A German shepherd who was left homeless in Detroit after her owner died has captured the hearts of many animal lovers with her loyalty to a stuffed toy.
The dog, named Nikki by her rescuers, was seen wandering the streets with a plush animal in her mouth, which she refused to let go even when she was finally caught by a team of animal rescue groups.
“Everybody was posting pictures in Detroit of who they were calling Nicholas, now Nikki because it’s a female, and of course started tagging Heather, South Lyon Murphy – can you help trap this dog?” said Katrina Weaver, the owner of It Is Pawzable Dog Training.
“We’re just happy to help. I saw the story, her and her stuffy just walking around. It was so sad, and I just reached out to Heather and said we would love to help and be a part of her happy home,” said Kristina Thompson, the owner of Sugar Mutts Grooming.
It took several days of failed attempts, but the team ultimately captured Nikki on May 4. According to the team, she clung to her favorite toy even when they were loading her inside the vehicle.
After being rescued, she was taken to the animal rescue headquarters, where a vet examined her and staff helped revive her stuffie. Sadly, Nikki tested positive for heartworm, a potentially fatal disease caused by parasitic worms that live in the heart and lungs of dogs.
“It (heartworm) can be prevented by giving your dog a pill every single month. So, now she has to get injections which it’s kind of a pesticide right it has to kill the worms and the dog has to be super calm and can’t do anything for a while, just leash walks, and it’s painful,” Weaver said.
Nikki will need to undergo four weeks of treatment before she can be adopted. A neighbor who had been feeding Nikki while she was homeless is now working with the rescues to find her a new home.
- Abandoned dog seen wandering Detroit streets with stuffed toy rescued, now receiving care. FOX 2 Detroit. May 4, 2023.
- Abandoned Dog Who was Seen Wandering Detroit Streets with Stuffed Toy Has Been Rescued. Gazette Review. May 5, 2023.
- Dog rescued after photos show her wandering streets with toy. WXYZ-TV Detroit. May 6, 2023.