On Sunday, Matt Bentley was off-roading in Utah when he noticed something out of the corner of his eye rushing through the desert: a huge animal that was entirely bald.
Bentley approached the thing gently to inspect, and he quickly recognized that it was a dog that had lost all of her hair.
The dog was sunburned, covered with scabs, and incredibly skinny, just holding to life alone in the blazing heat. Bentley called her, and she walked right up to him.
“She’d probably been out there for a long time,” Bentley stated in a video. “She was a miles from anyone.”
The dog, clearly anxious for assistance, was more than happy to leap inside Bentley’s car. Even though she knew she was secure, she couldn’t stop shaking and scratching her sensitive skin.
He transported her to a local veterinary clinic. The hospital quickly contacted Utah Animal Adoption Center, which volunteered to pay for her care. The shelter manager, Lila Oulson, couldn’t believe her eyes when she finally saw the puppy.
“I was stunned,” Oulson said to The Dodo. “She was unlike anything I’d ever seen before. Her paw pads are so red that you can tell every step she makes bothers her. She’s so itchy that she just sits there and sobs in agony.”
Kelly, which means “fighter” in Gaelic, was named by Oulson. Nobody knows where she came from, but she was most likely a stray or was put there by her prior owner – if she had one. She is said to be between the ages of seven and ten.
“She’s a little warrior to be alive after all she’s been through,” Oulson added. “I’m not sure how she did it. We’re estimating she’s been out there for at least three months based on how slender she is and the state of her skin.”
Kelly, who is now on medicines to help prevent infection from her mange, is already feeling some relief after only a few days of treatment. Her unkempt nails have finally been cut and Oulson hopes that, later this week, she will be well enough to get a bath to help soothe her irritated skin.
“Hopefully, the mites will be gone in two to three weeks, and she’ll begin the long process of growing her hair back,” Oulson said. “Right now, we don’t know what kind of dog she is – she may be a hound mix or a poodle.”
Regardless of her breed, it didn’t take long for Kelly to show rescuers how much she appreciated them providing her with the attention she so needed.
Kelly will be spayed and placed for adoption as soon as she is well enough, which may be in as little as a month.
“She’s really a sweet girl – as sweet as a sweet girl can be,” Oulson continued. “All she wants is to be with someone.” She is currently isolated since her mites are contagious, but we’ll suit up in proper clothing and just sit with her. Dogs just have this resilience even when people do bad things to them … She’s definitely one of them.”