Kaipo the Belgian Malinois had absolutely the worst start in life, but his heartbreaking story is one with the most adorably happy ending.
For the first two years of his life, Kaiko had a miserable existence in Tijuana, Mexico: blind, starved, dehydrated and severely abused by his owners, he spent his entire time chained to a pole on a four foot leash.
His plight was noticed by neighbors and reported to Ho’ola Dog Rescue in Los Angeles, which saves dogs from the streets of Mexico and brings them back to the USA for a better life, and Kaipo was rescued and taken to a safe house in Mexico, before being delivered to safety in LA.
A post shared by Ho’ola Dog Rescue (@hooladogrescue) (opens in new tab)
A photo posted by on
It's believed that Kaipo was chained up for being aggressive, and it seems likely that his original owners weren't experienced enough to cope with the demands of owning a Malinois.
The Belgian Malinois is a working dog that'll bond hard with its owner, but it needs plenty of activity and exercise and, if it doesn't get it, it can become a problem pet.
Once spirited away to safety, however, Kaipo transformed into the most loving and affectionate dog; he soon became socialized and over six months he quickly gained over 25 lbs, and it wasn't long until a family in Seattle read about him and drove all the way to Los Angeles to bring him back to his new forever home.
@kaipothemal (opens in new tab) ♬ Hold On - Extreme Music (opens in new tab)
Kaiko's new owner describes him on Reddit (opens in new tab) as a very sweet boy, but it's not all plain sailing; he understandably has serious trust issues and PTSD, but his new family is working hard with him and looking for a trainer who help with rehabilitation and obedience training.
And thankfully Kaiko's new owners understand all about a Mal's needs, and plan to ensure that he gets all the mental stimulation, exercise and working experience that'll make him happy.
It's still early days for Kaiko but he's settling into his new life wonderfully, and has a new best friend in his owners' other dog, Azula:
@kaipothemal (opens in new tab) ♬ original sound - darmesha (opens in new tab)
He also gets on brilliantly with his new owners' kids, and loves the best dog treats and hugs, although he does have tendency to tread in his own poop. But that's a small price to pay for giving such a brave dog a whole new start in life.
You can keep up with Kaiko's story on Instagram (opens in new tab) and TikTok (opens in new tab), and you can also find Ho’ola Dog Rescue on Instagram (opens in new tab) and maybe give them a bit of support for their sterling work.
Jim is a writer, performer and cat-wrangler based in Bath, who last year adopted a pair of sibling rescue cats who turned out to be effectively feral, and has spent a lot of time since then trying to get them accustomed to people (some success) and each other (ongoing project).
Get the best advice, tips and top tech for your beloved Pets
Thank you for signing up to Petsradar. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.