Hopa was one of those animals that one look at him told you he’d never had a real break in life. We were contacted about him by several different people, but it was another rescue which was coordinating the effort to help save him. That organization was In Harmony With Nature Animal Haven (IHWN) and they needed our help. IHWN has been a partner of Shy Wolf’s in many rescues over the years. When they contacted us and said that they had no room for this boy from Miami Dade (a high kill shelter), we didn’t hesitate to say we would do our best.
Hopa came with no name and, obviously, no one who’d loved him. He was walked into the shelter as a “stray”, but it is highly unlikely a stranger could have leashed him. While at the shelter, the staff did their best to treat him medically, but they were afraid of him and labeled him as aggressive. This meant he had no hope of being put onto the adoption floor and little hope of surviving. The poor guy was suffering from not only demodectic mange, but also emaciation and possible sarcoptic mange.
Once cleared for rescue, our East coast volunteer, Michele Murphy, jumped in her car and rushed to get him. Despite the fact that mange can be contagious, she put him in her own dog’s crate and transported him to our sanctuary. Upon arrival, we could feel him relax, knowing he was safe, as he was welcomed with a pack howl. The first order of business was to start feeding him, caring for his wounds and loving him. Second was choosing a name. Very quickly (as in the first full day here) a pow-wow of volunteers commenced and HOPA was selected as his new name. In Lakota, Hopa means handsome. We could see through the ugly duckling to the beautiful soul that would emerge with a little food and a lot of TLC.