Woman Gives Shelter Dog the Best Final Weeks of Her Life, Leaving the Internet in Tears

When Kelly Hammons decided to foster Valerie, a 5-year-old Pit bull mix rescued from neglect, she didn’t know she was signing up for a heart-wrenching journey that would capture the hearts of thousands online. Despite a rough past, Valerie’s last two weeks were filled with love, comfort, and plenty of treats, thanks to Kelly’s dedication.

Valerie: Woman Gives Shelter Dog the Best 2 Weeks of Her Life, Leaving the Internet in Tears

Valerie Was Ready to Fight For Her Life

Valerie was found emaciated and exhausted, left in the night drop box at Animal Friends of the Valley. From the moment Rocky Kanaka, a shelter volunteer, laid eyes on her, he knew Valerie was a fighter. “She was surrounded by plush toys but still looked so fragile and out of place,” he said. Determined to see her thrive, the shelter began the painstaking process of nursing her back to health with small, frequent meals and plenty of gentle care..

Valerie & Rocky
Rocky meeting Valerie for the first time.

Kelly, a volunteer with Lovebugs Rescue took over from there, bringing Valerie into her home and heart. She made every day count, from wagon rides around the neighborhood—Valerie was too weak to walk on her own—to cozy nights wrapped in soft blankets. “She got bully sticks because they were her favorite,” Kelly recalled with a smile.

Sadly, Valerie Took An Unexpected Turn for the Worse

Tragically, just as Valerie seemed to be improving, her health took a sudden turn. She was rushed to the vet after becoming immobile one morning, where they discovered she was bleeding internally from a ruptured tumor. Facing this dire prognosis, Kelly and the vet made the tough decision to let Valerie go, prioritizing her peace over prolonged suffering.


The story of Valerie’s final days, shared on social media, touched a nerve with animal lovers everywhere, drawing tears and words of gratitude for the love she experienced at the end. “If love could have saved her, she would still be here,” Kelly said, reflecting on the deep bond they had formed. Her brief, final chapter was a stark reminder of the difference compassion can make in the lives of rescue animals, turning even the most heartbreaking endings into narratives of love and hope.

The Outpouring of Love To The News Was Overwhelming

Dog lovers from across the country were saddened by the news, but their words were filled with appreciation for the many people who went out of their way to make Valerie’s last days comfortable and worth fighting for. @Sharon Woods Ward commented, “My heart breaks for the life she lived before she was rescued, but it is warmed by the tremendous love and care you and the rescue showed her in her recent days.”

Valerie on one of her many wagon rides.

@Staci Hassman agreed, “Aw, so sad but I’m glad she at least knew love before she passed.” @Nancy Wolfe added, “Valerie looked so sweet. Thank you for loving her and caring for her so deeply. Sending positive thoughts to mend your heart with time.”

@Amy McClure offered these touching words, “What an absolutely tear-jerking tribute. Kelly, and everyone who rescues, fosters, and adopts are truly angels on Earth and my heroes. God has blessed you with big hearts and love for animals, especially dogs. This story isn’t the ending we wanted, but that sweet Pittie knew she was loved and wasn’t alone. Thank you.”

Kelly was also praised for her empathy and kindness. @Katrina Lotts commented, “Heartbreaking, and my heart goes out to Kelly. It takes an incredible person to care, rescue and unconditionally love these sweet babies. Sending you hugs on your loss and heavenly love to Valerie.”

@Valerie Barton shared, “Poor girl… no one deserves to be put through something like this, but I’m happy she experienced love at least in the end. Rocky Kanaka and everyone who helps these special souls are truly angels in human form.”

Valerie at her foster home all warm and cozy.

While Valerie didn’t get the fairy tale ending we all were hoping for, we are glad that she found happiness in her last days on Earth and got to experience kindness from humans that she had forgotten existed. Her story touched many hearts, and people appreciated the efforts made to make her final days filled with love and comfort after an unfortunate life of neglect. Though her time was short, Valerie knew compassion before crossing the rainbow bridge.

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