SALT LAKE CITY — On Jan. 15, the dog found wandering the Bonneville Salt Flats — now known by many fans as Kelly — was malnourished and appeared to be at death's door.
Now, Kelly is "happy, eating well" and "way more restless," says Lila Oulson, Utah Animal Adoption Center manager.
"I’m pretty sure she’s gonna make a full recovery," she added.
The shelter has been treating Kelly's sarcoptic mange with medication, and Oulson says the "crusty, scabby" stuff that covered much of her skin has fallen off. In two more weeks, she should no longer be contagious, after which she can go out on her first walk in a while.
"She wants to go out for a walk and hang out with people," Oulson said. "She loves being around people."
And people, it seems, love Kelly.
Since Kelly's story went viral, the shelter manager said, well-wishers around the country have been sending in money and gifts, including toys, blankets and treats. A woman from Maine even sent the dog a new coat.
People have also been sending in pictures of their own pets. The shelter has dubbed these animals "Kelly's Heroes."
"We have followers from all over the world now. It's really fun," Oulson added.
So far, a few people have come forward claiming to be Kelly's owner, but Oulson says the shelter needs "positive proof," such as photographs showing she belongs to them, before the dog can be turned over to anyone.1 comment on this story
Though Kelly's hair has started to grow back and is "white with some black, short and fuzzy," the shelter manager says it will be difficult to identify her in photos until the hair finishes growing in.
If an owner isn't found, Kelly will surely find a loving home. The shelter noted over Facebook that she has received "many" adoption offers.
Those who want to check up on Kelly's progress can visit the Utah Animal Adoption Center's Facebook page, where the shelter posts regular updates.