For 12 years Miss Willie spent her time chained outside a home in Halifax County, North Carolina. For 12 years Miss Willie lived in the dirt with little affection, aside from what rescuers offered her.
When People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) first found Miss Willie, her owner refused to surrender the dog, so PETA rescuers started regularly visiting the pooch to check in on her and offer her care and attention.
According to PETA, during a recent visit, one PETA fieldworker noticed Miss Willie was more lethargic than usual. The dog was so weak she couldn’t even stand. After pointing out the dog’s health problems, the fieldworker was able to get Miss Willie’s original owner to surrender the ailing canine.
Miss Willie, wheezing and coughing, was immediately rushed to the vet, where the doctor found that the dog was suffering from advanced heartworm disease and fluid buildup in her lungs, among other age-related issues. Given her health problems and age, Miss Willie was only given a few weeks to live.
Determined to finally bring some light, love and life to Miss Willie’s world for once, her rescuer put together a bucket list for the dying dog. Over the next two weeks, Miss Willie enjoyed a birthday party, a pizza night, a canoe ride, a massage and a day at the beach. She was also able to sleep inside on a soft bed for the first time.
Miss Willie died peacefully 16 days after she was pulled from her former home.
“PETA is grateful to have been able to give Miss Willie a joyful final chapter after the lifetime of neglect that she endured,” PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch said in a statement. “This story shows exactly why PETA is so committed to banning continuous tethering of dogs everywhere, including in Halifax County, where this poor dog languished for over a decade.”