Hilda and Helga's Redemption

Dog duo found in horrible conditions learns to trust again

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 | NHS staff

Imagine being left in a backyard with no food or water. You haven’t seen anyone in at least a week. You also have a 15-pound chain keeping you tethered to a tree, with only a few feet of slack. That was reality for Hilda and Helga. They needed help.

They had learned to not trust humans and were terrified when Animal Control Officers arrived to rescue them. At the shelter, the girls were sedated, enabling the medical team to safely remove the massive chains from their necks and examine them for injuries. Thankfully, no wounds were found, however, it was apparent they suffered from psychological pain. They trembled in fear, would do their best to hide from people and shut down if anyone approached them. After several days, Helga, the more trusting of the two, began to approach staff and volunteers. This soon paved the way for Hilda to do the same.

Here's how Greg, a volunteer at the shelter, described the situation: “When I first met Hilda and Helga, I had to spend time just sitting in their kennel for them to trust me enough to take them for a walk. After about two weeks, Helga would timidly approach me and take treats and Hilda would lean against me and snooze. It’s not about getting them out for walks, sometimes it's just about letting them learn to trust again.”

Hilda and Helga were enrolled in the NHS Molly Project; a behavior training and modification program for fearful and anxious dogs. The NHS behavior team is skilled at helping them learn to trust again. Your gifts support this program and have saved the lives of more than 3,000 animals, just like Hilda and Helga, since 2010.

It took time and resources, but Hilda and Helga are in a new home with gentle adopters who rejoice with every step forward they make. Thank you for believing in saving animals like Hilda and Helga and caring for not only their physical needs but also their mental wellbeing.

If you can, please donate to help animals like Hilda and Helga by clicking here.

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