WARNING: Pictures may too graphic for some readers
Walking into the side door of Peaceable Kingdom rescue shelter, in Whitehall, PA, brings you into a small, but expanding place of hope for many homeless animals. To the left sits a large open room that served as the primary sales floor for an old business that once occupied the building (a pet store). If one turns to the right, directly behind the front counter, there's a smaller room that houses a majority of the animals.
In here, in a large crate, sitting in the front corner, one can find Jade. There are various signs on her crate, marking disposition, food options, and treat restrictions. But, the one that stands out the most simply says, “A Diamond in the Rough”
At first glance, many would simply focus on the word “rough.” Whether it's used to describe her condition, or her assumed past, the word falls short of the full explanation.
Jade was brought into the low cost vet clinic available through Peaceable Kingdom. Arriving just before Christmas, 2012, her owners felt as though she had a skin condition that needed attention. Jade's appearance went well beyond a skin condition. Despite the owners' claims that her physical state was a recent problem, stemming only from the previous few weeks, the doctor on hand moved quickly to rectify the horrible atrocity that was Jade.
With a little convincing, the 8 year old shepherd mix was signed over to Peaceable Kingdom.
For the first few days, she appeared shy and fearful. Jade would curl up in the rear of her crate, show little emotion, and had almost no interest in human interaction.
Within the last 2 weeks, with the help of a deflated basketball and some amazing volunteers, she has started to come out of her shell. She loves to play fetch, with any soft ball that can be squeezed by her jaws.
Jade's fur is thin and course. It covers 50% of her body, at most. And when stroked, many of the strands fall to the ground. Crusted pustules travel down her spine and other portions of her exposed skin. Her eyes open only partially, hindered by infection and the side effects of her medications.
Jade's ribs are in full view. A tail bone pushes hard against her battered skin. And as the pictures were taken, and the recently deflated soccer ball was thrown, her swollen tail wagged in admiration.
Jade is beautiful. Life, society, humanity, and ignorance have beaten her down, but she keeps standing tall. She's appreciative of affection, and lifts her hind leg into a shaking kick when someone finds that special “motor button”, right below her backbone on the left side.
Recovery is a possibility. She may always show signs of her past life, but her hair will grow, and her skin will clear. Her eyes will pear into the sun and she will clearly see those who have rescued her.
She will go on living life and appreciating those who love her. Jade will be a true symbol of of a canine; loving, resilient, and proud.
Jade is the classic case of abuse by neglect. Some people don't realize the dangers that come from every day neglect, but this dog stands as a testament to the damage of ignorance.
At this time, it's unknown whether her previous owners will face charges for the dog's condition. Those who believe in karma would say that, sooner or later, the energy will come back to kick them. But, it's important to know that this IS abuse and cannot be tolerated. Dogs, like Jade, can live happy lives...but not if people turn a blind eye to the truth.
Jade's recovery will take time, work, and money. If you'd like to donate to Peaceable Kingdom, and Jade's recovery, please do so by clicking here. She's also living in a public room at Peaceable Kingdom. Visitors to the rescue shelter can meet and greet her, and see the dog that cannot be captured in pictures and words alone. Bring a deflated sports ball!