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From Hoarded to Hopeful: Two Dogs at Rock Bottom Find a Loving Home

Friday, January 3, 2014

hoardingMr. Wrinkles, a lab/Dachshund mix, spent most of his first year of life fighting for food, shelter and a place to sleep at a property in Stone County, Mississippi. He was one of 117 dogs living in a doublewide trailer with a large back yard.

The yard wasn’t nearly big enough for the dogs, and soon authorities discovered this terrible hoarding situation.

Another chance at a good life

In his first stroke of luck, Mr. Wrinkles was rescued from the property and taken to the Stone County SPCA in March 2013. But his future looked grim – Mr. Wrinkles was covered in fungus, fleas, and red mange. His insides were full of tapeworms, hookworms, and various other parasites.

Stone County SPCA volunteers took in 29 of his old house-mates. PetSmart Charities provided a grant worth $4,500 for these pets to get an exam, a spay/neuter surgery and vaccinations.

dog bathOne of those pets was an energetic mixed breed named Elvis.

Mr. Wrinkles and Elvis formed a bond, and they would always sleep near each other. With the help of the volunteers, they were slowly working their way back to health.

Family sees beauty on the inside and out

Life was looking up for Mr. Wrinkles and Elvis. Things took another turn for the better when Tina Breland and her son, Cody, heard about the dogs on the news and wanted to help.

boy saves dog“They looked pitiful,” Cody said. “They had no hair, they had mange and we felt so bad for them.”

The Brelands knew they could make a difference for some of these dogs, so they went to the shelter.

They weren’t able to see the pets during their first visit because they were too sick. But they weren’t ready to give up.

On their second visit, they saw Mr. Wrinkles. Despite his less-than-appealing state, the family described him as the cutest little thing in the world. “Mom went right up to him. Even without hair, he was a cute little dog,” Cody said.

woman saves dogWhile Tina was drawn to Mr. Wrinkles, Cody spotted Elvis. It was an instant connection, and the two dogs headed home with the Brelands.

“He needed to get out of the pen,” Cody said of Elvis, now named Fox.

A place to call home

The dogs now live the good life: Mr. Wrinkles spends his days basking in the sunshine, and Fox runs around his new home and jumps in the pond.

Tina and Cody know their dogs are forever grateful. “I think there’s something that comes from adopting a dog in a bad situation. They’re more appreciative, and they know that you saved them,” he said.

Who is saving who?

The Brelands received some shocking news a few short months after Mr. Wrinkles and Fox came into the their lives: Tina has Stage IV pancreatic cancer.

dogsTina and Cody are keeping in positive spirits, even though Tina has to travel from Mississippi to Chicago for treatment.

It’s a tough trek, but the dogs are doing their part to make Tina feel better when she’s home – especially Mr. Wrinkles.

“When mom lies in bed, Mr. Wrinkles knows to keep her company. He follows her everywhere. He’s glued to her,” Cody said.

The Brelands saved Fox and Mr. Wrinkles in their time of need, and now that unique bond is serving a very special purpose.

As many pet owners know, there’s nothing like the nurturing love you get from your furry friend.

*Photos courtesy Stone County SPCA

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