Dog News

From Puerto Rican Dumpster to a Loving Chicago Home


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Serena when rescuedLittle Serena, was found in a Puerto Rican dumpster – her broken, decomposing back leg had wire and fabric wrapped around it to hold it together.  Sadly, this sweet girl was thrown out as trash.  A good Samaritan found her, and contacted Save a Sato (a shelter on the island).

They took Serena to a veterinary hospital where they immediately amputated her leg in order to save her life.  Save a Sato then reached out to As Good as Gold, a golden retriever rescue organization, for help in finding Serena a better life in the Chicago area.  Once medically clear, Serena flew to Chicago, where she got her second chance at life.

Throughout Serena’s entire ordeal, she always remained a sweet, kind and loving girl (even though she was in pain, fighting an infection, and healing from her amputation).  She did great in her foster home and adjusted quite well to having only 3 legs.  She loved to play with the other dogs and cats, and she LOVED to run.  She would run up and down stairs without a problem, and was able to turn on a dime.  In foster care, Serena recovered from her traumatic injury nicely, and she began to think things were pretty nice in the USA.

Serena’s life in America got even better when she was adopted by a wonderful family.  She now enjoys an abundance of petting, hugging, and attention from her humans, and has several cat and dog siblings.  She walks, runs, and helps work in the garden with her new family.  Serena uses a special harness to provide extra support while walking, and someday, she may need a brace for her good leg.  But for now, Serena is busy building up the muscle and strength in her other 3 legs.  Who needs that 4th leg anyhow!

Serena ready to leave hospital
Serena ready to leave hospital

One last tidbit about Serena –her name was changed to Mija to maintain a link to her Puerto Rican heritage.  Mija, is an affection term that often means “daughter” or “special little one”. Mija certainly is a “special little one”, and is loved very, very much.  Welcome to America Mija!


As Good as Gold, Golden Retriever Rescue of Illinois is a 501c3 non-profit organization that has rescued over 1,600 golden retrievers and golden mixes.  Incorporated in 2003 AGaG never turns down a dog due to age or medical conditions.

Save a Sato is a non-profit, all volunteer organization dedicated to easing the suffering of Puerto Rico’s homeless and abused animals. “Sato” is slang for street dog. They rescue Satos from the streets and beaches, give them medical care, food and shelter and plenty of love. Once healthy, they send them to one of their shelter partners for adoption into loving homes.