Janessa Dabler, then a young woman, heard about a dog who had been found in a ditch with her litter of puppies not too far from her home. After a restless night, the next morning she recruited her mother and went out in search of the dog. What they found was amazing!
Just as described, lying in the ditch was a beautiful but emaciated white German Shepherd with eight healthy puppies. Janessa carefully gathered up the puppies and took them home to her condo, and then took the mother to the emergency vet.
The veterinarian found that the mother was 10-15 pounds underweight, was infested with worms, and, worst of all, had been shot in the jaw. The bullet had not only fractured her jaw and several teeth, but also had broken many additional bones in her skull. But in spite of all of her painful injuries, this mother had kept her puppies fed and healthy!
Surgery was done to repair the damage which included putting a plate in her jaw. She was cleaned and her wounds were dressed and over time, with loving care, she recovered nicely.
Two articles in the San Jose Mercury News about the beautiful dog and its plight brought in donations to cover the surgery and medical expenses. Each of her puppies were adopted to loving homes and Janessa’s mother and stepfather adopted the mother dog. They named her Nike, the Greek word for “Victory” and the Greek goddess of victory, a fitting name after all she had endured.
After many loving and happy years, Nike passed away in September of 1992, but her legacy lives on. The Nike Animal Rescue Foundation was founded and initially funded with the excess donations that were generously given to save Nike. Due to this story and life of this wonderful animal, and friend, thousands of other animals lives have been saved, and human lives enriched. And a very dedicated group of people found their passion: to continue the rescue and care of abandoned, feral, and unwanted pets.