Dottie Defies The Odds

UHA rescues its animals from the Baldwin Park shelter, which takes in on average 70 dogs a day. And with only 192 kennels to house them, the clock starts ticking the moment they arrive.

As a result, those with severe medical issues often have a harder time of making it out alive. Not only is a crowded shelter a less-than-ideal location for an unhealthy animal to be, but potentially huge medical bills diminish their chances of being saved, and there’s a danger they will fall through the cracks of the system entirely.

Dottie arrives at the shelter.

That was the worry with Dottie, a five-year-old Dalmatian, who was confiscated by Animal Control and brought to the shelter in early October (criminal charges were subsequently filed against her owner.)

It was clear she hadn’t been properly fed: she weighed just 25 pounds – half what she should have – and her ribs were protruding through her sides. She was in need of immediate medical attention. The vet quickly determined that in addition to being severely malnourished, she had diabetes and was partially blind.

Says Anna Garrison, a volunteer at the shelter, “I didn’t know Dottie was emaciated from her kennel card photo, but when I saw her I was so shocked I was actually afraid to pick her up because I thought I would damage her fragile frame. It turned out that I didn’t need to pick her up at all because she insisted on walking herself. Her tail NEVER stopped wagging from the moment she was out of the kennel. She had such a great time sniffing around and meeting everyone. It was so amazing to see how loving and confident she was with herself despite how she had been treated.”

As part of the shelter’s regular networking efforts, Dottie was photographed and her video was taken for YouTube. Word of her plight soon started to spread, and her Facebook page began garnering a collective outpouring of love (not to mention numerous angry comments about her former owner).

However, she still needed someone to step in and save her.

Thankfully, the experienced people at Dalmatian Rescue Southern California in Newport Beach, California, did just that a couple of weeks later, and before long Dottie was on her way to safety with a loving foster mom, Stephanie.

We recently got an update from Margaret Maas, president of the non-profit organization, who told us, “Dottie seems happy and is doing great… She is incredibly affectionate and craves love and attention. We discovered she adores oatmeal, something rib-sticking to get some meat on her bones, so she’s gradually gaining weight.”

Dottie recovering with foster mom Steph.

“She dotes on Steph, who is very loving and gentle with her. She sleeps in bed with her and there are lots of cushy pillows all over the house to lie on… it’s really the perfect environment for her.”

Dottie’s story has a happy ending, and we’d like to ensure that the same is true for as many dogs as possible, in particular those with special needs, who may otherwise be forgotten.

In order for us to be able to continue our work, funds are vital, now more than ever. You can donate to our “Angel” Rescue Fund by clicking on the ChipIn to the left.

We also ask you to consider donating to Dottie’s care – her twice-daily insulin injections alone are very expensive – by going to or by sending a check to Dalmatian Rescue of Southern California, Inc., 20301 Riverside Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660.