She was essentially nonexistent to pretty much everyone until Denise Santiago Jones spotted her at the North Central Animal Care and Control and took video footage of her. Tess appeared to be in pain – so much so that she could barely lay down. Jones posted the footage on facebook with a plea for help. It worked.
Once the plea reached Chela Landau – founder of Starfish Animal Rescue in Los Angeles, Calif. – a plan was put in place. The beautifully sweet, arthritic old girl with bad skin was rescued by Landau on Sunday. Wait! It gets better. Landau also rescued Hugo, the pig! Video footage of Tess visiting him while at the shelter was taken by shelter staff.
Landau described her rescue experience to The Animal Rights and Rescue Advocate this way:
I am absolutely exhausted but it went so well. … Hugo [will be] neutered Tuesday. [H]e is a handful and hopefully this will help. Tess is also scheduled for the vet and we heard some stuff going on in her lungs which I am hoping is just kennel cough.
I just got back today, yesterday was so long and tiring—it began yesterday at the shelter at 9 am trying to corral Hugo. My fantasy of putting a halter on him and calmly walking to my car were evaporated when he freaked out at the sight of the haltie—-it took 3 men to corral him into a corner to put him into my crate. Luckily he was quiet in the car.
I am so in love with Tess. She spent the whole five hours riding in my passenger seat staring at me with adoration—in between trying to sneak into my lap. I drove mostly with one hand so I could pet her the whole way. She is an absolute doll and she fit in perfectly with the other animals…. I miss her actually, she followed me around everywhere at the rescue, she had bonded so tightly with me because she is wired that way, I just cannot imagine how anyone could have abandoned her.
Anyone who does rescue work knows very well that the terms “daunting,” “exhausting,” and “emotional” are understatements. Hats off to all those who work tirelessly to save the forgotten; the “throw-aways” in a throw-away society.
Another term that is an understatement when it comes to rescue is “costly.” Tess is sick. In addition to her lungs not sounding clear, it seems she has a host of other health issues, including what is stated on the shelter medical notes.
Medical Condition: GERIATERIC, 12YRS OLD, ADVANCED DENTAL TARTAR, MODERATE CATARACT, HAIRLESS MOST OF THE BODY WITH SCALES AND EASTY SMELLS, AREAS WITH SLIGHT INFLAMMATION AND CALLUS, SMALL MASS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TAIL.
The rescue community wanted to save Tess. Check. Hugo, the pig, needed to be saved, too. Check. The rescue community wanted Tess to go to a reputable rescue. Check.
The costs of vet care for these two critters will be astronomical. Donations are desperately needed to help with this now costly endeavor. Anyone who can help is asked to donate by PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org. All donations are tax-deductible.
Landau will be publishing a video of Tess soon. Please stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the slideshow of Tess on rescue day.