In March 2024, Rosemary’s life took a dramatic turn when she was discovered emaciated, injured, and dirty in an abandoned shed in north Denver. Tragically, she was living alongside another dog who had passed away. The kind people who found Rosemary quickly brought her to the Dumb Friends League, where our Shelter Veterinary Services (SVS) team sprang into action to save her life.

Upon examination, Rosemary was so weakened she could barely stand for a few seconds before collapsing. Her “body condition score” —a standard, numerical value used to describe an animal’s nutritional status and physical health—was a dire 2 out of 9 (with 5 representing a healthy weight), and she had multiple painful pressure sores and small lacerations across her fragile body. Additionally, her paws were caked with dried mud, a stark reminder of the harrowing conditions she had recently endured.

Our dedicated veterinary team knew that Rosemary needed intensive care and thoughtful nourishment to survive. They soon started her on Hill’s Prescription Diet Canine i/d, a therapeutic pet food developed and provided by our generous partners at Hills Pet Nutrition, to help her gain weight and replenish the nutrients she had lost. This partnership has long been instrumental in transforming the future for countless shelter pets like Rosemary, helping to give them a second chance at a happy and healthy life.

Incredibly, after just one day, Rosemary began to show signs of improvement. With nutritious food and medicine onboard, she became brighter, stronger, and more responsive. Recognizing her need for a calm and healing environment, we also placed her in a League foster home where she could receive the special attention she needed to regain her strength and recover from her wounds. During her time in foster care, Rosemary gained five pounds (a whole 11% of her weight at intake) and started to show her playful, affectionate personality. Her foster family showered her with love, and she responded in kind, her energy levels rising with each passing day.

When Rosemary returned to the shelter, our SVS team was thrilled with her progress. Her wounds were healing nicely and were no longer painful. Better yet, her weight gain was right on track. With her newfound energy and well-being, Rosemary was spayed and became available for adoption shortly thereafter.

It didn’t take long for a lovely couple to fall head over tails in love with Rosemary. They had another boxer, also adopted from the League, who had experienced a similar rough start in life. The couple first met Rosemary at our shelter without their dog and were instantly captivated by her sweet and loving nature. When they introduced their boxer to Rosemary, it was clear they were all meant to be together—the two dogs became best friends instantly!

Today, Rosemary is living her best life with her new family, thriving in an environment filled with love and care. Her remarkable transformation, from a frail and injured pup to a healthy, happy dog, is a testament to the power of compassion and the vital role played by Hills Pet Nutrition in helping to give shelter pets like Rosemary a new lease on life. Thanks in part to their incredible support, Rosemary has started her next chapter with a family who loves her dearly, ensuring her future is as bright and beautiful as she is.