When Elliot Sherin, an 17-year-old girl, decided to take a Jamaica cruise last December, she never expected to save a life.
Sherin and her father were about to ride a horse on a beach one of the days of the trip when they reached the ranch and their eyes focused on a flock of stray dogs roaming around.
Behind them was a puppy, which had nothing but bones and was covered in dirt. His front paws were wobbly and inward. He would not be more than 3 months old.
Elliot named him Kingston.
“The rest of the dogs ran to us looking for food,” Sherin said. “But the little one was very afraid. He wouldn’t let us get close to him. All I was thinking at that moment was, “How am I going to get him out of here?”
She left the dog with food and ran back to the cruise to do some research. After a while she found Animal House Jamaica and immediately contacted the group to see if there was anything they could do to help her save Kingston.
“At that moment, I was completely determined to rescue this dog and take it home with me,” Sherin said. “I couldn’t stop looking at the picture I had taken of him. It was clearly visible that he was just a very afraid sweet dog. Meanwhile, I had my family saying, “Yes, yes, that is impossible.”
Fortunately, the shelter responded to Sherin in the affirmative and that they would help if she could somehow get the dog to the shelter. As long as Sherin pledged to help cover the costs of veterinary care and his flight home, they would handle his recovery so that he would be healthy enough to take him home to Seattle, Washington.
The situation suddenly became more realistic. Sherin’s parents agreed that if she paid her travel costs alone, they would allow her to have the dog. She immediately launched an online fundraising campaign, sharing Kingston’s story and asking friends and family to contribute in every way possible.
She was only going to stay in Jamaica for a few more days, but she knew she would be able to convince the ranch staff to pick up the dog and take him under. She was stubborn – and was determined.
“They weren’t very interested in helping me out at first,” said Sherin. “They saw him as just another stray dog on the streets. In the meantime I came home, but I kept boring and bothering the ranch people for three straight weeks. ”
Sherin’s constant persistence paid off. The shelter immediately contacted her with the news that the farmers had captured Kingston and that he was safely in the shelter.
“He was really malnourished, covered in cuts and scrapes and had worms,” Sherin said. “He would stay with the rescue team until February, to be healthy enough to be able to fly.”
After raising over $ 900 with the help of family and friends, Sherin finally managed to book Kingston’s trip home. She donated the remaining money from the shelter for taking such good care of it and waited patiently for her arrival at her new home.
The day finally arrived in mid-February – and Sherin could not have been more elated.
“We arrived at the airport and he was waiting with all the other pets that had flown,” said Sherin. “They lifted the garage door and I saw him sitting in his box… and then I just cried. He was here after everyone laughed at me for being a ‘kid’ and trying to handle everything on my own. But he was finally home and he was so handsome. ”
Knowing that Kingston was afraid to return to the same place he had come from, Sherin was really worried that he would be very stressed in his new home. But not…
“After about 10 minutes of exploration, he came back and sat on my lap,” Sherin said. “I could tell he was hungry for attention. He just wanted someone to love and relate to. ”
After a checkup with his new vet, it was determined that his legs were bent from a calcium deficiency – which had developed from not having been on a proper diet during his first months of life. He is expected to recover, but the family will have to keep an eye out if he needs to start wearing braces to get some support.
“The shelter told us that Kingston had probably been abandoned shortly after birth,” Sherin said. “So he’s been fighting and starving all his life.”
Now about 8 months old, Kingston is as happy and healthy as ever. He loves everyone he meets – and loves his older brother, a 6-year-old Labrador named Bentley.
His days are no longer spent looking for food or running away from noisy tourists. Now he goes to the dog park, cuddles up in his cozy bed and eats all the treats he wants.
Sherin’s parents, who were hesitant at first, also fell in love with Kingston.
“They love him,” Sherin said. “My dad and he nap on the couch, my mom takes him to bed with his little blanket every night.”
Seeing how great Kingston’s life is now, Sherin can’t help but take pride in it every time someone asks where he came from.
“Having him here is what I am most proud of in my life,” Sherin said. “Before Kingston, I had never visited a country where abandoned dogs were so abundant. I had never seen a dog so malnourished that it could barely stand up. He opened my eyes to so many things. I am grateful and believe him too. ”
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Source: Portal do Animal