Little Bear, Big Heart – Saved by Marley’s Mutts and VCA

Marley’s Mutts has taken part in numerous miracles: dogs faced with near-certain death whom have overcome and survived. Through these journeys, VCA Animal Hospitals have been there to aid in the treatment and recovery of many of these dogs. Perhaps no other dog faced more meager chances of survival than Little Bear.

The Beginning

Little Bear’s story began with his original owners attempting to surrender him to a high kill shelter in Kern County. Little Bear was dropped off suffering from days-old mauling injuries. Simply put, he appeared eviscerated. Zach Skow just happened to be on hand when the owner had described a vicious attack by their other dog and knew Little Bear needed help.

Luck brought me to him because I didn’t actually “see” him, but rather smelled him, which was my first indicator of the urgency. – Zach Skow, Marley’s Mutts

He was immediately taken to San Joaquin Animal Hospital in Bakersfield, CA and shaved down. It immediately became clear that he had been attacked multiple times over the course of his life.

The Battle

The extent of his injuries were hard to grasp but the Mutt Militia was rooting for Little Bear and wouldn’t allow anything less than victory. They poured their hearts into his battle and day by day he grew stronger. Little Bear finally turned a corner and was able to come home to Marley’s Mutts family.

Little Bear had 60% of his skin removed, all dead tissue, and his entire body became infected and septic. He would fight, one day at a time, for weeks. The best specialists in the world put his odds of survival at 5%. This figure would have led most to pull the plug, but our fans urged us to let him fight.

The Mutt Militia raised over $17,000.00 in a matter of days, which allowed them to provide the best care for Little Bear. Against all odds, I mean every single odd possible, he was victorious. He has about a dozen puncture wounds that need to be closed, terrible swelling and possible infection. All of these injuries made worse because of the time elapsed between event and treatment.

Little Bear’s Happy Ending

Little Bear was adopted by Dr. Kristen MacDonald, one of the vets who treated him, and goes to work with her everyday at the very hospital that saved his life. His story will live on forever as a testament to resilience, perseverance, team work and a never-give-up spirit. Marley’s Mutts, the entire VCA team, and Little Bear all hope to continue inspiring and helping pets.

Check out the full recap of Little Bear’s journey here:


Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue is a registered 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization (30-0636031) that is concentrated on saving the lives of Kern County’s incarcerated canines. Kern County’s shelters are bursting at the seams and register some of the highest euthanasia rates in the country.