Scared Dog Who Was Living In Garbage Pile Gets So Much Love Now
“It’s like she almost can’t believe that she’s finally out of that awful situation and all these nice people are paying such good attention to her."
No one knows for sure how long Sophie was out there — but it was clear just by looking at her that she had been through more than any dog should.
Found in February on an abandoned lot in Tijuana, Mexico, Sophie was lying motionless on a mound of garbage with an old, tattered blanket when rescuers found her. Her body was covered in scars, her ears were bloody and her stomach sagged from years and years of having puppies.
Meeting her for the first time, The Mutt Scouts founder Nikki Audet couldn’t believe her eyes.
“She was just used over and over and over again,” Audet told The Dodo. “Her past was definitely one long nightmare."
The rescue group got her into an animal hospital immediately, where vets confirmed Audet’s suspicions: Sophie was not only bred constantly, but was also used as a bait dog in dogfighting. The scars across her body and the bloody bite marks on her ears were evidence that she was attacked time and time again.
“The vet said he had just had another dog come in who was attacked and the wounds were exactly the same as hers,” Audet said. “Her teeth were all filed down so she couldn’t fight back, some are ground right down to the root. She was just attacked constantly.”
Five-year-old Sophie was also riddled with ticks and fleas. After constant medicated baths and antibiotics, the bite wounds around her ears and face were slowly healing. After a few weeks, she started feeling good enough to travel to California to continue treatment.
With a lot of love, the light was coming back to her eyes, too — and it wasn’t long before she was cuddling up to the rescue staff.
Now, whether hanging out in the grass or taking a bath, Sophie just seems glad to finally have nice people in her life.
“She absolutely loves people,” Audet said. “She even gives us hugs. She is just the sweetest girl.”
Although she can’t get enough of people, Sophie is still very hesitant around other dogs given her past.
“She’s still really terrified of other dogs,” Audet said. “You can tell some really bad things have happened. It’s like she’s saying, ‘Oh my God, what are you going to do to me?’ whenever she sees one.”
Over the next few weeks, however, Sophie will be working with a dog behaviorist and trainer to increase her confidence and become less fearful of other dogs. While there’s a chance she may never be fully comfortable, training has already been off to a great start, Audet said.
“It’s almost like she thinks it’s strange that other dogs aren’t attacking her,” Audet said. “She’s very earnest, but you can tell that she just wants to know what to do and how to socialize so badly. She’s never had that before. so it all needs to be taught very slowly and patiently.”
Once Sophie finishes her training classes over the course of the next month or so, Audet is hopeful that she’ll be ready for adoption.
“I’m super excited for her to move on to a great life,” Audet said.
And seeing how glad Sophie is to be safe, it’s clear she feels the same.
“It’s like she almost can’t believe that she’s finally out of that awful situation and all these nice people are paying such good attention to her,” Audet said. “She is so grateful. You can just see it.”