The heartbreaking story of a blind pit bull abandoned on a park bench shortly after giving birth outraged animal lovers everywhere. But Poly's story will have a happy ending -- sort of.
ABC News reported in October that Poly was found in a park in Santa Maria, California, by a Santa Barbara rescue organization. In addition to being blind, Poly had a few other medical issues: a congenital heart condition, possible ringworm and a skin condition that causes scabbing.
Though Poly has found a loving home, it may be short-lived. She has been given somewhere between two months and two years to live, according to Jennifer Wales, the president and founder of Foreverhome Pet Rescue, the organization that placed her in foster care soon after her rescue. That foster home is now considered a hospice situation for Poly but, according to Wales, Poly's days are filled with everything a dog could want in a home.
"Her activities are limited, but there's lots of loving and hugging and petting," said Wales, and because of Poly's heart condition, "mostly napping."
A typical day in the life of Poly might include lounging on the twin daybed that's reserved for her and two other foster dogs in the San Fernando home where they live; rolling in the grass in the yard or at the park down the street, coconut oil massages that she "loves," and car rides to Starbucks.
"She is getting much more comfortable in the car," Wales said, "and since she is nervous around new voices, we are trying to at least briefly expose her to more and more people so she can learn to trust again. She is playful and bouncy, not so much with toys as with people. But she can't get too riled up for more than a couple of minutes or she will start coughing and faint due to her condition."
Because Poly’s heart condition causes her to tire quickly and stress easily, it is impossible, the rescue organization said, to take Poly on all the "bucket list" adventures they would like. So they created a “Flat Poly” campaign so that people can take Poly with them instead. Flat Poly has driven a big rig, gone to Germany and London, been backstage at the Fox All Star Dog Rescue Celebration, ridden on an airplane, gone to a football game with a U.S. Marine and hung out with second-grade students in a classroom.
It's only about a 150 miles from Santa Maria, where Poly was discovered terrified and alone, to her new home in San Fernando. But for Poly, it's a world away.
Whenever Poly does die, her legacy will live on in the dog world. Her initial fundraiser raised more money than Poly needed, so the excess is going to help other abandoned and abused dogs that require specialty medical care as she did.