She was extremely emaciated and near death when she was found outside on her owner’s porch in the cold, late November temperatures, her collar deeply embedded into her neck. Molly, a gentle 18-month-old German shepherd cross, was rushed to a nearby veterinary hospital and given emergency treatment to keep her alive.
“She had no shelter and the deck was coated in feces. Her fur was filthy because she was forced to live in her own waste,” said BC SPCA senior animal protection officer Tina Heary. “She wasn’t able to walk due to extreme weakness, as her frail body was literally shutting down. Her skin was infected because of the collar embedded into her neck.”
Despite the odds, which were stacked high against this lovable girl, she pulled through and survived, slowly gaining weight and starting to walk again in the care of a foster home.
“She beat the odds and fully recovered from her neglect. She is a true survivor,” Heary said. “She’s a real sweetheart who has touched the lives of many people.”
That recovery was recognized last week when Molly was awarded one of two Animal Courage Awards by the BC SPCA during its AGM and awards ceremony.
In one of the most horrific cruelty cases ever witnessed by the BC SPCA, staff found it hard to comprehend how anyone could allow a dog to slowly, and excruciatingly, starve to death.
“We rescue thousands of animals from heartbreaking situations every year at the SPCA, but cases like this are particularly shocking,” said Marcie Moriarty, the BC SPCA’s chief prevention and enforcement officer. “The fact that Molly has survived is a true miracle.”
Her former owners, Rupert Wilson and Crystal Bee, have been charged with animal cruelty and if convicted, could face a maximum $10,000 fine, a lifetime ban on owning animals or five years in jail. Wilson pled guilty and is awaiting sentencing; Bee is awaiting trial.
Molly is now thriving in her new home after being adopted by one of the RCMP officers who first attended the scene. Heary said the incident has also helped foster new partnerships and friendships with RCMP members and BC SPCA staff, as well as inspiring a Port Hardy rescue group to take a more active role in assisting animals in the community.
“She’s just such a sweet, loving, affectionate girl – to see her gain weight and get healthy and watch her personality come back to life has been so satisfying,” Heary said.