On a cold night, a stray dog knocks on a man’s door and asks to be rescued

On a cold January night in Earlton, New York, a man opened his front door to find an unexpected visitor.
A skinny, hairless dog shivered in the frigid air, and the man had no idea where she’d come from.

“It appeared that she had been dumped by the roadside and abandoned,” a Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA spokesperson wrote on Facebook.
“It was a cold night, and it was assumed she came to the door in search of food and warmth.”

The man took the dog inside and called the cops, who took her to the shelter.
The staff’s hearts broke when they saw the dog, now named Penny.

“She was in bad shape,” said Ron Perez, president of the Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA.
“She had some open lacerations on her face and neck, and she was nearly hairless.”
It was heartbreaking.
It’s always heartbreaking to see them like this.”

Penny was diagnosed with demodex mange, a severe skin condition caused by mites burrowing into a dog’s skin.

Demodex mange can be fatal if left untreated, according to Chris Reeder, a board-certified veterinarian at BluePearl Veterinary Hospital in Franklin, Tennessee.
“Generally, it’s more debilitating than fatal,” he says, “but it can be in certain situations.”

While Penny had survived, the mange had taken its toll on her health: she’d lost most of her fur, leaving her with dry, flaky skin that had become infected and scabby.

“When she scratched it, she scratched her flesh, which became infected and caused more bleeding,” Perez explained.

Penny, on the other hand, recovered quickly thanks to medical treatment and lots of love.
“She looked like a different dog within a week,” Perez said.
“The veterinarian was very impressed with her recovery.”

Penny recovered even more as the weeks passed.
Perez explained that her mange is now completely gone, but her hair may never grow back completely.

“She’s a true fighter and very resilient,” Perez said. “Her stress levels are clearly much lower now, because she’s interacting with people, eating properly, and sleeping properly.”

The Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA has been working with local police to find the person who abandoned Penny while she has been recovering.
Penny’s former owner was identified within 24 hours, and he was arrested on animal cruelty charges.
If convicted, the former owner faces a $1,000 fine as well as jail time.

Everyone involved in Penny’s case is relieved that justice may be served, but they’re even more pleased with the couple who recently adopted Penny.

“We received a large number of applications to adopt her,” Perez said.
“However, these two people are fantastic pet owners.
They took it slowly and paid her visits a couple of times a week.
They brought their dogs, and everyone got along great.
I’d like to think this is the last place she’ll ever live.”

Penny will leave on Saturday to begin her new life, and the shelter staff is overjoyed.

Perez described her as “just a sweet dog.”
“She hasn’t got a mean bone in her body.”
She’s an absolute doll, and she’ll make an excellent pet.”