A special soul, broken and believed to be part of the dog-fighting ring was found on the 23 May 2016 by Community Led Animal Welfare (CLAW).


CLAW were alerted to the heartbreaking story of Maggie that afternoon and found her in a ditch behind a scrapyard.

Her jaw had been broken for some time, and her teeth on the left side of her face had also been smashed out. She had bite wounds all over her body, and was trying to nurse a severed leg herself.

This beautiful 3 year old pup, with her incredibly sad eyes, had been broken by society and yet still able to wag her tail and kiss her saviours.

It is believed that Maggie had been in a dogfighting ring, either used as bate or in actual fights. The scrapyard she was found in has no cameras but CLAW have broken up dogfights there twice in the past year, unfortunately always too late for arrests.

The CLAW community could not contain their heartbreak & anger…

One follower, Deborah Marais posted “This poor dog must have been to hell and back! I cannot comprehend the type of people who can do this to an animal. And yet she still has the capacity to be loving towards mankind. Heartbreaking – thank you that you came to her rescue. Bless you all that work with these animals that suffer such immense abuse. I pray that she pulls through and I pray that this special girl will find that special person who will give her that special home where she may never ever suffer again.”

Robyn Eshelby, a dog behaviourist, who assists CLAW, immediately fell in love with this little soul… her house was full of animals and it broke her heart that she couldn’t offer Maggie a forever home.

CLAW continued to treat Maggie as best they could, giving daily updates on her status…

3 days after Maggie’s rescue, she had already calmed down and become more relaxed around the Vets. She was finally eating and responding to all the love and attention. The vet team were doing all they could to combat the leg infection before she could have the surgery she needed.

Maggie needed all the strength to endure the anaesthetic and massive operation.

CLAW requested that Robyn do a preliminary behavioural assessment on Maggie. Robyn got to run her hands over the pup, stroked her and chatted to her.

For now the focus is on getting her well again. Photos and videos do not do justice to Maggie’s hardships but you get the basic idea. Her muscles are atrophied, she is skeletal, with old and new wounds and traumas all over her body. She is unable to stand unassisted and once standing isn’t able to maintain her balance.

YET… her eyes are bright and she is curious of her surroundings. No problems at all with her appetite which is key to her recovery.

She is in the most fantastic hands with the CLAW team and I believe that her wounds will heal.

Hopefully there aren’t more that can’t be seen as yet, only time will tell.
The saddest part of it all is that Maggie is not an old dog. The CLAW folks can correct me but I feel she is around 3 years old. I may be off the mark but she is not, as you would think from her appearance, a senior dog.

Once she is physically stronger we will need to get working on healing her mind. The things she has seen and felt…

By the weekend, Karen Carr, a CLAW community member, came to the shelter to also visit Maggie.

The love & support shown to this beautiful girl, made her get up and try to run around with excitement… something she hadn’t done since being saved.

9 days after being found, Maggie underwent an incredibly successful operation to amputate the severed arm and remove all the infection, so she would be able to heal and grow into the incredible animal everyone could all see in her.

Eventually Robyn talked her family into offering Maggie a place in their home, until she could find a forever home… which was quite quickly as Karen had fell head over heals for this incredible girl and started the adoption process.

Because of the trauma that Maggie had suffered, she needed to get over some emotional baggage, and Robyn, was the perfect place to help her with this.

Maggie healed quite quickly and moved in with Robyn on the 4 June… from the first night Maggie almost knew that she was in a safe space and started her long road to recovery.


Robyn has opened her Facebook profile and is giving daily updates on how incredible Maggie is doing… from meeting chickens to the first time, to going in car rides.

Here’s a sneak peak at her incredible journey as featured on Robyn’s page.

The other thing, of course, is that she went in the car to get her new coat and supplies for her dressing changes. My heart shattered when we first got to the car and she changed from being so cheerful and happy to freezing and dropping her tail, thinking she had done something wrong and was leaving us.

Her eyes spoke a million words.

She did enjoy the trip to the feed store and got loads of strokes and rubs, and when she got home she was absolutely delighted. She hopped out of the car, greeted every one of the Farm Girls dogs with a face lick, and looked at me as if to say, “Thank you for bringing me back!”

Geez, it can make my stomach do somersaults when they speak to a person like that.

I honestly can’t wait to move her on to her new home, as she is bonding so strongly to me, more and more every day, and I so want her to bond to her new people.

She will, though, and I think that once her stitches are out she’ll be good to go.

We have another week or so to go and she’ll be ready.

16 days after she was found and we are so incredibly excited to see Maggie in amazing shape, its so awesome watching her progress & following her updates!

If you want to follow the update too, please check out Robyn’s Facebook page here.

CLAW is a welfare organisation, renowned as the pioneer of community based primary veterinary services in South Africa. To help them in any way, click here.

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Sources: Claw

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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.


  1. Alot can be said and have been said, many tears have been cried and hearts touched by Maggie and everyone at CLAW. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your hard work, dedication and sacrifice. God bless you.

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