Hope For Paws is normally a dog rescue group – but in this case, the “paws” in question may have belonged to a wolf! Volunteer for the dog rescue group, Eldad Hagar, found a giant skinny neglected dog named Julia in South Central Los Angeles. With the help of Lisa Chiarelli, they took the giant wolf dog in and took care of her.
Eldad Hagar received a report of a dog that had been neglected in the area. A representative of local animal charity group Hope For Paws, this was nothing new. He asked a friend, Lisa Chiarelli, to help him get a hold of the dog. When they reached her, he immediately knew this dog was special. As Hagar put it on the Hope For Paws website, “Usually we rescue dogs, but this time, I am pretty sure that we rescued a wolf-hybrid!!”
Hagar found the dog – whom he nicknamed Julia – about to enter a yard. He described the arrival and effort to take possession of sickeningly skinny dog: “As I slowed down in front of the gate, Lisa Chiarelli opened the door and jumped out before I even came to a complete halt. She calmly closed the gate, and the first part of this rescue was over – Julia was secured.”
The dog wasn’t in the best of shape – like a lot of rescues, her coat was in terrible condition, and it was obvious that she had been starving. Hagar couldn’t believe his eyes.
“Julia had an old rope tied to her which indicates to me that someone owned and neglected her to a criminal level… this poor girl was so swollen from infections, she was bleeding, pus was oozing from everywhere, and it’s hard to see because of this coat, but she is just skin and bones,” he explained.
To get Julia to trust the strangers, Hagar encouraged Chiarelli to offer treats to the big abuse survivor. This tactic worked, albeit a little at a time.
“Even though Julia was so skinny and starved, she took food so gently,” Hagar said.
Chiarelli, twenty minutes into feeding the dog, placed Hagar’s so-called “Lucky Leash” on the rescue.
The owner of the yard that Julia had wandered into noticed the pair at work. Hagar told her the situation, and after handing her a card, said he would take care of “this poor girl that was wandering in this neighborhood.”
Hagar and Chiarelli rearranged the car’s inventory to make room for the wolfish stray. Julia was skittish throughout the process. Hagar coaxed her inside the car, and the three took off to the rescue organization’s headquarters. They also took Julia to the Hollywood Veterinary Care Center to treat the abused dog. Lab work confirmed that Julia had Demodectic Mange that required a bath.
Hagar also noted that, “Julia’s paws were so swollen, her nails were so long… so much discomfort, but it was all about to change.”
At a mere 2 years old, the wolf-dog was a survivor: this much was obvious, especially after the water broke down the scabs of the mange. Julia was relieved when the bath was over. Dr. Ingram checked Julia, then gave the dog dinner and comfortably laid her to bed for the night. Hagar even checked in on her three hours later at the dog hospital.
Since her rescue, Julia’s recovery is slow but steady. It’s been made easier by having a solid friend in Hagar. He loves to spend time with her, saying: “Today I took Julia and we sat together outside for an hour. We enjoyed each other’s company, we looked at the people who looked at us and probably thought to themselves ‘look at this guy sitting there with a wolf.’”
While she doesn’t wag her tail yet, she will show affection by rubbing her head on Hagar. As he put it, “What a special girl.”