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A Real-Life Rags-to-Riches Story

Written by Alisa Mullins | August 27, 2013

For at least eight years, this is what Itchy called “home”:

PETA’s fieldworkers have been watching over Itchy in Suffolk, Virginia, since 2007. Through the years, Itchy has survived on his own, stuck in a garbage-strewn pen outdoors, eager for our visits and for the attention that he knew would always come with them. Late last month, one of our fieldworkers noticed that Itchy’s persistent cough—the result of an advanced, untreated case of heartworm disease—had gotten markedly worse. Itchy managed to survive the rain and winds of notorious Southeastern Virginia nor’easters, hurricanes, and sweltering summer heat waves with the aid of his PETA-donated doghouse, but we knew he wouldn’t survive this.

After we let his owners know that Itchy’s condition was serious and that he needed immediate, long-term, intensive veterinary care, they gave him to us. The first thing that we did was remove him from his filthy pen, and even though he was ill, he acted like a puppy, having fun sniffing and exploring. We are happy to announce that although many neglected “outdoor dogs” do not meet a happy end, Itchy has. 

As you’ll see, after weeks of TLC and aggressive veterinary treatment for a severe whipworm infestation, Itchy has gained more than 20 pounds. He got a bath and flea treatment, which helped soothe his irritated skin. He also had his teeth cleaned and was recently deemed well enough to be neutered.

Itchy’s sponsors throughout his recovery recently welcomed him into their lovely home in Middleburg, Virginia, where he has joined two other rescued dogs and will spend his twilight years in doggie paradise. This week, Itchy began treatment for his heartworm disease, and his guardians report that he is already showing signs of improvement, although he will have to take it easy until he is entirely worm-free.

Itchy may be an elderly gentleman, but he is strong and energetic and has much pep in his step. He loves exploring, eating, and being told that he is a dashing, handsome boy.

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  • evzilla says:

    I love it when misery ends when someone finds their way home. What a lovely Black Beauty story. Good luck acclimating to indoor life, Itchy. It’s weird, but worth it.

  • Seth says:

    So you finally saved a dog from the death van.. YAY! So how many fleas did you petards kill off the dog? Remember, you were anti-Obama after the fly swatting incident. 😛