In early August, a good Samaritan stumbled across a truly heartbreaking situation at the Assunpink Wildlife Preserve in New Jersey.
In the middle of a muddy swamp was a clearly exhausted, elderly dog who was too weak to struggle, too weak to get herself out of the mud which covered everything except for her lovely brown head.
Animal Control was called out to assist with the senior dog’s removal from the mud and she was transported to an emergency veterinarian to be stabilized.
As soon as the senior dog was re-hydrated and her condition was less critical, she was transported to the Associated Humane Societies, Popcorn Park animal shelter for continued care.
The shelter staff dubbed the abandoned dog “Mabel,” and commented on the heartache that her condition caused for staff:
The sight of this poor girl and her dreadful story had our staff in tears upon her arrival. We set her up in our Vinnie Van Gogh Recovery Suite and although Mabel has great difficulty walking, is visually impaired due to cataracts, and is so emaciated that the muscle mass has began deteriorating from her head, she has an excellent appetite and is so grateful to be clean, fed, comfortable, and most of all, she is grateful to have people caring for her.
Initially, Mabel rallied – her ailments were treated and she showed signs of recuperation. Alas, the toll of being abandoned during the time of her greatest need proved to be too much for Mabel’s old body to survive.
On August 13, the AHS shelter alerted its Facebook followers to the senior dog’s passing:
Mabel has left this world for a better place, a place where she will know only love and kindness, and be free of the pains that a long, hard life caused her to feel in this world.
Mabel’s story is one that has touched our souls like no other. Imagining what she went through, and who caused her such suffering, led us to question the morality of our society and to wonder where the compassion has gone from the hearts of those that could allow such a beautiful creature to become so distressed. But her story also made us even more aware of the love and kindness in this world, since after we told the story, the outpouring of care and concern for this lovely lady has been overwhelming, humbling, and has touched our hearts deeply.
Mabel was most assuredly someone’s pet – she was house-trained, well-behaved and had a collar which had been worn for “many years.” But someone made the decision to abandon Mabel in the twilight of her life – at the point when she needed her family the most.
The shelter wrote:
We can only hope that karma will one day catch up to the person that abandoned Mabel in this most horrid of ways and that her beautiful face will one day pop up in a memory and maybe, just maybe, this cruel and heartless individual will feel just a shred of guilt…..maybe this person will remember the look on this poor old dogs face as she was abandoned and left to die in the woods, alone. We can only hope…..