In July 2012, a sheriff of a small town in South Dakota called one of our directors, Julie, about 30 Pomeranians who were starving with no water. They were living in a patch of noxious weeds taller than most people. The owner/breeder had planned on shooting them, but she was allowed to willfully surrender them. The situation was one of the worst Julie had ever seen, and the rescue itself seemed impossible to carry out at times. Many of the tiny dogs were so feral and afraid that they bit and thrashed and screamed at the end of the catchpoles. Working in the heat and filth caused many rescuers to become ill. Newborn pups were found under boards near their mother, who was eating a dead bird. One fragile, terrified little Pom's fur was matted so badly that a frog was living in it. Julie and the sheriff were absolutely horrified by the sights and smells of that day.
Martha Washington's fur was matted so badly that her back leg was caught and stuck up into her fur at a horrible angle. She could not put her foot down to touch the ground. She had bad patellas that required some major and costly surgery to repair. Through all of this madness, Martha's sweet disposition was obvious to everyone. She smiled through her tears and wondered at our soft touches on her inflamed skin once her painful matts were removed. She is completely finished with her recovery and getting around just fine now. She is a happy little survivor.