EL PASO, Texas -- When Loretta Hyde first got the call about an injured dog abandoned at a nearby dump, she knew she had to help. What she didn't know was how devastating the dog's injuries were.
"It was awful," says Loretta, looking back on that day that saved the Red Tick Hound's life. "You could see daylight literally through the bones in his foot and it was infected all the way up to his elbow and was starting to rot."
Kennel worker Chris McDonald is a veteran, and recognized the smell right away. He scooped up the dog, surprised that it didn't whimper or whine at his touch.
McDonald and his girlfriend, Brittany Smith, also a kennel employee, decided then that they would adopt the dog that had been through so much. They named him Copper.
Copper was rushed to the vet, where his leg was amputated at the shoulder, he was treated for heartworm, and neutered. Then he was taken to his new home with Chris and Brittany, where they have been loving him and nursing him back to health ever since. They have three other dogs they consider their "children" and can't wait to introduce Copper to his siblings, once he's recovered. They also want Copper to become a therapy dog.
Loretta Hyde, who runs Animal Rescue League, has seen it all. But nothing prepared her for this. The good news is, she says it's the ultimate happy ending.
"Everything that's been done for this boy has been done out of love, and respect, and just giving him the best life he can get. He's already had the crappy life. This is truly a happy life."