News Item | PAWS Chicago

From Survival to Sweater Vests

Nov 12, 2019

Instead of a dog bowl, Darla drank rainwater from a filthy Styrofoam cup. Her fur matted so severely that the strangulation cut her to the bone. Now, she’s living the good life with Nadine Bahena, the Chicago police officer who stumbled upon her and her home in an alleyway.

Before September, Darla was almost unrecognizable as a dog. Her white fur matted in an abstract shape took over her seven-pound frame, and her only source of food and water was what she could scavenge on the streets.

The strangulation from her matted fur was so extreme that the bones in her leg were left dangling and exposed.

Fortunately, Darla met her hero in September: Nadine Bahena, an officer with the Chicago Police Department spotted her in an alley and contacted CACC for help.

PAWS Chicago knew Darla needed immediate help. After her transfer from CACC, the PAWS medical team sprang into action. Because of the facilities here at PAWS, Darla was able to undergo a successful amputation.

After giving Darla a foster home to heal post-surgery, Nadine, the officer who found her, fell in love. Now, one month after coming to PAWS, Darla has a permanent family and a forever home with her. Instead of searching for a puddle to drink from, Darla’s donning sweater vests and drinking out of dog bowls.

We’re glad to report that since her adoption, Darla’s put on some healthy pounds and has adjusted well to life as a loved, three-legged pup!