Surrounded by 2,000 other dogs in an animal rescue compound in Harbin, China, Harriet sat all by herself in the corner while the others ran and played. Her fur was filthy and horribly matted. She was so underweight that there’s no way you’d realize she was an eight-month-old husky.
Some of the dogs were strays, while others were destined for Harbin’s cruel slaughterhouses where they would have been killed. The kind woman who owns the compound rescues the dogs and keeps them safe. She also quite often allows volunteers from Harbin Slaughterhouse Survivors Animal Rescue (SHS) to take in dogs who are really in a bad way, The Dodo reports.
Harriet The Husky Was One Such Dog
“We were visiting the property in May, and in the far back corner I see this tiny little husky looking completely scared,” Rachel Hinman, a volunteer for SHS told The Dodo. “I tried reaching out, and she just sat there. We had no idea where she came from, but she was not doing well.”
The little husky was emaciated
When the volunteers picked her up, they were horrified by the neglect Harriet suffered. Her matted fur was full of feces and underneath all of that was a dog who was barely more than skin and bones. In fact, she was so small her rescuers thought she was a miniature husky.
As soon as she realized was safe, Harriet relaxed and settled in to rest while she was on the way to the vet clinic. She rode along with Hayley Hayes-Fitzgerald, Aimee Clarke, and Emily Parker, who founded SHS and are all ex-patriots living in Harbin.
“We thought she was a young puppy for sure,” Hinman said. “But the vet checked her teeth and estimated she was probably eight months old. She just must’ve been so malnourished that it affected her growth.”
Fortunately, even though poor Harriet’s appearance was shocking and she was malnourished, she was otherwise healthy. So the team carefully shaved her matted fur and for perhaps the first time ever, gave her a bath. Then they got her all settled in at the rescue center, where she’d be living for the next couple of months until her strength returned.
Harriet’s gentle husky ways
“She was so quiet and docile,” Hinman said. “It took us a long time to shave off all her fur, but she sat there so patiently and never barked or growled. That really touched me. She had been through so much, and like many other dogs Harbin SHS rescues was naturally sweet, playful and kind.”
As the end of her stay neared, Harriet returned to health. And with so much love and attention, she wasn’t afraid anymore. She was definitely ready to find her forever home.
Rosee Vallee, who lives in Canada, saw Harriet’s photo online and knew she wanted a dog. So near the end of July, Harriet, accompanied by a volunteer, made the trip from Harbin to San Francisco, where she met Rosee for the first time.
And it was love at first sight for Vallee.
“I knew she was for me the second I saw her, she looked so sad and all I wanted to do was make her happy right away,” Vallee said. “Since I have had her, we have went on road trips, we have flown together, she went to Lake Louise [in Canada] … she is my princess. She loves everyone she meets.”
And at home, Harriet (who’s been renamed “Bailey” by her family) has three other canine companions (including one who’s another SHS rescue) to play with.
Bailey’s life has been transformed and in a matter of mere months, she’s turned into a beautiful, healthy husky. All thanks to the love and dedication of a few kind-hearted people.