From Rags to Riches: The Transformation Story of Two Adorable Pups

On a cold October day, a man walked into the Howell Mill Campus of the Atlanta Humane Society to surrender two dogs that had been severely neglected. The man’s father had been trying to take care of the abandoned dogs for weeks but could not give them the care they desperately needed. The dogs, shih tzus, appeared to be brothers and no more than 10 months old. The staff affectionately named them Howell and Mansell, after the two AHS locations.

Howell and Mansell arrive at AHS

Despite their scraggly appearance, the brothers were in great spirits. Friendly and loving, they willingly let the animal care staff examine them. Their hair was too matted to even groom, so the staff had to shave both dogs completely. Upon closer inspection, the vet discovered that Howell had a string tightly wound around his rear left leg. It is hard to say how the string got there originally, but it had grown deeply into the skin over time. Dr. Charlie Jones performed emergency surgery to remove the string, hoping to save Howell’s leg. Not long after surgery, however, it was discovered that the string had injured the tendon beyond repair. The most humane course of action was to amputate the part of the leg that was affected by the wound.

Howell’s injured hind leg

After weeks of tender, loving care from the medical staff at AHS, Howell and Mansell headed across the street to Atlanta Dog Spa for a proper grooming. Sarah Segal, the spa owner, had heard their story and wanted to help the sweet duo that had endured so much.

Howell and Mansell with Anais Hayden, the groomer at Atlanta Dog Spa

Howell and Mansell will officially go up for adoption on Thursday, December 12 at the Howell Mill Campus of AHS. “We would love to see the two brothers adopted into the same home,” says Rick Aiken, AHS President. “They’ve really bonded throughout their ordeal and would make the perfect pair for one lucky person.”

Don’t you want to take us home?

These sweet shih tzus are just two of the over 10,000 animals the Atlanta Humane Society helps save every year. It is only through the donations and support from the community that the nonprofit organization is able to make such an impactful difference in animal welfare. If you can’t bring Howell and Mansell home for the holidays, please consider making a donation so AHS can continue their lifesaving work.


Karla Slocumb
Karla is the Manager of Marketing and Special Events for Atlanta Humane Society. She's worked at AHS for three years. Karla lives in Smyrna with her husband, their tabby cat Houdini, and their two Great Pyrenees Eli and Emily.

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