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Witness Kellan the Rescue Dog's Astonishing Transformation

“I was horrified. My heart sank and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be the help she needed. The night I took her home I sat on the floor and just cried with her.”

 |  Jan 23rd 2014  |   14 Contributions


Editor's note: We saw this story at DogMilk and thought it was great, so we contacted Robyn and she gave us permission to run the article here as well. 

Houston’s got a dirty little secret -- 1.2 million homeless animals live in our city. You’re about to meet one who no longer calls the streets home.

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Photograph by Robyn Arouty Photography

On Nov. 12, Alicia and Yvette, volunteers for the nonprofit outreach group Forgotten Dogs of The Fifth Ward Project, were out feeding homeless dogs when this dog approached them, clearly abused, neglected, abandoned and needed help immediately. A plea went out with these heartbreaking photos on Facebook in hopes they could find a foster home.  

They named her Kellan, after Kelle, the organization’s fearless leader. 

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Courtesy Robyn Arouty Photography

“I honestly feel when we find a dog like that, that it is the one we were meant to take home that day. I always feel that there is a perfect plan for them,” said Kelle.

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Courtesy Robyn Arouty Photography

Shawna told me that she called them right away without even thinking. “I was horrified. My heart sank and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be the help she needed. The night I took her home I sat on the floor and just cried with her.”

A few days later, the group decided to find another foster with no pets. They weren’t sure yet if Kellan had been involved in dog fighting or used as a bait dog so they decided to proceed with caution and not put Shawna’s small pets in danger.

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Photo courtesy Robyn Arouty Photography

My good friend Michael was recently separated from a 17-year relationship and living alone. The day the plea for a new foster went out, he said to me, “She needs me. And I need her.”

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Photo courtesy Robyn Arouty Photography

I got the idea to do a "before" photoshoot with Michael and Kellan the day after he brought her home. I saw the photos in my mind and it just had to be. Special thanks to Sally Wheat, interior designer extraordinaire, for loving the idea of putting them in a swanky setting, too. She loaned us her amazing home, literally on a moment’s notice. She was instantly smitten with Kellan and gave us full run of the house.

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Photo courtesy Robyn Arouty Photography

“Fostering literally saves lives. She is a perfect example of that. I hope it reaches someone who has thought about fostering a dog but hasn’t committed to it yet,” said Alicia

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Photo courtesy Robyn Arouty Photography

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Photo courtesy Robyn Arouty Photography

Michael and Kellan were soon a force to be reckoned with. I enjoyed visiting them often and reported her fab progress along the way.

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Photo courtesy Robyn Arouty Photography

She finally gained enough weight to be spayed and we made plans for the "after" photos so we could list her for adoption. By now, Michael and his friend John had reconciled, which that meant they were going back to live in their home with two Chihuahuas. I was a worried mess! Would she want to eat their little dogs? How did John feel about this?

And Michael told me it would all be fine. And it was.

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Photo courtesy Robyn Arouty Photography

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Photo courtesy Robyn Arouty Photography

Shawna was with us on the photoshoot at their house. It was bittersweet. ”Kellan is truly a special dog," she said. "I have never seen a dog full of so much grace and kindness. I hope that her forever family understands the enormity of Kellan’s life, what her story means for all of us involved in her journey and how special they are for choosing the most amazing dog. It will have to be a family worthy of such greatness and who understands that more than them 'saving' Kellan, I believe she will be saving them. She has so far with every life she has touched.” 

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Photo courtesy Robyn Arouty Photography

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Photo courtesy Robyn Arouty Photography

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Photo courtesy Robyn Arouty Photography

Of course she adores her current family. She adores everyone. Michael is a man of his word. He loves Kellan and is committed to nursing her back to health to prepare her for her new life. She is now available for adoption.

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Photo courtesy Robyn Arouty Photography

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Photo courtesy Robyn Arouty Photography

She is an amazing angel. I just don't know how to tell you ...

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Photo courtesy Robyn Arouty Photography

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Photo courtesy Robyn Arouty Photography

I love this picture. It's as if Kellan is saying, “Well, my work is done here now and I’m tired. Bringing Michael and John back together was my first trick. I’m ready for more!”

If you would like to volunteer, foster, or donate, please visit Forgotten Dogs of The Fifth Ward Project here

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Photo courtesy Robyn Arouty Photography

If you would like more information about Kellan or want to fill out an application for adoption, click here.  

About the author: In her former life Robyn was a psychotherapist. This means she’s not afraid to be the weirdest individual in the studio at any given time and do whatever is embarrassingly necessary to get the perfect shot. It never feels like “work” to Robyn since she’s fortunate to do what she loves and spend time hanging out with some of the coolest people in town, and of course their beloved pets. 

Robyn lives in Houston with her six rescue dogs. She is an avid proponent in Houston’s rescue community and has been documenting her efforts on her Facebook page and blog so that no story goes untold. Her Pocketshots program has raised more than $50,000 for local rescue groups in the last three years. Keep up with everything she is doing and rescuing on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, or check out her work at her website 

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Do you know of a rescue hero — dog, human, or group — we should profile on Dogster? Write us at dogsterheroes@dogster.com. 

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