Abandoned dog rescued after owner died of COVID-19

Even before the pandemic, Pancake lived a life no dog would choose.

She was neglected, left tied in a backyard junkyard in rural North Carolina. Then when her owner died earlier this year of COVID-19, relatives showed little interest in the dog. They lived in Maryland, some 480 kilometres (300 miles) away and just left her tied up outside the vacant house. Often she didn’t have water and her food dish was crawling with bugs.

Pancake lived a lonely life in North Carolina. Photo: PETA

PETA already knew about Pancake and intervened.

“PETA’s fieldworkers initially spotted her from the road when they were in the area checking on other animals,” PETA’s Megan Wiltsie explained in an update this week. “Over the years, they visited her as often as they could, got her spayed, gave her a sturdy doghouse and straw for bedding, and other basic necessities that she would otherwise have gone without.”

Fieldworkers named her Pancake because every time anyone visited, she would flatten herself to the ground with excitement just to see people.

Pancake would flatten herself to the ground. Photo: PETA

By the summer, months after her owner died, Pancakes was plagued with a skin infection, her white fur was filthy and she was painfully thin.

Pancake lived a life of neglect. Photo: PETA

PETA managed to convince her negligent owners to let them rescue the dog — and obtained legal custody of the animal.

And now, she’s on the way to living the life every dog deserves with foster — now adoptive parents — Colin and Jessica.

“Pancake lived at the end of a chain in a backyard for several years,” Colin said. “And after her owner passed away last year, her situation got a lot worse.”

Pancake’s life is now transformed. She likes to snuggle with her buddy Dylan. Photo: PETA

Now, she’s safe and sound living indoors. She’s learning to trust people and do dog things like go for walks, get cozy on the couch and she even has a fur-buddy named Dylan.

Colin and Jessica couldn’t be more happy for their new member of the family.

“I’m excited for Pancake’s future,” Jessica said. “She has so many adventures yet to come. They’re just going to have to come slowly because she’s going to be dealing with the trauma of her previous life forever.”

Pancake’s story isn’t isolated — and PETA hopes it sends a message to help bring in chaining bans.

“Dogs are social pack animals, and condemning them to solitary confinement leaves them with lifelong emotional scars,” PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch, said in a statement. “All of us at PETA are elated to see Pancake enjoying her new life, and we encourage everyone to help dogs like her by reporting neglect and lobbying for chaining bans.”

About the author

Recovering newspaper reporter.

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