Meet Athena – Rescued Dog Of The Year

The Humane Society of Louisiana just named Athena ‘Rescued Dog of the year’.  It took a team of six animal rescuers to find and help the pit bull mix puppy that had been living near a dumping site on Prosperity Street, in Jonesville, in LaSalle Parish. The dump lies at the end of a long one-lane road in a very rural area. However, someone spied a scrawny little puppy full of scabs living in the woods near the dump, so local rescuers agreed to meet where it was last seen to try and rescue her.

The Long Road To Recovery

A team of volunteers  spent a total of three hours combing the woods and were about to leave when the little dog walked out of the woods and sauntered up to them. They named her Athena. Jeannie McDuff, who volunteers for the newly-formed humane society located in Jonesville, called Catahoula Urban Tails (“CUT”), agreed to take the puppy home and then took her to be examined the next day by Dr. Kelly Hudspeth, founder of CUT and Director of the Catahoula Veterinary Hospital.  Dr. Hudspeth diagnosed Athena to be suffering from a severe skin infection called demodex, which in this case was so advanced it was life-threatening. To speed up her recovery time, Dr. Hudspeth  placed Athena in a hyperbaric chamber several times a day. Dr. Hudspeth also placed Athena on antibiotic cephalexin and sprayed with a topical mixture of essential oils to reduce the inflammation. Athena is already showing signs of vast improvement over the past week. (see “before” 1-2 and “after” 3-4 photos of Athena, courtesy of Dr. Hudspeth and Jeannie Mcduff). Athena is currently being housed at the Catahoula Veterinary Hospital, located in Jonesville, Louisiana.

Why Athena

The Humane Society of Louisiana (“HSL”) has chosen Athena to be its ‘Rescued Dog of the Year’ to bring attention to the plight of thousands of homeless animals in Louisiana, to thank the hundreds of rescuers who take in abandoned pets, and to underline the need to construct additional public shelters and make upgrades to existing facilities.  Louisiana operates municipal and parish-wide shelters in approximately 30 parishes, leaving half of the state without any formal services that can adequately pick up, house, or adopt out surplus animals. The surfeit of services takes a heavy toll on rescuers and humane societies to keep up with the demands placed on them.

“We get calls every day from somewhere in our state, asking for help in rescuing, housing, or placing unwanted animals and the request for services seems to be expanding as more people recognize the need and are active on social media, where a lot of information on homeless animals is shared and posted.” Jeff Dorson, HSL Director.


If you want to help Athena and other homeless animals’ care, you can do so by donating through the Humane Society’s website at or visit its page on Facebook at Donations can also be made by calling  the Catahoula Veterinary Hospital at 318-339-9643.

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