Waldo is one of our special cases – he was a desperate dog out of the Malaga Killing Station – he should of died – but fought for life – and he is a miracle and a true symbol of what we are about. Here is his story…

The Amazing Waldo

In October 2012, a picture was sent to me of a dog in one of the ‘Killing Station’ in Malaga – the dog pound is overcrowded and the dogs are kept in deplorable conditions. This was a picture of the dog called Waldo.

Orig Waldo

A volunteer group was desperate for help – we contacted them, and after what seemed like an eternity – they agreed to pull Waldo on our behalf. Once again the wonderful people at Final Feliz/Happy Endings acted on our behalf. The pound said Waldo had a bit of a cough. The fantastic Margarethe drove to Malaga to pick up Waldo for us. What she found so horrified her, even by Spanish standards Waldo was in a sorry state. He was filthy, matted, he could no longer go to the bathroom as his fur had matted solid to his dirty back end. He was dehydrated, emaciated, his eyes were crusted shut and he was coughing and gasping for air. Poor Margarthe drove as fast as she could and brought Waldo straight to the vet. She was worried she would lose him on the journey back – he was not even able to stand on his own.

The vet that admitted him was horrified – there was nothing left of him – and it was a task to find a vein to put an IV in. They clipped some of the fur , started him on antibiotics, IVs and kept him warm. They were not sure he would make the night. He spent almost a week at the vets, then he was transferred to a foster – he was too weak to be in kennels. They did not take photos of him when they picked him up – but these are the photos of him about a week later:

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What you cannot tell from the photos is how very thin he is – they could feel every rib, every vertebra – his hip were sticking out – it was pitiful. Waldo went to stay with a foster – but he was having sight problems, the chest infection was still there and he also had balance issues. He went back and forth to the vet for various tests and antibiotics – the lovely ladies of Final Feliz decided to keep an eye on him – so he stayed with them 24 hours a day – they created a little creche for him in the back of their car and he drove around with them.

But he kept having fevers, he had no appetite and several times he had to be admitted for IVs and antibiotics. This was him at fosters a few weeks later:


He still was up and down and was not showing great signs of improving – he had many blood tests and nothing was showing up – but they were not able to figure out what was going on. Waldo in his blue jumper:

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After much discussion – we felt it would be best that Waldo come to the UK – the wonderful people at the Final Feliz had many dogs of their own and also worked full time – so if he was fit for travel we decided he should come to us and stay in foster.

He arrived the 9th of December, at a very dark and wet service station. We picked him up and he was a small blue jumper – you could barely tell there was a dog there.

His first meal of hot dogs:


He took to the couch – he could not walk in a straight line – and he just wanted to sleep – we honestly thought we would not have him for long.

Waldo on his first walk:


It was obvious to us – and confirmed by our Vets that Waldo needed help – and he would need to go to a specialist hospital. So an appointment was made at the Royal Veterinary College. Waldo in his bag in the waiting room. Although Waldo could stand on his own – he could not keep his balance – he was also still having trouble
with his eyes as well.

They put Waldo through a few tests – and admitted him that day. They were not sure what the prognosis would be – they said he was very sick and very weak – they suspected he had Distemper and put him on a course of intense nutritional support, IVs, antibiotics, – he had blood tests, and his eyes were tested as well. He stayed
in the Royal Veterinary College for a week.

Yes, he did have Distemper – amongst other problems – and they kept him on antibiotics, eye drops and we needed to make sure he did not get dehydrated. They did not know what his future would hold – he
had several tics, he was still unbalanced and they felt that he would improve as he got healthy – but he would always walk with a wobble. We would need to be prepared that he may not be around for a long time – Distemper can leave a lot of lasting neurological damage – but he was not shedding the virus – the illness had taken its course and he was now ‘immune’. But he was alive and fighting for life – So Waldo came home just before Christmas – our little Christmas miracle.

Getting cuddles at Christmas:

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Sleeping with his foster brother Paddy:


Waldo has gone from strength to strength – he has continued to improve. He still needs to be watched as he is not the greatest eater! But here are photos to show how he just keeps getting stronger and Waldo no longer walks with a wobble – now he is perfectly poised and can run and play and sometimes we wonder if he is the same dog?

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Waldo is all about the fight for life – and about what love and determination can achieve. Waldo was helped by wonderful volunteers in Spain, we fought hard for him here and through the generosity shown by so many people we were able to cover all his costs and raise funds and awareness to help other dogs.

He has brought so many people together to understand the plight of the Spanish dogs and what desperate situations they live in. Because of Waldo, we have helped cover costs of dogs taken from the Killing stations and support the Rescues in Spain trying to save these dogs and educate the general public. Waldo had Distemper -an
illness that can be prevented by a simple Vaccination – this should not be an illness that any dog needs to suffer from – most dogs will die – Waldo did not – and we will continue to fight to help these dogs – and support the Rescues in Spain.

Waldo is our miracle – but his life has helped save many more – if you would like to help us please contact us and we can tell you how.