When Fiona was found in a trash heap behind an auto body shop in Los Angeles, CA, she was sick, covered in dirt, and her coat was matted. The 11-year-old poodle was also infested with fleas and was found to be blind in both eyes. But Fiona was lucky. Audry and Eldad Hager, founders of the Los Angeles-based Hope for Paws came to her rescue. The Hagers cleaned and cared for the little poodle and took her to a veterinary ophthalmologist, who discovered that vision in one of her eyes could be restored with surgery.
They type of surgery that Fiona needed was very expensive, so the Hagers posted her video on YouTube and Facebook hoping to raise enough money. Soon, with the help of hundreds of donors all over the world, they raised the funds for her surgery and Fiona's vision in one eye was restored.
Fiona was adopted by Michele and Chris Gentry of LA and she was on her way to live with three other poodle sisters. Her transformation has been astonishing. She's gone from a scared, matted mess to a happy and playful member of a new family.
The little dog's story has gone viral on the Internet, which has resulted in global media covers and 5.5 million YouTube views to date. Fiona has made quite an impact and has also helped other homeless animals get second changes. "She has really made a difference in a lot of people's lives," says Eldad Hagar. "In Atlanta, I met this young woman at a conference for animal bloggers who said that two days after she saw Fiona's video, she went and rescued a dog with no eyes. Fiona's story inspired her to rescue a dog with special needs."
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals honored Fiona as the 2012 Dog of the Year during it 2012 Human Awards luncheon in New York which honors pets that have made a significant impact on the lives of humans and animals alike. Hager says that donations made in Fiona's honor have allowed the organization to help other homeless animals. The little dog has made such an impact by showing the world what can happen when a homeless animals receives a second chance at life.