Turtle the dog doesn’t have it easy on the rough streets of Mexico. Spending the day looking for just enough food to survive and going to sleep knowing that you must start over the next morning was daunting to the pooch and its health, but luckily it has changed his life for the better.
As part of the midcap household, Turtle has a life full of love, belly rubbing, playtime and above all peace, security and stability ahead of him.
NBC-7 meteorologist Dagmar Midcap saw a picture of the once very emaciated dog and knew immediately that she had to give him a home.
“He deserved another chance because he fought so hard and went through so much,” she said.
It’s a photo that’s hard to forget. The pooch now known as the turtle is mostly made up of bones with little fur that barely adheres to it in the photo. You can see that the dog’s right front paw is swollen and his head is bowed in search of something to eat so he can live the next day.
His health was in poor health when rescuers finally caught Turtle after chasing him on the streets for about three days in hopes of recovery. With enough persistence, they were finally able to capture the dog and take it to a vet who diagnosed him with a bone infection, mange, and said he was incredibly malnourished.
It took Turtle a while to join the midcap family as he was under veterinary care for more than a month after his capture. His health had to improve before he could travel to the United States, but with loving care and nutrition, he was able to achieve this goal.
“The turtle eats everything I give him,” said Midcap happily. “He’s a lot better now, he’s put on a lot, his fur is coming in.”
Turtle Midcap enjoys a nice nap in his cozy room.
As he gets used to his new home, Turtle slowly begins to show small parts of his personality. When he first arrived at his eternal home on Wednesday, he was reserved and shy. For the first 24 hours since arriving, the Midcap pooch has shown that he loves the company of dogs but is afraid of people.
Some dogs take a while to trust people, but Midcap is patient, respectful, and understands that Turtle needs to go at his own pace for comfort so the two can form a strong bond. However, there have already been small victories that give a positive outlook on what is to come.
“He’s definitely still scared of people, but within two hours I brought him his third or fourth bowl of food and he was wagging his little tail,” said Midcap. She added that she could stand a few feet away from her new pup while he was still comfortable.
Two officials from the San Diego Humane Society head north to help animals affected by the burning Caldor fire.
For midcap, who has six dogs, five birds, two turtles, fish, tadpoles, a turkey, a rooster, and a chicken, it is critical that their furry, feathery, and scaly babies come from animal shelters or be rescued. She shared that four of her dogs were strays rescued from the streets of Mexico, and despite their health problems, she wanted to adopt the pups to give them the life they deserve.
“It’s important for me to take these guys in because nobody else gives them a chance,” she said. “People overlook how beautiful they are because their exterior is damaged from the outside.”
“They have so much life experience and are often more grateful for having been through so much,” she said of saving animals. “You are so grateful for the peace you have received in your home.”
NBC and Telemundo stations across the country are looking for people, groups, and nonprofits doing amazing things for animals for the Clear The Shelters: PAWSitively Good Awards!
Midcap encourages aspiring pet parents to connect with adoption and care specialists for a successful adoption. She also adds that those who want a new addition to their household should check out their local rescue organizations and shelters.
“Give the rescue workers a chance. They are special, they really are, ”she said. “You have been through so much in life. Many of them will give back so much more than they will ever get from you. “
NBC is currently in the midst of Clear The Shelters 2021, a nationwide pet adoption campaign with the aim of finding as many permanent homes as possible for animal shelter in need. To find a pet to rescue from a San Diego animal shelter, check out NBC 7 Complete The Shelters 2021 Adoption Guide.