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Preston had a very rough few years.

At some point he was surrendered to a rural Kentucky shelter – maybe his person died or his family moved away. No one knows.  

Then, as if being in a shelter wasn’t scary enough, he was adopted by a woman who said she was with a rescue. This woman put Preston into one of the many shanty buildings she had on her property. In all, this woman had 100 dogs of all breeds and sizes living and dying in their own excrement in these buildings. This was no rescue. This was a hoarding nightmare.

In February 2012, Preston and 99 other dogs who had survived these conditions were liberated by the Animal Rescue Corps and several Kentucky rescues and shelters. The people who entered the buildings had to wear ventilators, gloves and other hazmat gear for their own protection. We think this picture is of Preston being carried to safety. (Click here to see more photos of the raid and rescue. Warning! They are graphic and will bring you to tears.)

Preston spent months at the Bowling Green Humane Society being treated for skin issues and post traumatic stress symptoms. On June 30th, he traveled north to Pennsylvania and became a Rogers’ Rescues foster dog.

Since then, the rescue has spent $739 treating Preston’s chronic skin problems – from yeast to staph infections. The vet feels that his time in the horrible living conditions had a negative impact on his immune system and these skin problems are the result. 

Preston on his first day in foster care.

Preston’s experience has left him wary of much of the world. He spends most of his days lounging in the corner of his foster parents’ bedroom listening to soothing music. He never leaves this area on his own. Preston has seen behavioral specialists at the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Hospital and they diagnosed him with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This was another $325 but a wonderful angel donor to the rescue has covered this expense.

Preston is now on Prozac for his anxiety and it has been helping him. He now goes for 2 walks every day and the minute he hits the ground (he needs to be carried outside), he starts running happily, tail up and wagging! This is a huge step forward for this timid and scared little boy.

It's not easy to catch him when he's exploring the yard. He usually runs right back in the house after doing his "business".

Ironically, he's not afraid of loud noises like the vacuum cleaner, dishwasher, thunder, barking crazy dogs, etc. He LOVES going for rides in the car. He either sits on the passenger seat or jumps over to sit on his foster mom’s lap. At the vet’s office, he cuddles with his foster mom like she’s his best buddy. We think all this is a good sign that Preston will eventually blossom in a quiet, loving household where they understand he needs time to trust.

During Preston’s visit to UPenn, they checked his eyes and determined he has a mild condition that requires cyclosporine drops in his eyes twice a day for the foreseeable future. He will be rechecked soon and that will be another expense.

One day he found a coiled hose and used it like a bed. He stayed outside all day!

UPenn and his regular vet both identified some issues with his teeth. One tooth requires extraction and another may as well. They will need xrays to see for sure and the teeth also could use a cleaning. At the same time they would like to shave him down to get a good look at his skin. (Due to his anxiety, the recommendation is to not groom him unless he is sedated. This dental procedure will be a good time to take care of that!) All of this is estimated to cost $600.

On December 26, 2012, Preston started another journey -- a new life with his forever family.