As part of Amazon’s #SeasonOfSmiles holiday campaign, Special Pals wanted to share the full story of Demi, an American Staffordshire Terrier. She came to Special Pals in mid-April 2017 and was scarred, scared, and hopeless. Weeks of patience and love from our staff paid off to give Demi a happy ending.
When you support Special Pals by shopping on AmazonSmile, you are providing for dogs and cats like Demi who arrive to Special Pals with no hope… and stay safe with us until their forever families are found.
Demi’s story is told by Valerie Murray, kennel manager at Special Pals.
She was originally picked up as a stray in a suburb of Houston, where the shelter is very small and where animals are euthanized. The volunteers of the shelter fell in love with her and a plea went out on social media for a rescue to take her in before their three-day stray hold expired. Special Pals answered the call and she took another ride in the animal control truck, this time to safety at our no-kill animal shelter.
When we first met her in her little compartment on the truck, all we could see was a big, naked head with two of the saddest eyes looking back at us. Since she wouldn’t walk, we carried this girl to privacy in the doggie retreat. She needed a name right away and someone said “Demi, after Demi Moore from GI Jane, the movie where she shaves her head bald!” and Demi it was.
We were expecting Demi to have a bad case of mange and we weren’t wrong. The poor girl was crusty all over… until she moved. Her scabs and skin would flake off and her sheets would be bloody within hours and have to be changed.
Demi was extremely fearful of everything and everyone when she arrived at Special Pals. When we would go to feed her, clean her room, or even just to check on her, she would scurry to her bed and just lay there with her head down, watching us. She would cower as low as she could get whenever a hand was reaching out to pet her or offer a treat.
It took over two weeks before she would finally get up from the bed to greet anyone, and another week before she showed any interest in the open door. Even when she began venturing outside, the slightest noise had her running back to the safety of her bed. It took over a month before Demi actually RAN when we took her outside.
With time and patience, the true Demi came out. She became a clownish, playful little girl with tons of personality. She also stayed at Special Pals during Hurricane Harvey, where she was cared for daily by the only staff member who was able to make it through high water to the shelter. Her outside healed eventually too. When Demi’s fur grew in, it was a rich, glossy black color. Demi was one of the pups we featured in the 2018 Red White & Rescue calendar!
Demi’s family, a mom and her teenage son, finally found her in October of 2017! Now she’s enjoying life in a home, and all the pampering she can handle. She sleeps in bed with her “mom” and gets to watch reality TV shows while having her nails painted pink. What a life! Congratulations Demi!
About Special Pals
Special Pals is Houston’s longest-running no-kill animal shelter. Our animals live in our facility 24/7 and are cared for daily by our staff and dedicated volunteers. To help Special Pals save lives like Demi, make a donation online or check out how you can help by shopping on Amazon.