WATERLOO – Her name was Hope.
The shepherd mix was about a year old. She arrived at the Cedar Bend Humane Society on Saturday in horrific condition – severely emaciated and dehydrated to the brink of death, a skeleton clothed in fur without the strength to lift her head. She could barely open and close her mouth.
The pup had the will to live, but her body didn’t let her.
Hope died Wednesday morning.
It is one of the worst cases of starvation ever seen at CBHS.
“I’ve been here for 21 years, and she’s probably one of the worst that I’ve seen that arrived to us still alive,” said CBHS Executive Director Kristy Gardner. “This is not acceptable. I get it if you can’t afford to pay for food for your pet, but it’s kinder to turn it over to a shelter. Starvation, abuse and neglect is not acceptable.”
Each year, Cedar Bend receives numerous animals in desperate need of life-saving care, and if necessary, what’s best for the animal may be humane euthanasia. Hope was suffering, but CBHS staff was optimistic and wanted to give her the best chance possible. She was transported to the Eastern Iowa Specialty Veterinary Clinic in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday morning, Gardner said.
“When she became our property, we made the decision that she needed more intensive care, like a person who is gravely ill is hospitalized in intensive care,” Gardner explained.