Natalie Olivieri, vice president of Furever Bully Love Rescue, an Orlando-based rescue group, met Harper when Furever Bully teamed up with Redland Rock Pit Abandoned Dog Project. The two groups came together to feed as many stray dogs as possible in the Redlands. The Redlands is an area in Redland, Florida used as a dumping ground for unwanted dogs. The volunteers do their best to feed as many dogs as possible, but there are just too many.
Sadly, the number of dogs that need help is overwhelming but the rescue groups do what they can. On one particular day in February, Olivieri spotted a pup that she knew instantly was severely abused. According to the other volunteers, this particular dog, later named Harper, was seen on several occasions. Harper was approximately a year old and they estimated she had been living in the Redlands for about 5 months.
“Harper came out with about five other dogs,” Olivieri told The Dodo. “As soon as Harper approached us and we met, she just completely fell on the ground in fear.” The young dog was riddled with scars, which was obvious proof of previous abuse. Olivieri was NOT going to leave Harper there. No way, no how. Olivieri managed to get a lead around Harper’s neck, but once she did, Harper refused to move. She became paralyzed with fear.
“We had to pick Harper up,” Olivieri said. “We didn’t even put her in a crate at this point, so we put a blanket on the floor.”
When they made it back to Orlando, Harper saw a vet. She was diagnosed with anemia, worms and a bad tooth infection. Those conditions could be treated but her fear, that would take a lot longer to heal… if it even could.
For several days, Harper refused to even stand up! When a volunteer picked her up so she could eat or do her business, she would cling onto that person so tightly!
She went to foster care a few days later. Foster mom Cheryl Kessler reports that Harper is slowly but surely coming out of her shell. She walks around on her own, and even plays in the yard. Kessler says she even sees Harper do the zoomies when she’s really in the mood to play!
The biggest adjustment for Harper is understanding that no matter what, she’s going to get food every day and affection on demand. A dog like Harper doesn’t expect anything but is SO GRATEFUL for everything she does receive.
Look at this little sweetie!
Just a few weeks later, it was discovered that Harper was expecting! She gave birth to 8 healthy puppies AND ALL the pups found homes.
If you have room in your home and in your heart, please consider saving a dog like Harper. There are so many deserving animals that are in need. Check out your local rescue groups or hop onto Petfinder. You won’t regret it!