Hikers Find Abandoned Dog In The Woods, Only To Discover…


Discovering Benny

Luckily for Benny, after he was abandoned, he was fortunate enough to be spotted by walkers in the woods when they spotted a box that seemed peculiar to them. But on their rescue mission they discovered there was more to the story, and Benny was not completely alone like they thought.


Unfortunately, This Is Not Uncommon

When the passersby decided to check out the box, they found a dog lying in the box with just a blanket. This was a situation many would be reluctant to check out, but the locals were familiar with the area and the woods, and they were curious to see what this out-of-place box could possibly be doing in the middle of nowhere. So they did exactly that, and this is when they came to find the lone pup with no owner in sight or any claim of ownership on the box.


The Dog Is All Alone

When approaching the dog, it was clear that the lonely animal was without any food, had no water and no shelter from the heat and rain. The dog was found in Dowdy’s Ferry in Dallas, Texas, an area known for the abandonment of animals. It is a quiet and isolated area but close enough to town so they can be found by passersby. For the walkers, they were familiar with the fact that this happens around their walking trail.


Abandoning Dogs In The Woods

In fact, it is not uncommon to find unloved pets in these woods or abandoned on the side of the streets, along with other unwanted belongings such as old sofas, and broken house furniture. The area is also used for dumping trash, and has a stray dog problem. One woman acknowledged this problem expressed her distress. She said she “saw at least ten dogs in just one short stretch of Dowdy’s Ferry right away” when visiting one evening.


Man’s Best Friend?

Many dog owners are like proud parents, seeing their pet pup as one of their beloved children. Yet, while many see their dog as their child or their best friend, unfortunately there are others who don’t carry the same love for the friendly pets. In fact, there are many stories heard of cruelty towards animals and abandonment, which was the case for Benny who was found one afternoon in a box, cold and injured in the woods, one afternoon by hikers passing by.


Not Everyone Feels The Love

Many people dream of having a dog; having a friendly, furry companion who they can shower with love and sometimes even consider as their favorite family member. Unfortunately, there are some people out there who are not cut out for looking after dogs, but get them anyway. Upon realizing that their dog is not their best friend, they choose to then abandon them in terrible conditions, causing great distress for the animal and a life far away from a home and love.


Taking Action

With this happening more than often, many people who live near the area decided to take action and try and help these dogs. Amongst these people and groups is a local woman named Leslie Ysuhuaylas. Leslie set up a non-profit organization to help fight the problem in the area along with other volunteers, and this was the start of The Underdog Project to help these abandoned animals and respond to the ongoing problem in the quiet area.


A Scared Little Pup

Fortunately, it was Leslie and other Underdog Project volunteers who were the ones to stumble across the abandoned dog in the box during their walk. In fact, the group had actually encountered the dog previously but he ran away due to fear of any human contact. Yet, knowing the dog had no loving owner and was left in the woods, Leslie was not going to leave without helping the scared pup out. This is when she named him Benny and left him food.


Benny’s Past

It is still unclear as to the history behind Benny’s life, but it was clear that he had not just been left there that day and could have potentially been there for a considerable amount of time. Additionally, the poor pup faced a considerable amount of trauma, leaving him too scared to interact with humans that passed him who could potentially rescue him from his current conditions. This was the case with Leslie and her team on their initial interaction with him.


Approaching Benny

The day the team found Benny for the second time, the temperature had dropped to below 20 degrees, which was certainly no condition to stay comfortable in with just a box and blanket. Benny is a Sharpei mix and was no older than two-years-old when Leslie found him. With the cold conditions on the day, Leslie wished to approach him and this time, the small pup was too cold to run away, so he stayed still for long enough for the rescuers to help him out.


Fortunate To Be Alive

It was clear that Benny was suffering and was too weak to be able to move, being both malnourished and cold. Leslie recalls the moment she found the abandoned pup and told animal and wildlife news website The Dodo, “I realized he could barely move his body. All he did was raise his head a little. He had completely given up.” This was not the only problem either. Upon getting closer to the dog, she noticed that something was very wrong with Benny’s face.


Further Pain

It was then that Leslie noticed there were more problems to Benny than just being cold and malnourished. His weakness was coupled with also being badly injured and Benny needed immediate attention. His face was swollen and he also had a deep cut in his leg, proving the dog must have been in serious pain. Not only was the poor dog left to fend for himself, but he also was either previously injured or had injured himself while out in the woods.


Getting Benny Help

Benny was then rushed to an emergency clinic to evaluate the extent of his injuries and receive immediate treatment. After an evaluation at the clinic, it was discovered that the laceration on Benny’s leg was critical enough to cause a bone infection. Fortunately, Benny received the treatment he needed at the time. This is the case for many abandoned dogs who struggle to keep safe on their own and require immediate medical attention when found, if they are lucky enough to be found in time.


Rescue Dogs NYC

At this time, The Underdog Project reached out to the Rescue Dogs Rock NYC (RDRNYC), who help dogs in their most desperate times. Their emergency call to the organization was a result of their post on their Facebook page which highlights what they do – “don’t leave dogs behind… ever.” They responded to the call, and did just as they promised. They helped Benny in his time of need and made sure he got all the medical attention he needed to help his injuries.


The High Cost Of Care

It was now clear as to the real extent of the poor conditions Benny had to endure both with his previous owners and living in the woods. The RDRNYC shared more posts about Benny during his time of recovery. “Our hearts break. Thinking about Benny day after day, night after night in the cold, in pain, living in this box”. The result of living in such conditions totaled to a $2056 bill when helping Benny’s injuries.


A Long Way To Recovery

Of course the RDRNYC were not going to deny Benny the help he needed, including surgery. But, it didn’t end there either. The extent of his injuries meant Benny would need ongoing treatment and medication to ease the pain, which meant the bill was soon totaling over $3000. This called for an appeal to raise money for financial support to help cover the bill and allow Benny to receive all the medical treatment he needed on his road to recovery.


In Critical Condition

Although he was being taken care of properly, there was still a great deal of concern about Benny’s poor health. In January 2017, the RDRNYC posted on their Facebook page that Benny was still in a critical condition – “Benny is on an IV as he is completely dehydrated, weak and starved. X-rays were taken of Benny’s leg and chest. His head is very swollen, and the medical staff are continuing to run tests to figure out why.”


Just Your Normal, Friendly Dog

Yet, amongst all the pain, medication and recovery process, the loving and friendly manner of the pet pup has not been diminished as a result. Leslie continued to tell The Dodo that “Benny is still friendly, loving [and] loves toys. He doesn’t mind being touched and cleaned up. He’s a regular dog.” Although having led a bit of an irregular life in his early years, the hope for him now is to get him a nice and loving home.


Shock Surprise

When Leslie and her team noticed Benny’s injuries in the woods, they were in for yet another surprise. There is great sadness for abandoned dogs who are left to fend for themselves and do not have an owner to love and care for them. So believing Benny had been suffering all alone made the story even more difficult for the team to bear. It remained unknown whether he was left in the woods injured or not, but he was very weak and on his own nonetheless.


There Was More

However, while on their rescue mission for Benny, The Underdog Project soon realized Benny was not alone.They believed Benny was completely alone and were not expecting anything or anyone to be with Benny or looking out for him. However, suddenly there was movement and rustling coming from the surrounding trees, and they saw something appear from out of it. They realized they were in fact mistaken and their discovery was about to change their whole rescue mission for the young pup out in the woods.


Their New Discovery

In fact, another dog appeared out of the crevices between the mossy trees. Leslie and her team discovered the second stray dog, this time a chocolate colored Labrador. Although they were sad to discover yet another abandoned dog, they found comfort that Benny was not completely alone and had a companion with him. Estimated to be a year old, this new dog would not leave Benny’s side. The team named her Betty, and she too would now also be under the watch of The Underdog Project.


Benny Had A Friend

Upon discovering this dog, they noticed the importance of the two dogs being together. Leslie described their connection: “She watched everything from afar, not leaving the area, just staring at her friend.” And just like Betty wanted to look after Benny, so did Leslie and her team. Fortunately Betty looked healthy and there was not as much cause for concern as there was for Benny. At this point, the team’s priority was to get Benny help.


Rescuing Betty

On their return from taking Benny to the clinic, they found Betty on the roadside where Benny had been taken away and realized she had not moved from that spot. They approached her without any issues and she was also taken under the care of Leslie and her team. After living in similar conditions to Benny for a period of time, it may have been expected for Betty to be under the same critical condition or have injuries that would have to be looked out further.


All Is Well For Betty

Upon rescuing her, Leslie wrote, “Betty spent the night last night, safe and warm, never to be on the streets again. She will be transported to our Texas vet partner for a full medical workup, to make sure she’s up to date on shots, altered and there are no underlying medical issues that need to be addressed.” This was good news for Betty, as she was now finally treated the way she should have always been.


Now What?

Thankfully Betty was in good health and was fortunately not facing the same critical condition that Benny was facing. Betty just wanted to be back with her furry friend. Now it was time to figure out what would happen to both dogs. Would they ever be reunited with one another? After spending time in the woods together, it was clear, the two dogs only had each other and looked out for one another.


The Plan

With that plan in place for Benny, and for Betty as well of course, RDRNYC co-founder Stacey Silverstein spoke with The Dodo about the future of the two dogs. “We plan to bring Benny and Betty up to New York as soon as they can travel so that they can be adopted, We promise to give Betty the life she was always meant to have, one where she will be a cherished and a beloved family member.”


Second Chances

With amazing groups and organizations such as RDRNYC and The Underdog Project, Benny and Betty, as well as many other abused and abandoned dogs, are given the love and care they rightly deserve. In Benny and Betty’s case, the help from people like Leslie and her team have allowed the two dogs the chance to be given a new home where they will be looked after and no longer have to live in the poor conditions outdoors.


Being At The Right Place At The Right Time

Had Benny been left in the cold temperatures and rough conditions in which he was found, he may have not made it through the night. The timing of Leslie and her volunteer’s going on a walk and stumbling across the out of place box was highly fortunate. Although it is hoped that most people would help out if they were in the same position, the fact that Leslie knew exactly how to handle the situation certainly benefitted Benny.


The Work Of The RDRNYC

Additionally, reaching out to the RDRNYC who stay true to their word, means that when dogs get rescued, there is support in place to ensure that everything is done for them to be looked after. They are given medical attention to ensure that they are in the best health condition possible. So while there are many people out there who heartlessly abandon these helpless animals, fortunately there are many others who to come to the rescue.


Lucky To Have These Organizations

The great work of these animal groups have allowed help to be given to dogs such as Benny and Betty in the best way possible, and a special acknowledgement must be given to them for the work they carry out. With the safety of these animals at the heart of the organizations, their lives and well-being is of most importance to all those involved. There is hope that any dog suffering has the potential to be saved.