German Shepherd finally rescued after being spotted alone in the rain with stuffed animal toy
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Featured Image Credit: Almost Home Animal Rescue League/Instagram
In case you needed to hear some heartwarming news, German Shepherd Nikki and her favourite stuffed animal have been rescued.
Nikki first came to the public's attention in early May when a picture of her clutching a soft toy in her mouth circulated among rescue centres in the Metro Detroit area in Michigan.
Gail Montgomery, the cofounder of Almost Home Animal Rescue League, told People: "I got some private messages and pictures of this dog carrying her stuffed toy, and it was raining in downtown Detroit.
"It was gut-wrenching and heartbreaking."
Montgomery then immediately sprung into action and reached out to South Lyon Murphy Lost Animal Recovery for help in finding and rescuing the dog.
After her 'queen of the catch' successfully found her, she was then able to pick up both Nikki and her stuffed animal to bring them to safety.
"We took her to an emergency hospital, and they treated her," Montgomery said. "Unfortunately, she's got heartworm disease and other internal problems.
"They found plastic bags, twigs, and bones in her stomach."
Montgomery later learned that she had been on her own for months, living off the generosity of neighbours and scrounging for scraps of food after the apparent passing of her owner.
"She was just totally stressed out," Montgomery said of Nikki after first meeting her.
"Her body wasn't really functioning properly because she was on the roads for so long."
But now, Nikki is living the good life, eating a balanced diet of chicken and rice and receiving plenty of love and care from her foster family.
Speaking about her foster family, Montgomery says, "They're giving her so much incredible love. [With Nikki] the nicer you are to her, the more affectionate and kinder she gets."
And it looks like the pooch is also growing even more confident in her loving environment.
"She doesn't even need her stuffy anymore. She's constantly hugging her foster parents," Montgomery says. "She still kind of sleeps on it, but she's not obsessed with it like she was in Detroit when she was walking around."
Montgomery hopes that Nikki's story inspires animal lovers to think of animals without homes that may need their help.
"I think that this is really a wake-up call for people," she says.
"I think people see this, and it makes people realise that dogs are out there. Nikki's not the only dog that's wandering around Detroit. She just happened to have her stuffy with her, and it was raining.
"It was a perfect storm."