweet Carina swaddled in Gary’s oversized hunting jacket. Carina spent her first night with me, before going to the clinic. She won the heart of each person she met that night. My husband sat on the ground in front of her inviting her over to him. Staying low to the ground, she slowly crept over. But to our amazement, when she reached him she sat and put her paw up to him to “shake.” Later, after a warm chicken and rice dinner, she met my daughter Jasmine. Carina wagged her tail for Jasmine and even picked up her head a bit, and then gently flipped over on her back to offer her tummy for a belly rub. Carina rode in the car on my lap on the way to the Pet Doctor that next morning.

Carina has captured my heart, and I trust that she will capture many more hearts in her now bright future. One look into those dark, sad, doe-like eyes, and you know that she is thanking you from the bottom of her heart. “Carina” means “dear little one” – a name perfectly suited for this sweet-natured little girl.