Senior dog rescued from hoarder gets a second chance

On July 30, an article was published on titled: “35 dogs found in Michigan City home where woman was covered with feces, lice and maggots”


On July 31, another article was published on titled: “Michigan City man faces 35 charges after dogs rescued from home where stench filled neighborhood.” The article stated that “officials rescued 34 dogs of various sizes. Many of the dogs could not walk or stand, police said. One dog was found dead.”

All of the dogs went to Michigan City Animal Hospital to be treated, and that’s when the clinic reached out to Newman Nation:Senior Pets United about the one senior dog in the group.

“She had deep sores over 50% of her body and was infested with fleas,” says Dr. Bailey from Michigan City Animal Hospital.


“She had a systemic infection and her white blood cell count was 50,000 (the normal being around 15,000). She has a cataract and is blind in one eye. She was missing most of her hair and any hair that she did have was matted and had to be shaved. Over half of her teeth were missing and the 9 teeth remaining were infected and rotten. She had an old fracture in her back and she was terribly constipated and it was painful for her to defecate. Lastly, her nails were abnormal and thickened and had grown into her paw pads.”


This senior lived in absolute hell for her entire life, and the vets estimated her age to be at least 14 years old, but probably even older. She spent weeks at the vet being brought back to life. She underwent surgery to have all of teeth removed along with several mammary masses, which, luckily, came back as benign. At some point in the past, she had a broken back and the bone may have gotten infected and that may be causing some of her mobility and defecation issues.

On August 10th, Rebecca Frye and her husband, Alex, brought the dog home from the vet to foster and named her Rosemary.

“When we first brought Rosemary home, we weren’t sure what to expect,” says Rebecca. “When I had met her at the hospital 1 week prior, she was nearly lifeless and shut down. All she wanted to do was hide underneath a chair. We were fully prepared to give her as much time as she needed to decompress and adjust slowly to us, our other animals, and her new life.”

Rosemary, however, had other plans.


“Within an hour of being home, she decided that she didn’t want to be in a room by herself and she let us know by howling about it,” remembers Frye. “She met our other dogs and it couldn’t have gone better.”

“After having spent years living with dozens of other dogs and having litter after litter of puppies, our four senior dogs didn’t phase her at all! Once she had met everyone and had a full bowl of good food, Rosemary quickly discovered one of her new favorite things – a pillow. She hopped up on it, curled up and fell asleep. She slept hard and didn’t wake up until the next morning.”

Rosemary quickly realized that she was finally in a safe space.


“The first night, Rosemary had been skittish of my husband and I,” states Rebecca. “She wanted to be in the same room as us but she was wary of being petted or being picked up.”

By the next day, however, that slowly started to change.

Rosemary realized that laps were great, belly rubs felt good and ear scratches were just as nice. She began to lean against Rebecca and Alex for petting and did an excited dance whenever they came home and even began sleeping in their bed at night.

Then, this half blind, neglected, medical mess of a senior surprised us all. She started playing with toys.


“The first time Rosemary saw a tennis ball, she fell in love with it,” says Rebecca. “She is obsessed with chasing and throwing around her tiny toys. As her body has healed, so has her spirit. Rosemary is an amazing example of the resiliency and beauty of senior dogs. It has been a joy and a privilege to see her realize that she’ll is safe and loved.”

Senior dogs enter shelters every day. Neglected, abused, shut down. However, they should not be looked past as all it takes is a little love and care to reignite the puppy within them.

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