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How Google Street View helped save a stray dog

It’s a modern, heartwarming tale that’s fit for a big-screen adaptation


Gaby Dunn


Posted on Sep 13, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 6:34 am CDT

It’s a heartwarming tale that’s fit for a big-screen adaptation: An abandoned dog spotted on Google Maps has been rescued and fostered.

Google Street View captured the pup outside an abandoned building in Los Angeles, and she was still there when a local animal rescue nonprofit called Hope For Paws found her.

Jennifer Velasquez called Hope For Paws, and employee Eldad Hagar went looking for the dog based on the sighting captured by Google Maps. Hagar named her “Sonya” and took her to the groomer for a much-needed bath.

In the picture on Google Street View, Sonya can be seen sitting on the pavement outside a run-down building, with the address clearly in sight. A local business owner told Hagar he’d seen Sonya around the neighborhood for at least 10 years. Throughout the video, Hagar patiently feeds her and waits for Sonya to trust him enough to put a leash on her.

A veterinarian later found that Sonya had several tumours and arthritis. She was treated and eventually taken in by a foster family. The whole endeavor has been documented on Hagar’s YouTube page, where he regularly chronicles his stories of rescuing animals with Hope For Paws.

Sonya’s foster family provided an update in the comments of the video, saying that she was suffering from bone spurs in her back that could lead to paralysis. While too old for surgery, Sonya’s on some meds that appear to be helping, and she’s receiving acupuncture.

“The vet said if she were still on the street she probably wouldn’t be walking,” the user wrote. “Sonya is doing good & is happy as ever. Please send her good thoughts & we will take great care of her.”

H/T Metro UK | Photo via YouTube

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*First Published: Sep 13, 2013, 4:05 pm CDT