When one pet owner dropped off their dog at the local animal shelter, the dog was distraught and withdrawn, cowering in the corner of her kennel. The fearful canine could have spent the rest of her life languishing in her loneliness, but a sympathetic stranger intervened.
June Cash was a pitiful sight in her kennel at a North Carolina animal shelter. Terrified by her surroundings, she spent her days shivering in fear and burrowing against the corner of her drab living space. The traumatized dog refused to interact with staff, not even making eye contact with any humans, Shareably reports.
Enter Tammy Graves, founder of the animal rescue nonprofit The Haley Graves Foundation. While surveying the shelter, Graves came across June and was immediately struck by how desperately sad the pitiful dog was.
Compelled to help June, Graves took a picture of the dog and shared it online, drawing over 130,000 shares and an army of sympathetic people who wanted to help the unfortunate dog. The image was shocking, showing June cowering at the edge of her kennel, her body tense.
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"This is the reality of irresponsible pet ownership and the shelter system," Graves wrote when she shared the photo. "This is not a shelter issue, this is not a rescue issue. This is irresponsible pet ownership. Own it people!"
After a few days, the shelter discharged June into the care of The Haley Graves Foundation.
"This is what freedom smells like!" Graves wrote when her foundation posted three pictures of June finally turning around to make eye contact from her kennel, clinging to the ground with a leash attached to her collar and finally making her way out of the shelter.
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Graves took June straight to a veterinarian, who found that the dog had ailments both physical and emotional. The dog had a severe heartworm infection and showed signs of physical abuse. June's behavior in the kennel had been spurred by a deep-seated fear of humans.
Through The Haley Graves Foundation, June was placed in the care of a qualified foster home. While her heartworm condition has been helped by medication, her progress on learning to trust people has come in fits and starts. The physical scars have mended, but the emotional wounds will take longer to heal.
"She was scared leaving and is just learning to trust people," Graves told The Dodo. "Every day she comes a bit further ... She is learning that there are really good people in the world."
June is already showing promising signs of recovery, happily trotting along on her walks.
While she had previously cowered in the corner of a kennel, she now curls up comfortably on a pet bed.
June will remain in the foster home until her heartworm condition fully heals and she receives a positive behavioral evaluation. The foundation has already received numerous applications to adopt her.
"We are speechless and thankful for all of June 'Cash' support," the foundation tweeted.