In a big wooden barn in Newport, Michigan, rescuers are doing the impossible: They're helping a feral dog learn to trust. The Devoted Barn, an animal rescue and rehab facility, takes in some of the toughest rescue cases around. The story of one of their newest residents is a testament to the transformative power of kindness.
Shaggy, a loping Newfoundland, had been wandering around suburban Grand Rapids neighborhoods for 7 months, making friends with local dogs but always evading capture. Animal control officers used more than half a dozen techniques to try to bring him safely to a shelter, but Shaggy remained out of reach. Residents began to care for the dog, who seemed scared but desperate to be loved.
Finally, after Shaggy's fans started a campaign and raised over $4,600 to purchase a special net, rescuers were able to catch the frightened stray earlier this month and bring him to The Devoted Barn.
Although a Wyoming woman came forward in February claiming to be Shaggy's owner, no family came to take him home after his rescue. Shaggy's new caretakers have been posting updates on his remarkable progress as he slowly learns to love and trust humans.