The abandoned puppy needed more than treats and treatments. SDHS staff made sure Carrot had a warmer—and fuzzier—future.
When Carrot came in last August, the timid 4-month-old pit bull terrier reduced one San Diego Humane Society employee to tears. Carrot had spent his first months of life in a creekbed near Logan Heights, and his skin was so badly damaged people suspected acid had been thrown on him. “Skin was peeling off his muzzle and bleeding. We’d never seen a case that bad,” says Simar Kaur, an SDHS guest relations associate.
Vets determined that Carrot’s skin problems were due to dermatitis. Even with kindness, care and medicated baths, he was still extremely fearful of people. “He was so scared and defeated. It was evident he’d never known love,” Kaur says. He would silently cower when anyone walked past his kennel. He wouldn’t eat at first, and lost weight off his already skinny frame. “We would just look at him and say, ‘How can we break this cycle of neglect you’ve seen?’”
Carrot’s kennel soon became a regular stopover for SDHS employees from all departments during their free moments. They brought treats and sat near him, keeping him company. Carrot loved the treats, and over the course of a week, his appetite grew stronger.
“He started to lift his head and vocalize and bark,” Kaur says. He gained weight and his fur eventually started growing back, too. He began going to puppy playgroups to interact with other dogs, and for the first time he became a candidate for adoption. It actually looked as if Carrot would recover.
At that point, SDHS arranged for a foster parent, Corinne Spencer, to give him the individual care and attention he needed until a home could be found. “He was pretty… ugly,” she says, thinking back on the hairless pup. “He looked like he’d suffered a lot.” But leaving SDHS took quite a while, because so many people wanted to say goodbye.
Once he got settled in, Carrot was receptive, learning rules and playing, and his fur grew thicker all the time. “At my house, he perked up. He loved going for walks and got really acclimated to the home environment.” He made for a slightly comical companion to Spencer’s first rescue dog—“I had a really fluffy dog and a really naked dog,” she says. Carrot was in her care for three weeks before an adopter stepped up.
Back at SDHS, to celebrate the adoption and bid him farewell, the staff bought two cakes—carrot, of course—and invited everyone to share. “Everybody banded together to help this puppy,” Kaur says. “We were so determined to make sure he lived and had a great life. This can be tough work, but seeing Carrot healthy and in a happy home now makes it all worthwhile.”