Even a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Couldn’t Save This Dog—but PETA Could

Published by Alisa Mullins.

You’d never guess it from the big smile on her face, but Missy endured a life of loneliness and deprivation for the past 10 years that almost killed her.

Happy senior dog with pink harness

Ever since she was a puppy, Missy lived in a junk-strewn pen with only a discarded Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toy for “company.”

Black dog in backyard enclosure littered with trash

Through summer heatwaves, thunderstorms, hurricanes, and even snowstorms, she was out there all alone, huddling in her wooden doghouse.

Black dog looking over fence on snowy day

PETA fieldworkers visited Missy frequently over the past decade, bringing her straw bedding, flea treatment, and other supplies. They developed a special bond with the spunky chow-Lab mix, who was always thrilled to see them—and to get her obligatory tummy rub.

PETA staffer petting black dog

Missy’s indigent guardian did the best she could, making sure that Missy had food and water, which is more than many “backyard dogs” get.

Black dog with her paws on top of her doghouse

But she couldn’t afford even basic veterinary care, and it took a toll. On their last visit, PETA fieldworkers noticed that Missy was losing weight and had the bloating and raspy cough that’s often a telltale sign of heartworm disease.

Black dog in small outdoor enclosure surrounded by trash

Missy’s guardian realized that it was time to let her go. If the ailing dog was to have any chance of surviving, she needed immediate medical treatment, which her guardian was unable to provide.

Missy in the place she called home before being rescued

This is Missy now.

Missy, a senior dog rescued by PETA, on a flowery couch

After starting on long-overdue treatment for her heartworm disease, she’s feeling spunkier than ever. She thinks rolling in the grass, sleeping on her very own armchair, getting tummy rubs every hour (sometimes more often than that, if we’re being totally honest), and having a new sloth bear toy best friend (sorry, Donatello) is pretty darned cool.

Happy black senior dog with stuffed animal

“She is a beautiful soul who deserves to be treated like royalty,” says the fieldworker who rescued her. We agree! If you have a vacancy in your castle for a newly crowned princess, leave a calling card at [email protected] to find out more about her majesty.

Cute senior black dog smiling

Learn More About Missy And Other Adoptable Animals

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind