Lollipop, a sweet 1-year-old hound mix, needs a loving home after having a rough start in life.
After giving birth to a litter of pups, she was dumped at a high-kill shelter in Kentucky before being rescued and transported to the Will County Humane Society. “The family literally bred her and then dumped her,” said humane society shelter manager Malorie Ernst. “Lollipop wasn’t even done weaning the puppies yet and she was still full of milk.”
Lollipop’s tale is being told as part of the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s 2021 Dog Park Calendar fundraising effort, which raises money for the humane society, the oldest no-kill shelter in the county.
The precious pup is available through the foster-to-adopt program at willcountyhumane.com. Lollipop’s photo and story will be included in the dog park calendar, which can be ordered at willcountydogs.org through Nov. 13. Calendars will be delivered the first week in December in time to give them as presents to all your friends and family for the holidays. Calendars cost $15, and $10 dollars from every sale will be donated to the humane society, which survives on donations alone.
The calendar also will be filled with photos of the dogs that play at the District’s six dog parks. The Forest Preserve’s first calendar effort in 2020 raised almost $6,000 for the shelter, funding that was used for food, medical treatments, supplies and other necessities that helped keep the animals safe and healthy.
Lollipop’s story illustrates the plight of shelter animals. The humane society took the pup in three months ago after she was rescued by a group working to save animals from euthanasia, which would have been Lollipop’s fate without intervention.
“Her fur was patchy and her skin was rough,” Ernst said “She was scared and very shy. We soon found out she tested positive for heartworm disease, Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis (a bacterial infection) on top of having many intestinal parasites.”
The dog is receiving medical treatment and she’s warming up to humans and is now considered a “miracle case” for how she is responding, Ernst said. One of the reasons it has been difficult to find a home for Lollipop is because she has not finished her heartworm treatment yet, which means she cannot run or play hard until her heart is completely free of the heartworm parasites. Ernst stressed that the dog’s condition is not contagious.
A family that takes Lollipop in would sign a foster-to-adopt agreement, which means they would be foster parents until the dog was healthy and then they would adopt her once her medical treatment concluded. That would allow the humane society to pay for all her treatment and monitor her condition until medical intervention was no longer necessary.
Lollipop is getting stronger every day with a regimen of antibiotics, steroids and pain medications and she has overcome all her other ailments, so Ernst is confident Lollipop will be healed in just a few more months. “She’s still a little guarded at first with new people, but that’s normal especially with what she’s been through,” Ernst said. “But with the shelter staff, she’s super bubbly and loves to play with toys and loves the company of other dogs.”
Ernst is hoping to get Lollipop into a new home as soon as possible so she can bond with a family of her own. “She’s just a genuine, overall great dog,” Ernst said. “Our goal here is to get her out of the stress of being in a shelter and into a home where she can properly recover.”
Many of the dogs that visit the Forest Preserve’s dog parks were once shelter dogs themselves, said Laura Kiran, the Forest Preserve’s director of marketing and communications.
“The dogs that visit Forest Preserve dog parks are lucky, because they have homes and owners who care for and about them,” Kiran said. “But not every animal is as fortunate. The calendar initiative is a way to help those pets that are without a loving family to call their own, while also putting our dog park patrons’ pets in the spotlight.”
For more information on the Forest Preserve District of Will County, visit ReconnectWithNature.org.