Audree loves kisses. In fact, there is nothing the 4-year-old English Bulldog/Pitbull Mix seems to enjoy more than cozying up to one of her favorite humans: Jessie Neassen.

As a volunteer for Milwaukee-based 501c3 nonprofit animal rescue organization Canine Cupids, Neassen provides care and love to the area’s most neglected and abused dogs as a foster “mom”. Audree is one of the foster animals currently in her care, and when Audree wants kisses, Neassen is happy to oblige.

“She just wants love and attention,” Neassen says. But when Audree was rescued by Canine Cupids 1.5 years ago, she needed much more than that.

“She had severe mange, secondary infections and was anemic,” Neassen says. “She also had entropy in her eyes, a heart murmur, ear infections and partial tears in her back ACLs.”

Audree’s mange resulted in swelling and inflammation and “weeping” open wounds on her skin.
“She could barely walk,” says Neassen. “The first couple of days I was scared that she was going to die. It was bad.”

While Neassen had cared for dogs with mange before, never had she encountered a dog with such extensive – and costly – health issues. Audree required constant supervision. She slept beside her just to make sure she didn’t stop breathing. She bathed Audree every other day, massaged her with
essential oils, administered many medications and coordinated all of her vet visits – anything to give Audree a chance.

Neassen’s effort paid off. Within a week Audree’s condition began to slowly improve.
“I could just see a difference in her,” says Neassen. “Through it all, her tail was wagging.”

Audree’s tale is one of betrayal and forgiveness. Despite suffering such neglect at the hands of her prior owners, Audree has given humans a second chance.

“She just loves people,” Neassen says. “Any person she’s ever met she adores. Aside from knowing and seeing the pictures you wouldn’t guess she had such a horrible past.”

Story & photos courtesy of Jessie Neassen

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