A heartbreaking scene happened when a very emaciated dog became exhausted and unable to stand any longer. Her frantic attempt to relax on a pile of rags was prevented by a small chain securely twisted around her neck, leaving her head dangling aimlessly.
Cala, the abused canine, had been hired as a guard dog by a mechanic in San Jose, Costa Rica. Unfortunately, her putative caregiver did not provide appropriate nutrition and did not seek veterinary care when she became unwell.
Cala’s health gradually worsened, and keeping her head up became a battle for each breath. With time running out, concerned neighbors stepped in, informing local authorities and contacting the humane crew at Territorio de Zaguates, a well-known local sanctuary dedicated to the well-being of thousands of dogs.
Lya Battle, the creator of Territorio de Zaguates, felt deep regret and fury upon seeing Cala’s plight. “The first picture I saw of her showed a pitiful creature robbed of its dignity and ready to give up—a dog whose spirit had been broken and was just waiting for the end to come while living a never-ending nightmare,” Battle told The Dodo.
Cala was quickly taken from her tormentor’s property by police and sanctuary staff who responded to her distress call. She was sent to a veterinarian, who treated her acute emaciation as well as the wounds caused by the constricting chain. Cala later found refuge in Territorio de Zaguates, where she began a path of physical and mental restoration.
Cala had to endure harsh procedures to repair her wounds, especially the gash inflicted by years of hanging from the cruel metal chain around her neck. Despite the agony, Cala grew to realize that love and rewards came after the anguish, and she persevered through each stage of her rehabilitation.
Cala’s wariness of her fellow canine inmates first led Battle to believe that she had either never met other dogs or had been raised to consider them as rivals. However, trust grew over time in her contacts with other dogs as well as with the loving people that surrounded her.
“We saw Cala go from a weak, feeble animal, too depressed to care, to a stronger creature willing to stand up for herself,” Battle said. “We also got to see that willful creature incorporate play and goofiness into her daily routine over time.” We watched more of her personality emerge with each passing day. She progressed from being terrified of humans to trusting them and even ‘bugging’ them for attention.”
Cala’s difficulties, however, were far from ended. In June, evil persons penetrated the sanctuary and planted poisoned sausages, claiming the lives of 16 innocent dogs. Cala had accidentally consumed one of the sausages but had amazingly survived.
“When we found her, Cala was still alive,” Battle said. “Perhaps her size helped her tolerate the dose, or perhaps she only took a small bite.” Cala had been rescued, nonetheless. eventually struggled with neurological disorders for a long after that, but eventually recovered. She’s simply too tough!”
Battle thinks that there are no such things as coincidences in life. Cala’s survival, despite years of neglect, abuse, starvation, and disease, serves as proof of her unbreakable spirit. Humans reappeared, eager to do pain, just as she had found that life was worth the wait. While the sanctuary lamented the loss of other cherished dogs, Cala’s remarkable survival reflected her tenacity.
Cala, who is currently in a foster family, revels in the quantity of love and care lavished upon her. Despite years of abuse, torment, and imprisonment, Cala is gradually discarding her past and embracing mischievous instincts, a development that her foster mother gladly embraces.
“After years of neglect, torture, and imprisonment, Cala appears to be going through the mischievous phase that puppies frequently go through, and we all think that’s fine,” Battle said. “She is happy, strong, willful, a bit stubborn, and spoiled by her foster mom and family.”
With a lifetime of saving dogs under her belt and many more to come, Battle finds Cala’s tale particularly inspiring. It depicts an epic battle between good and evil, hatred and love, with love being triumphant.
“This rescue is an inspiring tale of love triumphing over adversity and serves as a reminder to never give up,” Battle said. “It strengthens our resolve to fight the good fight for a little while longer.”
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