6 min read

Man Sees Bald Creature Running Through Desert — And Knows He Has To Help

She was so happy to see someone that she jumped right into his car.

Matt Bentley was doing some off-roading in Utah on Sunday when he spotted something out of the corner of his eye running through the desert: a large animal who was completely bald.

Bentley slowly got closer to the animal to investigate — and he soon realized that the creature was actually a dog who had lost all her hair.

Sunburnt, covered in scabs and extremely thin, the dog was barely clinging to life alone in the hot sun. Bentley called her over and, luckily, she walked right up to him.

bald dog rescue desert utah
Utah Animal Adoption Center

“She had probably been out there forever,” Bentley said in a video. “She was miles from anyone.”

Clearly desperate for help, the dog was more than willing to jump into Bentley’s car. But even though she knew she was safe, she couldn’t stop shaking and trying to itch her already inflamed skin.

bald dog rescue utah desert
Facebook/Matt Bentley

He rushed her to a nearby animal hospital. The hospital soon got in touch with Utah Animal Adoption Center, which offered to sponsor her care. Lila Oulson, the shelter manager, couldn’t believe her eyes once she finally met the dog.

“I was shocked,” Oulson told The Dodo. “I’d never seen anything like her before. Her paw pads are so red that every step she takes, you can just tell it hurts her to walk. She’s so itchy that she just sits there and cries from the pain.”

bald dog mange rescue desert utah
Utah Animal Adoption Center

Oulson named her Kelly, which means warrior in Gaelic. No one knows where she came from, but it’s likely she was a stray or was even dumped there by her previous owner — if she had one. She’s estimated to be between 7 and 10 years old.

“She’s a little fighter to be alive through everything she’s been through,” Oulson said. “I have no idea how she survived. Judging by how skinny she is and the condition of her skin, we’re guessing that she had to have been out there for at least three months.”

Currently on antibiotics to help ward off any infection from her mange, Kelly is already starting to feel a little relief after only a few days of care. Her overgrown nails have finally been cut and Oulson hopes that, later this week, she will be well enough to get a bath to help soothe her irritated skin.

dog rescue mange desert utah
Utah Animal Adoption Center

“Within two to three weeks, the mites will hopefully be gone and she’ll start the slow process of growing her hair back,” Oulson said. “Right now, we have no idea what type of dog she is — she could be a hound mix, or she could be a poodle.”

Regardless of her breed, it hasn’t taken Kelly long to show rescuers how much she appreciates their giving her the care she so desperately needed.

dog rescue mange utah desert
Utah Animal Adoption Center

Once she is healthy enough, Kelly will be spayed and put up for adoption — which could be in as soon as one month.

“She’s just a sweet girl — as sweet as could be,” Oulson added. “She just wants to be with somebody. She’s in isolation right now because her mites are contagious, but we’ll suit up in proper clothing and just sit with her. Dogs just have this resilience even when people do bad things to them …  She’s definitely one of them.”

To support Kelly’s medical care, you can make a donation to Utah Animal Adoption Center. You can also contact the shelter if you’re interested in adopting Kelly when she’s ready to find a home.

Thinking about adopting? Then meet Dodo Adoptbot, an interactive guide for new pet parents. Get started on Facebook Messenger or text HOME to 38349.