Rescued Doesn’t Always Mean Saved

Although many of the animals that come through Greenhill Humane Society and 1st Avenue Shelter are expected to be adopted relatively soon after they have been attended to, some have a much more murky future.

Emma is one of those cases.

“She was found in Junction City and brought to the 1st Avenue Shelter on May 28. She was extremely neglected and malnourished,” says Sasha Elliott, communications manager of Greenhill Humane Society. In a case like Emma’s, hand feeding was necessary, which helped her gain 20 pounds.

Aside from her nutrition, the dog Greenhill thinks is a pit mix also suffers from an autoimmune disease of the skin, “which is not a curable condition, but for some animals, it can be manageable,” Elliott says. Although it was “much worse” when she was brought in, after four different types of treatments and multiple assessments by various veterinarians, Greenhill is unsure whether or not the condition can be stabilized. “At this point we feel we’ve exhausted all options,” Elliott says.

If you spend any time with Emma, it’s hard to see her tumultuous past. Emma’s personality “has started to shine through,” according to Elliott. Of course, nothing happens overnight; although she’s a “sweetie,” Emma’s case is one that has required extreme time and care.

“I cancelled everything,” Margaret Slaughter, Emma’s foster mom, says of the commitment. Slaughter has volunteered with Greenhill for seven years, but Emma was the first time she had taken a dog into foster care. “I saw this starving dog huddled in a corner. I hadn’t taken in a dog before, but there was a need.”

Emma’s happy-go-lucky attitude is infectious as she runs around the yard of her foster home, chasing squirrels and inspecting passersby. She makes little noise as strangers approach the house, although she moves herself in front of Slaughter until she can give the “OK” on the new people in her area. Then she’s back to the trees, squirrel hunting. “She looks like she wants to play with them, more than anything,” Slaughter says.

It’s easy to forget that she came from such a difficult start; however, “Emma’s future is still unclear,” Elliott says. “Emma is on a journey, and we are looking for a person or family that have the financial resources and time commitment that it will take to properly care for her.”

In the meantime, nothing in her history seems to have slowed her down. Emma looks happy chasing squirrels, following her foster mom around the house and generally just being a dog.

“I think she had a good start in life,” Slaughter says.

Anyone interested in adopting Emma can contact Greenhill or the 1st Avenue Shelter.