A Better Life for Betty

By Jacki Rossi

I recently received a call about a very disturbing situation. A dog named Betty was found in a Chicago residence, locked in a plastic container—the kind you store Christmas decorations in—with crates stacked on top.

One of her rescuers relayed her experience of when they made the discovery:

“When the two crates were removed, we stopped in our tracks because we suddenly saw the lid pop off and a tiny paw reach out. We thought it was a container of stuffed animals. Then the lid fell completely off and out came a matted creature staring at us in despair, with eyes that were stoic and unblinking. It took at least 30 seconds, although it felt like eternity, for us to realize that this was a dog close to its last breath.”

The condition of this poor creature was so shocking that the heroes who found her rushed her to MedVet Chicago to try and save her. Betty showed a survivor's spirit, clinging to life as the medical staff worked expertly to help her improve.

Clearly traumatized and with tears in her eyes, one of Betty's rescuers described how she laid on her lap during their drive to the emergency vet, eventually moving after being deathly still for an unsettling amount of time. Listening to her recount her story was a moving experience, one that helped remind me of how people can be truly selfless and good.

I was further reminded when we launched our “Better Life For Betty” virtual campaign earlier this week. While we expected there to be a response, the outpouring of support for Betty took us by surprise. We set a goal of $6000 to help recoup some of the expenses incurred during Betty’s weeklong stay at the veterinary hospital, and reached it in under 24 hours! 

We are so very grateful for those who have contributed to the "Better Life For Betty" campaign, all of whom have expressed their love for this very special dog and her rescuers.

You can read her story and see pictures of her condition from when she was found here. (Please be warned, some of the images may be upsetting.)

I wish I could say that the story ends there, but unfortunately it doesn't. Betty's recovery still has a way to go. She will still need to receive a special diet, have continued bloodwork, and undergo follow-up exams. And while we're ready to provide all these things, the reality is they come with a price tag, and HHS needs the continued support of friends like you to come through for dogs like Betty and all the animals in our care.

Without you, we could not continue to do what we do. Thank you.

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