Have you ever seen chain-link pens for sale at your local feed-and-seed store and wondered about the sad lives of the unfortunate animals forced to live in them? Well, PETA fieldworkers don’t have to imagine it: For seven years, they visited a sweet golden retriever mix named Mingo who was never allowed to leave a 6-foot-by-10-foot box:
That’s a PETA doghouse Mingo is perched on in the photo above—its weathered appearance is mute testimony to the length of time she was confined on that depressing patch of dirt.
The few comforts she had during those long years—toys, treats, straw bedding, fresh water, scratches behind the ears, and more—were mostly supplied by PETA fieldworkers, who repeatedly pleaded with her owner to free Mingo from her chain-link prison cell, to no avail.
It wasn’t until Mingo’s health began to decline that her owner finally relented and gave PETA permission to give her a chance at a better life.
Her freedom almost came too late: A veterinary exam revealed that she’s suffering from heartworm disease and what is suspected to be early-stage liver cancer.
While the heartworms are treatable, Mingo’s liver disease may be terminal—but she has no idea she’s living on borrowed time. In her new home with the PETA fieldworker who negotiated her release, she’s celebrating every day like it’s as precious as a peanut butter biscuit.
She’s inhaling the sweet smell of freshly mown grass. (It’s much nicer, she reports, than the urine-saturated and feces-littered muck she was surrounded by before.)
She’s roll-roll-rolling on the carpet.
And then rolling on it some more.
She’s making new friends, including fellow PETA rescued dog Edith.
She’s mock wrestling with her new brother and chasing him around the yard as if she were only 2 years old, not over 10!
She’s indulging her passion for collecting blankets and towels (including those worn by her guardians when they emerge from the shower).
Last but not least, she’s reveling in open-window car rides and sniffing the breeze as it tousles her golden locks.
“Adopt a Senior Pet” Month is still months away, but we hope you won’t wait that long to make the golden years the happiest ones for a deserving senior cat or dog like Mingo.