Meet Lily - Rescued From Starvation, She Now Helps Alzheimer Patients

More on PawNation: animal cops, Canine Good Citizen, National Mutt Day, NationalMuttDay, pspca, rescue dog, spca, therapy dog
Shelter dogs often fall victim to the old stereotype: If it's been returned, there must be something wrong with it. Mixed breeds can have a tough time finding a home because potential owners are unsure of exactly what they're getting, but when the rescue pup has bull terrier in its bloodline, the stigma can be even worse.

The truth is that many rescued mutts, regardless of their breed backgrounds, go on to become incredible pets that are sources of inspiration for their families and everyone they meet. (Benji, the canine movie star, was a mutt that brought happiness to millions.) In honor of National Mutt Day, which raises awareness and encourages adoptions from shelters, and to prove you should never underestimate a puppy with a checkered past, we want to tell you Lily's story.

Near Starvation
We know what you're thinking, but despite her strong build, Lily wasn't rescued from a dog fighting ring. Nor is she the least bit aggressive. This pup's sad story is one of severe neglect. In fact, when Lily was rescued by Pennsylvania SPCA officers, she was on her way to starvation, confined to a yard with two other dogs, including one that had died from lack of food.

Lily's rescue was featured on Discovery's "Animal Cops: Philadelphia" in an episode titled "Dead Dog Denial." As the story goes, Lily's neighbors noticed the dead dog and alerted authorities. Lily's owner claimed she knew nothing about the dead dog in her yard, her neighbors told officers a different story. After an autopsy concluded that Lily's brother had died of starvation, the woman was charged.

Meanwhile, Lily was taken in by PSPCA for treatment and put into its foster program. Though Lily's rescue was dramatic enough in its own right, her rescuers had no idea what bigger and better things were in the skinny pup's future.

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