The scared puppy cowers in a corner until the weight of its past is lifted.

Tony Nguyen | Animals
September 14, 2023

In the realm of animal rescue, some stories stand as poignant reminders of the resilience of animals and the remarkable transformation that love and care can bring about. Stewart’s story is one such testament to the incredible power of compassion and dedication.

The tale began when animal control authorities stumbled upon a furry figure in a woodland, a sight that would haunt them forever. This tiny soul was not just abandoned; he had been subjected to a heart-wrenching form of cruelty. A heavy leather strap was fastened to a chain, binding him to a tree, far away from any signs of life. The emaciated pup bore the physical scars of neglect, and the fear in his eyes revealed a past marred by pain and suffering. It was evident that someone had placed him there with the cruel intention of letting him perish, providing him no access to food or water.

Courtney Bellew, Director of Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation at Snarr, recalled the heart-wrenching moment, stating, “When we found him, we were certain his previous existence must have been terribly painful.” They aptly named him Stewart and promptly transported him to a shelter. The initial days at any shelter can be challenging for a pup, but Stewart’s case was particularly harrowing. He spent his days huddled in a corner, his fear palpable to anyone who approached.

One of the shelter helpers shared, “He didn’t want anyone near him. He stayed hidden in a corner, his small head tucked away. He was clearly terrified.” Stewart’s actions were stark indicators of the unjust and painful treatment he had endured. His trauma was so deep that no one could approach him, let alone remove the heavy leather collar that weighed him down.

Determined to help Stewart overcome his fear and heal from his past, the volunteers tried various approaches. But nothing seemed to work. Stewart’s fear persisted, and he barely ate. The situation grew dire, and they couldn’t even take him to the vet due to his extreme anxiety. It was then that Courtney made a crucial decision to sedate Stewart, not only to provide necessary medical care but also to attempt the removal of the burdensome collar.

Under the vigilant care of the veterinarian, Stewart received the treatment he desperately needed to rebuild his strength. During the time Stewart was sedated, Courtney took the opportunity to liberate him from the weight of his past, removing the heavy leather collar that had symbolized his torment. When Stewart awoke and realized he was free from that tremendous burden, something incredible happened. For the first time, he cast a hesitant glance at the volunteers and even mustered the courage to attempt interaction.

Courtney recalled the transformation, saying, “That collar around his neck was a relic of his past. When we removed it, he began to open up, and he even wagged his tail.” Stewart’s newfound sense of freedom marked a pivotal turning point in his journey.


While we may never know the full extent of the horrors Stewart experienced, one thing is certain: every act of kindness and affection from his rescuers is helping him put his traumatic past behind him. Stewart’s story serves as a poignant reminder that every pup deserves a second chance at happiness and love.

Let us not forget to share this story, spreading the message that compassion and rescue efforts can make a world of difference in the lives of animals like Stewart, helping them heal and find the promising future they truly deserve.