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Lonely Dog Rescued Clutching Stuffed Animal [Video]



Quick Smiles:

  • Nikki, a German shepherd from Detroit, was rescued from the streets by Almost Home Animal Rescue League after a heartbreaking photo of her alone in the rain with her stuffed toy circulated among rescues.
  • Nikki, who had been surviving on her own for months and was suffering from heartworm disease and other internal problems, has been healing and showing a more playful and affectionate side in her new foster home.
  • Gail Montgomery, cofounder of Almost Home, hopes Nikki’s story will serve as a wake-up call to people about the countless other pets that still need help and encourages anyone interested to learn more about Almost Home’s mission and how they can contribute to their efforts.

Sometimes it’s the little things that capture our hearts and change the course of life forever.

Such is the case with Nikki, a German shepherd from Detroit who taught us that love, endurance, and a well-loved stuffed animal can make all the difference.

Our story starts in early May, with a touching image that would melt even the coldest of hearts. Amid the hustle and bustle of downtown Detroit, Nikki was spotted, alone in the rain, clutching her plush toy with a determination that spoke volumes.

The picture swiftly circulated among animal rescue circles, landing in the hands of Gail Montgomery, the co-founder of Almost Home Animal Rescue League.

“I got some private messages and pictures of this dog carrying her stuffed toy, and it was raining in downtown Detroit. It was gut-wrenching and heartbreaking,” Montgomery told PEOPLE about seeing Nikki for the first time.


The sight spurred Montgomery into action. She reached out to her contacts at South Lyon Murphy Lost Animal Recovery to get Nikki off the streets. They were successful in rescuing Nikki, stuffed toy and all.

As they learned more about Nikki, her tragic past became evident.

“We took her to an emergency hospital, and they treated her. Unfortunately, she’s got heartworm disease and other internal problems. They found plastic bags, twigs, and bones in her stomach,” Montgomery shares, recounting Nikki’s initial vet visit.

But Nikki’s journey towards healing had begun. With Almost Home’s help, she found a foster home.

“She was just totally stressed out,” Montgomery says, reflecting on Nikki’s past.

“Her body wasn’t really functioning properly because she was on the roads for so long.”


But in her foster home, Nikki has been healing and showing her playful side.

“She doesn’t even need her stuffy anymore. She’s constantly hugging her foster parents,” Montgomery reports with a smile.

Embracing her new life, Nikki is now “living the life,” as Montgomery puts it.

“They’re giving her so much incredible love,” Montgomery observes, adding that the more affectionate they are to Nikki, the “kinder she gets.”

Nikki’s story is a poignant reminder of the countless pets that still need help.

As Montgomery says, “I think that this is really a wake-up call for people.”


She hopes Nikki’s journey will inspire more people to extend their help to the animals who need it.

To learn more about Almost Home and contribute to their noble cause, visit their website. And remember, each act of kindness makes a difference.