A sweet puppy named Dumpling who was intentionally starved and dumped on a street is making a steady recovery, thanks to her rescuers and their loving care.

PAWS Chicago, a no-kill shelter, fielded a call from animal control officers who found Dumpling. 

In a TikTok video that’s both heartbreaking and heartwarming, the shelter describes how Dumpling arrived so weak that she could barely move and then traces her recovery over the course of 10 days.

Because Dumpling arrived in such a desperate state, with severe dehydration and dangerously high sodium levels on top of her emaciation, shelter staff had to be careful to stabilize her vitals and feed her very slowly so as not to shock her system. 

But the puppy clearly wanted to live. On the second day of her care, she stood, and by Day 3, she took her first shaky steps. 

Each day she continued to get a little stronger.

“Our hearts ache for what she had to go through, and yet Dumpling holds no grudges,” the shelter wrote under the TikTok video. “She is eager to trust, to love, to cuddle, to live. Despite someone’s cruelest efforts, Dumpling has plenty of that ahead of her.”


Dumpling had been intentionally starved to the point that she was barely alive. Too weak to even move, animal control picked her up after she was seen being dumped on the street. Our hearts ache for what she had to go through, and yet, Dumpling holds no grudges. She is eager to trust, to love, to cuddle, to live. Despite someone’s cruelest efforts, Dumpling has plenty of that ahead of her. She’s now in a foster home to be spoiled with love while she continues to recover!

♬ Autumn Leaves – Timothy Cole

Although the pup still needs time to recover, she’s doing great in a loving foster home where she’s being spoiled with love, the shelter added. 

“She still has a long way to go before adoption, but she’s finally stable and settling into foster care for much deserved love and relaxation,” PAWS Chicago said. “Her personality is finally starting to shine, and she’s really enjoying the weight gain part of her recovery!”

Niki Sodetz, Dumpling’s foster parent, told Lady Freethinker that Dumpling’s recovery has come with a lot of care; she needed to be fed three times a day, given multiple medications throughout the day, and to learn how to trust that what happened to her would never happen again.  But the progress Dumpling has made in the month since she’s been in foster has been “incredible to see,” Sodetz said.

“When I first met her, she was reluctant to greet me or let me pet her and was easily scared of new people and other dogs,” Sodetz said. “Now, she’s like a completely different dog. Since her arrival at PAWS Chicago, she has doubled in weight (10 pounds to 20 pounds) and her wounds have healed.”

Dumpling currently is “extremely active” and loves her toys, playing tug of war and fetch, and going on long walks and runs.

“I feel so lucky to have had the privilege to care for her and watch her progress firsthand,” Sodetz said. Dumpling is an incredibly loving, gentle, and happy dog. She doesn’t leave my side and likes to follow me from room to room and sleeps next to me in my bed every night. Fostering her has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and I’m so grateful to PAWS Chicago for giving her a second chance at life.”

We are so grateful that this precious pup is getting the love and care she always deserved!

There are so many sweet dogs like Dumpling out there just waiting for their forever homes. Please remember to always adopt — not shop — for any companion animals.

Rescued animals have great stories — such as this sweet cat who was rescued by someone who truly could understand her or this dog adopted by an officer who rescued him!