“Fun Size” Rescue Dog Beats The Odds Thanks To Her Devoted Foster Mom

 Amaani spoke with her eyes that she was going to fight--I was more than willing to match that will, regardless of the personal sacrifice.

On June 22, Onslow County Animal Services (OCAS) in Jackson, North Carolina picked up an emaciated, nearly-hairless stray dog with a severe case of Demodectic mange. The focus of the first animal rescue was to rescue dead dogs from euthanasia. They pulled the poor puppy out of the shelter and put her with one of their experienced adoptive mothers, Heather Coradino-Rantada.


The moment she held the dog in her arms, Heather knew that something more serious than skin mites was wrong. The poor puppy has a fever. Heather rushed her to the vet. Her body temperature exceeded 105 degrees.

Owing to her size, OCAS staff guessed that she was 12 weeks old, but the vet determined that she was only 6 months old. Life as a sickly stray had stunted her growth. She was quickly diagnosed with anemia and a potentially fatal canine distemper.


Heather named the puppy Amaani Amaani, which means hope, desire and desire to help her gain strength in the difficult days ahead.

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“There were several instances that medically, she should have gave up the ghost, but she displayed a fighting spirit and can for something better,” Heather told iHeartDogs. “Amaani spoke together with her eyes that she was getting to fight–I was quite willing to match which will, no matter the private sacrifice.”

Since it is difficult and heartbreaking to see Amaani's struggle, Heather is ready to assist her in her struggle. During her military career, she received medical and surgical training, which was invaluable to her job as an adoptive parent. She chooses to need in the most difficult cases; the foremost desperate underdogs in the need of physical and emotional healing from their various ailments.

“These are those that are first to hit the Euthanasia List in any shelter, therefore making them those that I like better to take,” she says. “‘Cute and fluffies’ stand a way greater chance for adoption or rescue. I don’t want the straightforward stuff. I would like the challenges that the majority won’t take!”

Heather’s house is crammed with former “challenges,” including four Pit Bulls that when suffered from Demodex like Armani. In total, she has 11 permanent rescue pets—nine dogs and two cats—in addition to an almost constant flow of special needs foster care. Amaani proved to be a very difficult case, but with round-the-clock care, she began to point out signs of improvement. Her brindle and white coat began to fill in and she or he tripled her weight, though she is going to always be a “micro-Pittie.”


When she first came, she was extremely frightened, depressed, and packed her things, but after several weeks of gentle care and comfort, she learned the way of trust. Now, her favorite spot is snuggled abreast of the sofa or “spooning” in bed! “She likes to be catered to and may be quite the diva,” Heather says. “On the opposite hand and despite her ‘fun-size’ she will definitely hold her own–make no mistake! There’s never a dull moment when she’s around!”

Only six weeks since her rescue, Amaani is unrecognizable from the pitiful pup she once was. Without the devoted care Heather provided, she wouldn't have survived, including thrived.

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