Awaiting Rescue: A Year-long Vigil for Two Abandoned Pups

“They were covered in tar …”

For many Americans, the Fourth of July is synonymous with freedom and independence. But for two stray pups in Southern California, this year’s holiday marked just the opposite. It was the anniversary of when they were left stranded in an alley by their family.

For a full year, the dogs lived in the dark and dreary alleyway, waiting for someone to save them.

There weren’t many people around for the pups to rely on, so they looked to each other for comfort. Sometimes they’d venture off in separate directions for a bit, but they’d always make their way back to the makeshift doghouse by the end of the night for a cuddle.

“That’s the only little house that they ever knew,” Suzette Hall, founder of Logan’s Legacy dog rescue, told The Dodo. “They would go in there and sleep.”

Hall got a message about the pups just a few days shy of their one-year anniversary on the streets, and she knew immediately that she had to help. As soon as she got there, the experienced rescuer was taken aback by the pups’ surroundings.

“There was so much tar on the ground that even I got stuck,” Hall said. “They were covered in tar, and they were covered in ticks and fleas.”

As uncomfortable as they must’ve been, the dogs took to Hall as soon as they met her.

“The girl was a kisser right away,” Hall said.

Before long, Hall had both pups secured in her traps. It wasn’t the easiest rescue Hall’s ever done, but it was definitely one of the most memorable.

“I was telling them, ‘This is it, you’re free! It’s the Fourth of July, it’s your independence!’” Hall said. “They knew it was their day of freedom. That’s why we named them Liberty and Justice.”

Fireworks exploded in the distance as Hall loaded Liberty and Justice up in her van. She took them home for the night, where they stayed curled up next to each other until sunrise.

“That first night, they would just stay together and cuddle,” Hall said. “Just knowing they had each other helped them so much that night.”

The next morning, the crew headed to Camino Pet Hospital for full checkups and baths. Liberty — covered in pounds of matted fur — desperately needed to be groomed.

Within a few hours, the vet team removed two pounds of fur from Liberty’s body and diagnosed Justice with multiple tick-borne diseases. Justice’s diagnosis devastated his new friends, but they knew that he’d be OK.

“He’s on medicine now and should be better in 30 days,” Hall said. “This was a life-saving diagnosis for him.”

As of now, both Liberty and Justice are still at Camino Pet Hospital waiting for a foster or adoptive family to scoop them up. Even though they had a tight bond while on the street, they’ve since become more independent of each other and confident on their own.

Because of that, Hall is comfortable finding two separate homes for the pups.

Liberty and Justice still have a long road of healing ahead of them. But after a year of surviving on their own, the worst is finally behind them.

“They were so ready to be saved,” Hall said. “They are so happy.”

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