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Dog Found Abandoned In The Florida Everglades


We’ve all heard of puppy dog eyes, and when it comes to those beautiful doggie eyes, there’s no denying that the dog behind them can’t hide any emotions or experiences the dog has been through. Those precious eyes can hold more sadness than we can imagine.

Neglect against animals can come in many forms and lead to a variety of health conditions and emotional problems within the animal affected by that abuse. Pups may be malnourished, beaten, left in harsh conditions, or as the case with Powder, abandoned in the Florida Everglades.

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In February 2016, poor Powder, as he would become known, was abandoned in the for an unknown amount of time in the Florida Everglades, a problem that is becoming an increasing issue in the area. The American Bulldog was left to fend for himself in a land that is nearly inhabitable.

The environment in the Everglades is wet, humid, and thick with alligators, wading birds, and other wildlife, but is not the likeliest place for a dog to survive. Lucky for Powder, a young couple spotted him nearby some boat ramps, leading to a rescue that would take months.

To learn more about Powder’s rescue, click ‘Start Slideshow‘ to begin the story.

The Everglade’s Dog Problem

It’s illegal to abandoned an animal, but that’s exactly what is happening in the Florida Everglades. In the scarcely populated swamp land, no one is watching and there’s no way to track it, leading to dozens of drop offs a day.

One homeowner who regularly travels through the area, says it’s normal to see two or three dogs dead along the roadside every day. Dogs are frequently seen running through the middle of traffic and even running towards vehicles, almost it seems, in an effort to be rescued.

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How many dogs have been rescued from the Everglades in recent years? Keep reading for the shocking answer!

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The 100+ Abandoned Dogs of the Everglades rescue began in 2011, and reports that they have rescued nearly 3,000 abandoned dogs. All their rescues are taken to a nearby veterinarian where they are bathed, groomed, brought current on vaccinations, microchipped, spayed or neutered, and treated for any medical conditions they might be suffering from. When they are healthy enough, the rescued dogs are adopted to responsible owners.

Miami-Dade County Animal Services says the $17-million-per-year organization has had fewer and fewer reports over the years, leading them to believe that the problem of abandoned Everglades dogs is getting better. Animal rescue activists claim the animal services department isn’t taking the problem of the abandoned dogs seriously.

Whose persistence led to the rescue of the abandoned, lifeless dog? Click ‘Next’ to see the surprising answer!

Abandoned Dog Found Near Boat Ramps

A couple out walking near some boat ramps in the Everglades came across poor Powder. He was barely able to move, but was circling trying to find some place comfortable to rest. Knowing the creature couldn’t survive long in the conditions, the couple started searching for ways to help the abandoned animal.

Looking very sick and confused, the couple was concerned about how long the dog would survive. They began calling local resources for assistance and spent several hours searching for someone to help the animal.

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What are some reasons Powder might have been abandoned? Keep reading for the astonishingly cruel answer.

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It is likely that the people that abandoned Powder had grown tired with the puppy that had grown up to be a dog, a common occurrence according to rescuers. It’s hardly an easy job to see an animal suffering, and this poor animal obviously suffered from abuse and neglect.

After hours of searching for help for the abandoned dog, the couple finally got in touch with the Broward County Sheriff’s Department, which was willing to send deputies to the dog’s rescue. Although the dog was very ill and appeared lifeless, when deputies arrived at the scene they were determined to help the dog.

How did the Broward County deputies go about rescuing Powder? Click ‘Next’ to see the answer!

Officials Come To The Rescue

When officers finally arrived, they weren’t sure they had made it to the dog in time. They were horrified at the dog’s condition and could barely tell if he was breathing. Likely suffering from exhaustion and shock, the animal laid there curled in a tight ball, but officers finally discovered the poor animal was indeed alive.

The deputies took their time getting near the dog while working to gain his trust. Soon the dog was lifting his head and observing the people that were there to rescue him. Although he was nervous around the officers, the dog did allow them to pet him, showing the officers that he wasn’t aggressive.

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Powder was so weak he couldn’t walk. How did officials get him to safety? Keep reading to see!

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Weak and unable to walk, rescuers had to carry poor Powder to safety. That is the moment that the officers realized the extent of the dog’s suffering. He was covered with a severe case of mange, had been malnourished, and was bleeding from the face.

After hours of earning the dog’s trust, the wary dog was carried to their vehicle. In a video taken of the rescue, you can hear the deputies encouraging the dog and talking softly to him saying, “Your life is going to be better now. You can make it”.

What rescue agency agreed to take in Powder and get him medical care? Click ‘Next’ to find out!

Taken In By An Animal Rescue

The deputies from Broward County reached out the next morning to Sandra, the founder of Dezzy’s Second Chance Animal Rescue. The shelter was established by Sandra Dezelan, a successful interior designer who quit her job to focus on rescuing animals.

A haven for homeless dogs and cats in the Broward County and Palm Beach areas, the shelter has taken in dozens of animals since it opened. Wanting to provide the animal with the best care possible, Sandra agreed to take in the abandoned dog.

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What did the vet discover was wrong with Powder’s eyes? Keep reading for the surprising answer!

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When she came to pick up the sickly dog she brought a veterinarian with her who decided he needed to be immediately rushed to an eye surgeon for care. It was discovered that Powder suffered from a genetic condition called entropion, a condition that caused his eye lids to fold inward that had also resulted in eye infections.

Powder received emergency care for his eye condition, demodectic mange, a severe case of staph infection to 90 percent of his skin, and an ear infection. He needed immediate surgery for both of his eyes to keep from going blind. Powder could barely see when he was rescued.

What are some of the conditions that homeless animals suffer from? Click ‘Next’ to find out the sad answer!

Powder’s Treatment Costs

Some dogs tend to suffer from a multitude of problems, but very few animals have had to go through the issues that stray animals have to deal with. Stray animals typically suffer from malnourishment, whether from starvation or lack of appropriate food sources.

These abandoned animals also often suffer from illnesses such as skin conditions, ear infections, eye problems, and even broken bones, cuts, and abrasion. The expense to animal shelters to treat these animals has increased to as high as $3 billion per year, partly due to the increase in shelters and animals taken in.

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How many animals are taken into the care of shelters every year? Keep reading for the astonishing answer!

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Some 6.5 million animals enter shelters every year, roughly half of them cats and the other half dogs. Of those animals, approximately 1.5 million of them are euthanized, although that number has declined in recent years.

About 710,000 of the animals taken in by animal shelters are returned to their owners while another 3.2 million of them are adopted each year. Most of the animals that are abandoned or turned in to shelters are due to problematic behaviors, larger growth than what the owner expected, or health problems.

Powder needed eye surgery, but what delayed the necessary procedure? Click ‘Next’ to find out the answer!

Treatment Finally Begins

Although Powder needed eye surgery for his genetic eye condition, he had a long recovery ahead of him before he would be healthy enough to undergo surgery. He had 500 puss-filled nodules scattered across his body and the mange needed to be treated as well.

With antibiotics and plenty of other treatments, Powder began to regain his health. His skin cleared up and he was finally able to have surgery to treat his eyes, but his treatment was extremely expensive.

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How did Dezzy’s Second Chance Animal Rescue gather funds for Powder’s care? Keep reading to see!

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Dezzy’s Second Chance Animal Rescue campaigned for funds to give Powder the care he deserved and desperately needed. They raised money through various fundraisers and made him somewhat of a superstar on the rescue’s Facebook page. The donations poured in to assist with Powder’s care.

Five months after his rescue, Powder had gained 15 pounds, his eyes had healed from surgery, and his coat was a healthy, snow white. He was finally the healthy dog he deserved to be, but he wasn’t yet ready for adoption. He still had a road ahead of him.

What is the standard size for the American Bulldog breed? Click ‘Next’ to find out the answer!

An American Bulldog Like Powder

After several weeks of treatment, and with the loving care of volunteers and staff at Dezzy’s Second Chance Animal Rescue, Powder started appearing and acting more and more like an American Bulldog.

A sturdy, muscular breed that typically stands 20 to 28 inches in height while weighing 60 to 80 pounds, the breed is a popular one. They have a blocky head with strong jaws and ears that typically are cropped, but may drop naturally. Their coat is short and soft and comes in a variety of colors.

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What about the personality of the American Bulldog makes it a good family pet? Keep reading for the answer!

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Although quite a bit larger than the English Bulldog they resemble, the personalities of the two dogs are very similar. Known for their gentle and affection nature, American Bulldogs love children and make great companions and lap dogs.

They are alert and loyal to their people, but brave and often strong-willed. They need a strong leader and regular exercise as well as proper, consistent training from the time they are small puppies. They are quick learners that are eager to please.

What is a common emotional problem among shelter dogs? Click ‘Next’ to find out the surprising answer!

Powder Learns To Trust People Again

One problem that tends to be very common in shelter dogs is their inability to trust people. Most of them have suffered some kind of abuse and neglect leading them to believe that humans are the enemy, not the loving providers they are meant to be.

Although Powder learned quickly to interact with other dogs, it took time for him to learn to trust people. He needed to gain confidence in himself again and had to learn to trust someone other than his initial rescuer, Sandra Dezelan.

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What are some ways that Powder learned to begin to trust people again? Keep reading for the surprising answers.

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Sandra had a trainer start working with Powder to teach him that most people are his friend and offer the care that he needs. The trainer taught Powder to trust again and showed him the love and attention that he desperately deserved.

Socializing was another skill Powder learned with the help of the trainer. He was verbally encouraged and good behavior was gently reinforced and awarded with treats. Powder was allowed to sniff and explore like a dog, but still learn the new skills that he would need when ready to be adopted.

Along with learning to trust humans, what else did Powder need to learn? Click ‘Next’ to find out!

Learning to Play With Doggie Friends

Along with socializing with humans, Powder had to learn to socialize appropriately with other dogs. Although he had likely been around other dogs during the time he was homeless, Powder was weak and broken down when he was rescued.

Powder needed to learn confidence to help his interactions with other animals and dogs. Timid dogs that lack confidence often develop reactive behaviors, including nipping at other dogs when they approach. They may try to hide from other animals, then attempt to chase them away.

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What are some ways that dogs “play” with each other? Keep reading for the shocking answer!

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In the world of animal behavior, it’s hard to tell which type of social behavior is appropriate and which is too rough. Some “fun” dog behavior appears to be too rough to the people that are watching. The dogs might chase, tackle, bite, growl, or even bare teeth, all behaviors that are also seen when animals are fighting.

We must understand how to read our animals and watch for cues as to whether the interaction between animals is friendly or not. Dog behavior is often situational and depends a lot on the setting and the people that are involved. Dogs are not inherently good or bad with other dogs, but their behavior is often simply a reaction to the situation.

When was Powder finally listed as an adoptable pet? Click ‘Next’ to find out the surprising answer!

The Adoption Process Begins

Sandra described Powder as a physical mess; a dog that literally came from the brink of death and made a full recovery. Thanks to staff, volunteers, modern medicine, and surgeries, Powder finally was listed for adoption in December 2016, just months shy of being a year after his rescue.

If you’ve ever adopted an animal from a shelter you are familiar with what seems like a nearly endless amount of questions they ask. However, those questions are asked for two very important reasons. The rescue facility is wanting to ensure a long-term home for the animal they have spent months rehabilitating, and they want to be sure the animal is a good match for the family they are going to.

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What is the process when adopting a rescue pet? Keep reading to see the variety of answers!

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When adopting you may be asked questions about your housing, how many children are in your house, how many other pets you own, and your previous experiences with other pets. You may be asked for references from your veterinarian as well as what expectations you have for your possible new pet.

Each shelter has their own approach to rehoming animals and the process should be structured while still being open and all questions being answered. Considering how many pets are surrendered each year, it’s a good idea to be sure that you will want to keep your new pet as a family member for life.

What did rescue owner Sandra say Powder became during his treatment? Click ‘Next’ for the surprising answer!

Star Of The Shelter

The lovable American Bulldog that has caught the attention and hearts of dog lovers around the world has received hundreds of well-wishes and donations to the rescue’s Facebook page, website, and through mail. His incredible story of determination has gained him many fans, and prospective adopters.

Described by Sandra as the star of the rescue center, she has detailed Powder’s amazing story all the way from his initial rescue, where he was near death, to his incredible recovery. She says it’s always heartbreaking to see an animal in dire condition and in such need of medical attention, but his story is a story of hope and determination.

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What are some reasons that not all rescue stories end the way Powder’s does? Keep reading for the sad truth.

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Dezzy’s Second Chance Animal Rescue is a non-profit organization that is funded primarily through donations to provide the extensive recovery and rehabilitation services to the animals it takes in each year. Powder’s care was completed because of those donations.

Not all animals that make it to a rescue have the remarkable ending that Powder’s story has. Some aren’t rescued in time and others suffer from conditions that make it impossible to treat them appropriately, but millions of animals are saved each year thanks to shelters like the ones that rescued Powder.

How long does the average adopter spend picking a shelter pet? Click ‘Next’ for the shocking answer!

Powder’s Happily Ever After

The shelter has not posted a recent update about Powder so it is likely, that with all his fans, that he has found his forever home and his happily ever after. Powder was a success story of the shelter and had many supporters well before he was listed as adoptable so it’s unlikely it took long to find him a home.

While we’re certain Powder found a home that he will be loved at for the rest of his life, that’s not always the case for adopted dogs. Studies show that an average adopter only spends 70 seconds deciding which dog to adopt when they visit a shelter, and less than eight minutes interacting with the new pet before taking it home.

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What are some suggestions for making your pet adoption successful? Keep reading for the helpful answer!

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That is a decision that is likely to impact the adopter and the pet for a good ten years, that seems a relatively short amount of time for such a big decision. Unfortunately, many dogs are chosen for their looks alone with very little consideration given to their personality.

There are several tips that shelters give for making the adoption of your new family a success. Those tips include such things as know the expectations you have of your pet before you adopt and do your homework to know if the breed of dog you are choosing fits those expectations. Next, give your pet time to get used to its new surroundings. We all need time to adapt to new situations.

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