Abandoned dog spotted on Google Maps gets rescued

Last summer, Jennifer Velasquez wanted to get help for a local stray dog.

She contacted the Los Angeles-based rescue group Hope For Paws and told them about the abandoned dog and its location — and added that the dog could be spotted on Google Maps.

Sure enough, the dog was found exactly where Google Street View indicated, outside an abandoned building on Fashion Ave. in Long Beach, California.

A local business owner said that the dog had been there for years. Local residents would often stop to feed her.

To rescue the dog from her life on the streets, Hope for Paws founder and executive director Eldad Hagar first approached her with bits of cheeseburger.

"I always have a cheeseburger in my pocket. It helps convince the dog to come with me," Hagar told Dogster last August.

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Slowly the dog, whom Hagar named Sonya, came from out of hiding and started to walk toward a nearby parking lot where Hagar was able to corner her, put her on a leash, and bring her to safety.

Hagar captured the entire rescue on video.

Hagar took Sonya, who appears to be a Chow-Golden Retriever, to a groomer — Sonya desperately needed a bath, and her mangled coat needed shaving — and then to a vet who determined that she was suffering from several tumours and arthritis. She was given medical treatment and is now living with a foster family.

Sonya slept soundly on her first night off the streets.

"It is so stressful to live on the street," Hagar explained. "These dogs don’t know who will surprise them, whether coyotes, raccoons, or humans. Being on alert all the time just exhausts them."

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YouTube user Kingpitty gave an update on Sonya's health two weeks ago:

"Sonya is having some problems with the bone spurs in her back & the vet said it could lead to paralysis. She is too old for surgery and that type of surgery is iffy even on a young dog. We have started her on new meds & have started acupuncture," Kingpitty wrote. "She seems to be responding well to her first session. The vet said if she were still on the street she probably wouldn't be walking. Sonya is doing good & is happy as ever. Please send her good thoughts & we will take great care of her."