Molly belonged to a family once - but three years ago, when they moved from Deer Park, Wash., they chose not to bring their Labrador mix along with them. Photographs of Molly in car side mirrors likely depict the last view that she saw of her family as they drove down the road without a second thought. How she must have worried and wondered. How she must worry and wonder still.
For the past three years, Molly has been roaming the town of Deer Park, timid, afraid, and alone.
"Molly was abandoned by her family when they moved to Idaho. They just left her behind," stated Bonnie Beltz of Roaming Paws Lost Pet Services.
"The dog catcher caught her last October and she went to a foster home for about three months, but she escaped again in January 2014."
Winning Molly's trust has been difficult - and her situation is growing increasingly urgent. The collar once lovingly placed on her neck when she was younger is now growing tighter. Molly is being fed by compassionate townspeople, but her weight gain is causing the collar to become ever tighter.
"We recently found out people in town are still feeding Molly. If we could get everyone to stop feeding her that would make this recovery much faster," stated rescuer Diane Baker.
Molly is a Labrador retriever mix and is approximately four years old. Her brown eyes are often fearful and searching in her photographs - but they're tinged with hope, as well.
"She has become the town's dog," stated Beltz.
Ashley Bond, one of Molly's would-be rescuers, has made strides trying to rescue Molly, but the dog is still hesitant.
"Ashley has been the first person that Molly sees in the morning. She's forming a bond with Molly and getting closer to her every day. We're hopeful that Ashley will be able to get closer to Molly by using calming signals and that Molly will let her guard down enough for Ashley to pet and eventually grab onto Molly's collar," Beltz stated.
The rescuers will need financial assistance once Molly is finally caught.
"Once Molly is captured, she'll need immediate veterinary care and a TAGG GPS collar. We also need to find a rescue that can offer rehabilitation - and we'll need financial support for that," said Beltz.
Molly has waited so long to know the love of a family again, but she's afraid - and she's been successful so far in outwitting those who have tried to help her.
"Molly lives every day in fear," Beltz stated.
"We've seen her relax more since Ashley has learned calming signals and meets her for breakfast every day. We have to be patient, but we all feel that her capture will happen. Molly is too smart to go into a trap. We're working on getting her to go into a fenced yard, but she runs out as soon as a human steps in. She's too smart for her own good."
Molly has her own Facebook page, Molly's Recovery Team Dear Park WA where you can learn how to support the effort to rescue Molly. And to learn more about Roaming Paws Lost Pet Services, visit their website here.
Under RCW 16.52.207 animal cruelty in the second degree:
(1) A person is guilty of animal cruelty in the second degree if, under circumstances not amounting to first degree animal cruelty, the person knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence inflicts unnecessary suffering or pain upon an animal.
(2) An owner of an animal is guilty of animal cruelty in the second degree if, under circumstances not amounting to first degree animal cruelty, the owner knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence:
(a) Fails to provide the animal with necessary shelter, rest, sanitation, space, or medical attention and the animal suffers unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain as a result of the failure;
(b) Under circumstances not amounting to animal cruelty in the second degree under (c) of this subsection, or abandons the animal.
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