Denise Lauffer is passionate about dogs — especially rescuing dogs in need. For the last several years, Denise dedicated herself to feeding Charlie, a wild dog who residing in a New York City park.
Charlie was born in a pack of wild dogs that freely roamed Highbridge Park, located in the Washington Heights area of upper Manhattan.
Part of Denise’s regular routine was visiting the park and making sure Charlie had enough food. But recently, she realized that Charlie is now a senior dog. He’s older, slower, and more feeble than he once was – and with temperatures falling below zero this past winter, Denise and other concerned neighbors feared he would die in the brutal, unflinching cold.
Denise knew that Charlie wasn’t dangerous, and that he needed medical care. So, she stepped her efforts up a notch…
Denise decided to move into the park! She spent two freezing cold nights sleeping in a cardboard box in Highbridge Park. She was determined to gain Charlie’s trust in a way like never before.
During her stay, she fed Charlie hot meals and lined the bottom of his bed with hand warmers — and it worked! Charlie let her snuggle up with her at night!
She told DNAInfo.com, “He needs to associate me…with food and companionship and heat and warmth. He had coats and blankets and [he was] sleeping on pillows and hand warmers and hot water bottles. You name it, he had it.”
Following her overnight stay, Denise and a group of heroic neighbors were able to successfully coax the pup into a van and take him to a hospital.
After setting up an online fundraiser and exceeding its goals, over $10,000 has been donated toward Charlie’s medical care. Thanks to the efforts of Denise and many other concerned New Yorkers, Charlie is warm and cared for.
Despite having Lyme’s disease, Charlie is now making great strides in his recovery. His fate hasn’t yet been made public, but his many fans all over the country hope he’ll go home with one of the many people who have been caring for him all these years.
This story reminds me of Bear, a stray dog who was saved in the woods by a girl who pretended to be injured on the ground. It’s amazing to see the lengths some people will go to for the sake of animals in need.
Denise was recently recognized for her efforts with an award from animal-advocacy group PETA.
All of the other dogs in Charlie’s pack were captured over the years, but Charlie always managed to escape. The only problem was, he was getting older — and this past winter was absolutely brutal. Concerned neighbored worried he’d die in the freezing temperatures.
Here’s Charlie, resting in his makeshift home built by Denise and other helpful New Yorkers.
Denise, with the help of other heroic neighbors, were finally able to get Charlie into a van and off to the hospital.
Vets diagnosed him with Lyme’s disease, but he’s now getting the love, care, and warmth he deserves!.
Here’s Charlie with his savior, Denise. Denise was recently recognized for her efforts with an award from animal-advocacy group PETA.