April 6, 2009 – Her eyes looked outward from her cage, mix her ears perk up as she watches someone new approach her. It’s a woman and her two children. As they try to pet her through the cage, Pappi stays put. She does not go near them and the touch of another human being’s affection is foreign to her. In a year and a half’s worth of living, the Pomeranian mixed dog has not been treated with much kindness.
Pappi grew up in a wrecking yard, where her owners let her run and breed freely. But her days of running free on all fours came to an end when a forklift ran over her, breaking her leg. Because her owners couldn’t afford the surgery Pappi needed they opted to let her broken leg heal on its own.
A month after her accident a customer at the wrecking yard saw Pappi suffering and took pictures of her and her broken leg and sent them out in an email to shelters in the area. Within a day animal control picked up Pappi and found her malnourished with her leg hanging off. Her leg had also developed a stench because it had become infected. Pappi was taken to a shelter where a case against her owners is currently being built.
“It was just really bad living conditions,” Ace of Hearts founder Kari Whitman said. “It was filthy, and her leg was just hanging off and she was starving. We get these kinds of calls all day.”
Like all the dogs at Ace of Hearts, Pappi was found and taken to a shelter, where she was well on her way to becoming euthanized. In Los Angeles County alone 500 dogs are euthanized daily in shelters Whitman said. But Pappi did not become one of those 500 because the shelter was building a case against her owners that allowed her more time. Then two weeks ago Ace of Hearts – a no kill foundation that takes in dogs from shelters and finds foster and permanent homes for dogs in danger of being euthanized – found her and saved her from being put down.
Because of her living conditions Ace of Hearts Operations Manager Kai Han said she is still learning and getting used to being petted by others.
“She is slowly coming out of her shell,” Han said. “Living in a wrecking yard, she wasn’t well socialized with a lot of people. You can’t just walk up and pet her really quickly, she still needs to be slowly introduced to you and new things.”
Today, Pappi gets along well with just three legs and enjoys running on the beach with her foster caretaker in Malibu.
But even though Pappi is living in Malibu, it won’t be for long because the house is simply temporary until someone willing to take in this shy Pomeranian mix comes along.
Today, outside of PetCo on N. Doheny Drive, in West Hollywood, where Ace of Hearts hold their adoption drives every Saturday, several people have seen her, attempted to pet her and have spoken to her. Whether or not any one of these potential owners decide to adopt her is still unknown, until then however, Pappi will reside with her foster in Malibu during the week and next Saturday she will watch and wait for someone to adopt her and take her home forever with them.