When you work in an animal shelter, you may hear all types of strange reasons why people bring dogs in. It could be that they were abused or neglected and sometimes, a family is no longer able to care for them. For a dog named Simba, however, the situation was so shocking that they had to let others know about it.
Simba’s owners brought the puppy to the shelter and asked that they euthanize the dog. The reason was, that “he wouldn’t play.” They thought that he was “too depressing” to have in the family and he wasn’t worth the effort of keeping around.
Although they took Simba to a high-kill shelter, the shelter didn’t follow through on their request. They ended up transferring him to a rescue, Sidewalk Specials.
When Simba was brought to the rescue, they realized that he wasn’t suffering from depression, he was ill. The former owners had not done anything to find out why the puppy was acting so sad.
The diagnosis for Simba was Tick Fever (Ehrlichiosis). It occurs when bacteria, known as rickettsia grows inside the cells of the body. It typically comes from ticks that have fed on animals and pass the disease onto the next animal they bite.
In the early stages of the disease, various symptoms can occur, including bruising, breathing problems, fevers, swelling, joint pain and loss of appetite. As the disease progresses, it leads to kidney problems, swollen legs, depression, eye problems, liver problems and bone marrow failure. This is a serious illness and if it had been treated from the start, then the young puppy would have acted more like a carefree animal.
Because of his condition, Simba was given about a 50% chance of survival. After someone started caring for him, however, he started fighting back. The antibiotics were going well and he found himself in a foster home with older dogs to teach him how to be somebody’s pet.
It didn’t take long for Simba to fit right in and he grew and gained back his strength. Now he was ready for a forever home.
New owners were found at a special adoption event. They took him home and this dog, who was brought in for “not wanting to play” was running around, jumping and loving life with his new doggy brother.
There is a lesson in here for all of us. When we care for the dogs in our home, they will care for us. The former owners did nothing to help Simba but he got the help he needed from the shelter and now, he has a forever home.