For seven years, residents of Lexington, SC, have been spotting a timid, non-aggressive, female dog, come in and out of the woods around town. The dog has never allowed anyone to come near her but her daily appearances has won her the hearts of a few local residents who attempt to help.
Today, the stray dog from down the street is known by many as Anya, and on a daily basis her group of fans and caretakers take to the woods to feed her and make sure she stays away from high-speed streets.
“Anya completely avoids people but stays in the area whenever I come feed her,” said CJ Landry, the woman who has been feeding and looking after the dog for over a year.
Landry has been training and rescuing dogs for three decades, but has never met a case as difficult as Anya’s. She learned about the dog in June 2012 when a close friend saw the stray crossing the grassy area of a gas station. Touched by her friend’s account of the lonely stray dog, Landry decided to learn more and try to help the animal.
Landry learned the earliest sighting was in 2006 when a man admitted to accidentally hitting Anya with his car. The man told Landry that he went over with a sheet to pick up the dog, but Anya got up and fled. Another local also admitted hitting Anya in 2010 when the dog tried crossing a high-speed street.
“I’ve tried using baby sounds to see if she would come to me, but she has never approached people,” said Landry.
Whenever Anya sees a person she just takes off. The closest Landry has ever been to the elusive dog is 6 ft. away, but that only happened while Anya was sound asleep and Landry came to feed her.
South Carolina is a hunting state and many people have confused the dog for a coyote. Anya seems to be a husky mix, and because of her looks her life has been in danger many times before. Animal control has tried capturing Anya six times, but all six times they have failed. Live traps have been used, but Anya never goes near the traps.
After starting the Rescue Anya Facebook page and getting in touch with many other animal rescuers, Landry decided to go ahead and attempt a rescue mission. Together, with a group of over 40 volunteers, they will try to capture Anya this coming weekend. If successful, Anya’s seven years of loneliness, adversity, and pain will come to an end.
“We have 40 volunteers, but I hoped to have more than 50,” said Landry. “The area where Anya lives is very large and rescuing her will be very difficult.”
The plan is to use a human chain and a tarp to push the dog onto an open field where there is a 12 ft. fence. There, two experience dog trainers will use catch poles to secure her.
“She will try to run for her life and [her situation] won’t be pretty,” said Landry. “We run the chance of overwhelming her and we are worried about her health, but because of her age we don’t expect her to run for a very long time.”
Landry is asking volunteers to work in silence, to not cheer or try calling the dog because the rescue needs to happen in a calm environment. Positive energy, a relax state of mind and zero noise will be most beneficial in this rescue.
“A volunteer has been assigned to wait in a car with the AC running,” said Landry. “Once captured, Anya will be taken to a rescue place where they have their own veterinarian. This will cause her less trauma than being taken to a vet and then to a rescue place.”
Since Landry started the mission to rescue Anya, 20 other dogs have been saved from a hard life on the streets. The area where Anya roams is known as a dog dumping ground and concerned residents always reach out to Landry when they see or learn of any other dog that has been abandoned in the area.
For this rescue, a fundraiser page to cover Anya’s medical care was started. Aside from the two known car incidents, Anya has lived out in the open for so long that rescuers expect her to be heartworm positive. Anya will need to be microchipped, spayed, and treated for heartworm as well as whatever other unknown illnesses and injuries she has.
When asked why funds are being collected for Anya, Landry said the following:
“Money makes Anya attractive. It helps to rescue a dog that comes with a dowry and $3,000 to $5,000 would set her up for a full year. Heartworm treatment is very expensive and many rescue organizations don’t have the funds to cover this. Putting her into a home has never been the plan. She is homeless and deserves a safe place to live.”
The plan is to have Anya live at Danny & Ron’s Rescue after she is saved from her lonely life in the woods. There she will stay until she is ready for a family, and if not, she will live there the rest of her life.
“[Anya] has never had a home but she deserves one,” said Landry. “She deserves to be loved.”
If you are interested in contributing towards Anya’s medical costs, you can make a donation to her FundRazr page. Please know that this will be closed when Anya is rescued. All funds will be transferred to Danny & Ron’s Rescue, if you wish you can make a donation directly to them.
If you are interested in joining Landry and other volunteers in this rescue effort, you can email Landry at [email protected]
We wish Landry and the volunteers the best of luck in this weekend’s rescue, and we hope to tell our readers soon that Anya has been saved.