“Most Severely Emaciated” Dog Ever Makes Amazing Recovery; Now She Needs A Home

When rescuers saw how thin Calista was, it brought tears to their eyes. The starving dog was found wandering the streets of New Jersey when a concerned citizen – upon seeing her bony frame – called animal control to save her. Now, she’s making an amazing recovery – and hasn’t let her terrible ordeal break her spirit, writes

Calista’s suffering was apparent to Jon DeCando, the City of Paterson’s animal control officer. “You know the dog didn’t eat, didn’t drink,” he told She clearly needed specialized care, so he contacted the foster-based rescue group A Pathway to Hope, who were shocked by her condition.

“She was the most severely emaciated dog I’ve ever seen,” said Frannie Laurita, the volunteer who picked up Calista to bring her to the hospital. She weighed just 29 pounds, when a dog of her age and size should weigh 50 pounds. Once at the hospital, she started her road to recovery from her starvation and anemia with small meals and a comfy bed to rest in.

It’s hard to believe any dog could trust people again after being treated so terribly, but she’s shown nothing but love for her rescuers and foster family, and she has a special affinity for the young girls who are her foster sisters. Calista, whose name means “most beautiful,” is gaining weight each day and loves showing affection for every person she meets.

Fortunately, it wasn’t hard to find the person who neglected Calista – her owner showed up to claim her the same day animal control picked her up from the cold streets, and Calista’s shocking state clearly inspired law enforcement to take her case seriously. He received five animal cruelty charges, including torment and torture of a living animal, that each carry six months in jail or $1,000 fine per offense.

While Calista loves her foster family, she’s looking for a forever home of her very own, says A Pathway to Hope president Amy Hofer. If you know someone interested in adopting this sweet dog, fill out an application at And, if you can, please consider donating so that A Pathway to Hope can continue saving dogs like Calista.


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