One Dog's Story

Baja Animal Sanctuary

This is a story about one dog's rescue from certain death. Pat Bennett was south of the border volunteering at the Baja Animal Sanctuary when she and another volunteer, Sandra Simpson, came across a Great Dane who was being purposely starved to death.

Side view - can you count her vertebrae?

After unsuccessfully trying to bully the owner into giving her up, Pat called Sandra the next morning and offered to pay for the dog's purchase. $40 later, we had her!

An email was sent to the Luratics email list and literally within 5 minutes we had multiple offers to foster and adopt this sweet (and now lucky) dog.

Scroll down for more...



After looking at these photos for the last few days, Jannie is tentatively considering the name "Hope" for this sweet dog. What a great name!

Who could ignore this face?

Pat and her trusty assistants at the Sanctuary

Other generous members have come forward with donations of food, bedding, backup foster homes, and money to be used for veterinary care and necessary medications, vitamins or other items she may need.

Look, Ma! No anesthesia! Pat does dental hygiene on a rescue dog

NEWS FLASH!! Hope crossed the border this morning (1/25/08) at approximately 9:30 a.m and arrived at my door about 1/2 hour later. Upon arrival, she was very frightened and unsure of everything. I fed her and let her just rest for about 2 hours, after which I put her in the car and headed off to the vet, but not before stopping at Petco for a GIANT seat belt for her!

On the front walk in the sun

Oh, boy - a new collar!

Hope's foot is very swollen and infected and I covered it with a sock to keep the dirt out. The vets removed the drain that had been inserted, flushed it, cleaned it and gave me antibiotics for her.

What's this thing on my foot??

  Porsche & Lucy were not at all happy about the interloper in the kitchen. In fact, Hope seemed to think these two looked more like dinner than anything else...
These pictures were taken at the Acacia Animal Health Center in Escondido. Everyone there fell in love with her! Hope weighed in at a low 83 pounds - a good 25 pounds underweight!

After the good doctors at the clinic checked her thoroughly, ran blood, urine and parasite tests, they gave Hope a bath - she smells so much better!

Once we got home, she was fed again and got some love and attention from both of us.

After the 5th can of food over a 12 hour period, and after being driven all over the county, poked, proded, and squeezed, Hope curled up and finally went to sleep in my office...


Hope is now eating 5 times a day. She downs 1 & 1/2 cans of ID every time!


That's a LOT of food! Plus the vegetables I give her and all her various supplements and meds.

She's a great dog and is starting to settle down and relax.


Today, Saturday Jan. 26, Hope's foot took a turn for the worst. There is a lot of necrotic tissue and the vets at Cuyamaca examined it. We'll find out Monday if she needs surgery to close the wound, but for now there's not enough tissue to do the job so it is wrapped and she's got some nice pain pills.

What a silly dog!


Hope is now being called "Julia" after Julia Child - Linda dubbed her that because we've been keeping her in the kitchen and she is, after all, a big girl! It really suits her and she likes it better, too!

This is a photo of Julia looking through the cat door in Linda's office. I was out of sight downstairs and she was crying for me... :o)

Monday, January 28, has found Julia nearly 5 pounds heavier and a lot happier. Compare the first photos of her at the top of this page to these - what a drastic difference! She likes her jingle elephant toy but still doesn't fit on the Costco bed! Her BIG bed is in the master bathroom - that is her "crate" at night...
This is Julia's wound. Although the swelling has gone down dramatically, her body has still not been able to generate enough tissue for closure. The vets said this will definitely require surgery (they were wrong...see the 02/08 update below) but the timing will depend on Julia's body's ability to heal it.


For now, we're changing the wound pack daily and she's on massive amounts of antibiotics. So far, you wonderful folks have donated $760 and we've spent all of it - mostly on vet care & meds and food. All she needs now is a good home...BUT... we've found out that she's NOT good with kitties and small dogs, so if you have either of those, you won't be able to adopt her.


UPDATE: Julia is now at the Acacia Animal Health Center in Escondido. Pat made arrangements with John Neet, a very experienced Great Dane foster in Riverside to pick her up from there tomorrow.


John will care for Julia for the next few months until she is healthy enough to be adopted. If any of you are interested in permanently adopting Julia you can contact John directly at 951-852-1754. He could still use some help with donations of food, so please call him or email me if you want to help.


John will be updating us from time to time with photos of Julia, so stay tuned! Thank you again for all of you who donated food, money and care to this dog's cause. You made the difference between a great new life and certain death by starvation.

Compare the photos below to the first ones on this page - what a huge difference!!

UPDATE 02/10/08:

Here is the latest on Julia (now being called "Rosie") from her wonderful foster dad, John Neet:


"As you can see, our girl continues to gain weight. She eats like a pig, which is totally expected given her past life. She has been transitioned completely to “regular” dog food, in this case Innova kibble at a rate of 8-10 cups per day. I have not weighed her this week, but I would guess that she has added another +/- 5 lbs, bringing her to about 88-90 lbs. I suspect that her ideal weight is in the 100-110 range, so we have about 10-15 lbs. to go."

(hmmm... is it edible?)


"Her foot is healing, but it is likely to take another week or two. A lot of granular tissue has formed, but it is still “leaking” fluid and blood, making it difficult to leave unbandaged for any length of time. I am not concerned about the rate of healing as long as progress is being made. This was a tough wound."

What a happy face!

"I think that we will be able to spay her in another 2 weeks or so, and then we will be looking for a forever home. I have spoken to several people who are interested, including  people who found out about her on your website. I have not received any applications specifically for her yet, but I suspect that she will be easy to place. Next week we will start on some outings as her temperament seems fairly tame. I am careful of the risk to smaller dogs and children (and cats), but we will have to get her out and see how well she is socialized."

Lookin' good!




...and below is the latest photo as of February 19th - what a difference!

BEFORE: January 16, 2008


Julia the day we rescued her....





...and today

AFTER: February 19th, 2008

Well, folks, I have an update on Ms. Julia/Rosie - on March 21st she was permanently adopted!

Everyone pulled together for this dog and it has really paid off. Her foot, by the way, healed up nicely without surgery. She has been spayed and is now healthy and happy.

Good job, everyone!











Here's the info on her adoption, as told by her foster dad, John Neet:

Rosie went to her new home on Saturday. She was adopted by a young family with a 3 year old daughter. They spent several hours with Rosie over two days, and bonded with her very well. She appears to have spent at least a part of her life with a family, and she is very patient and loving around children. She passed all of her socialization tests, including Saturday morning at the Lake Elsinore Outlet Mall (lots of kids), with the exception of the cat test. She likes cats, but not in the way that human cat lovers do...

Thanks to everyone involved. This dog will have a far better life than would have been the case had you not intervened.

-John Neet

Julia/Rosie at just under 100 pounds on March 6, 2008:


The End!