Rescuing Anya from a Lonely World

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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.

Photo Credit: CJ Landry
Photo Credit: CJ Landry

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.

Photo Credit: CJ Landry
Photo Credit: CJ Landry

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.”

Photo Credit: CJ Landry
Photo Credit: CJ Landry

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.


17 thoughts on “Rescuing Anya from a Lonely World”

  1. There is a dog named Shaggy Ann that was rescued just 6 months ago who had been living in the woods for at least 5 years. She was rescued by Eldad Hagar from Hope for Paws and she was adopted shortly after by a wonderful woman named Patty. She is doing exceptionally well and is the most loving, happy dog you could ever hope to see. When the rescue was about to take place there were people in the area that said the same thing.. “let her be, she’s happy where she is” but it turned out she had a rather severe case of heart worms and has joint problems so she would have died a terrible death on her own. She was also terribly matted and had been hit by a car at least once. She had people feeding her as well but her life was miserable. She now is heart worm free and has really come alive. Amazingly she was self house broken and gets along with the new owner’s two cats. Check out the Friends of Shaggy page on FaceBook to see for yourself, Patty has videos and lots of information on Shaggy for everyone to read.

    So who’s to say that Anya won’t be the same, or even if she isn’t able to go into a home, the sanctuary she is going to will be able to take care of her for the rest of her life away from the dangers of living on her own. Why would you deny her that?

  2. I rescued my boxer mix who had been dumped and living on the streets nearby for about 4-5 months. She hadn’t been ‘on her own’ long enough to become more-or-less feral, but she was well on her way. She also had heartworms (a very heavy infestation), skin lesions where she’d been in fights, and was 25 lbs underweight. She was a mess… no inside training at all, not housebroken… ‘counter surfed’ for any food… ate a whole loaf of bread the first night she was here… ate a banana… peel, stem, and all… pilfered through all the garbage cans. Domesticated animals are NOT able to live on their own in the wild… even if ‘in the wild’ is just a vacant lot in a nice suburban neighborhood. My wonderful boxer mix was very intelligent… and, after a few days of realizing there would always be more food for her, she stopped the counter surfing. She became very anxious to please me and training her was a breeze. I’ve had her four years now and she is absolutely perfect in every way. Everyone who meets her wants her. Dogs are pack animals and not intended to live alone. To the people who say this little Anya is ‘doing fine on her own’… you are WRONG. She actually DOES have people who take care of leaving food and water for her, but she is still subjected to traffic, thugs, other animals who might hurt her, illness, heartworms, and a gazillion other accidents just waiting to happen. I look forward to seeing Anya protected and will continue to look for updates on this lovely soul.

  3. FROM: Karen Wooten
    A new page called Rescue Anya SC has been created. Please go to the page and request to join and one of the administrators will add you. CJ, Beth or myself will be happy to answer any questions you may have. If you donated to the rescue Cj will be contacting each one of you by email. The search still continues and we are hopeful she will be found. Thank you again for your support to rescue Anya.

  4. Whatever happened with this dog? The facebook page was deleted as soon as they raised the money with no notice to anyone who was trying to help. I was offered a refund much later. They canceled the rescue. Later they created a private facebook group but now that doesn’t seem to exist either.


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