Dog owner shocked, saddened after animal found in Utah desert abandoned, badly injured

Posted at 4:45 PM, Jul 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-23 19:46:16-04

CARBON COUNTY, Utah – A dog owner is upset after she allegedly gave away her dog, Nala, only to find that the animal had been abandoned miles away from her home, and sustained numerous injuries.

Brandi Cross, Nala’s owner, said that Nala was rescued three years ago. When one of her children had to get a therapy dog, they had to get rid of Nala, because she and the new dog did not get along.

Cross worked to find Nala a new home, finally finding someone she trusted to give her to.

”The deal was that if she didn’t want her or couldn’t keep her I was to get the dog back so that we could try and figure out something different. That didn’t happen,” Cross said.

Instead, Cross said that Nala was sent to several different homes.

”It ended up being a whole web of lies is what it ended up being, so Nala got transferred between a whole bunch of different people,” Cross said.

One of the individuals who took Nala allegedly told Cross that the dog had been euthanized. When Cross asked for proof, she said that the new owner refused to give her any information.

Nala can be seen with a cast and cuts on her body
July 23, 2018

Cross said that she began receiving calls and Facebook messages, saying that Nala was at an animal hospital. She went to the hospital’s page and immediately recognized the dog.

”When I opened my Facebook and saw that picture, literally my heart broke because I felt like it was my fault.  I thought that I screened the home very well. I thought that I did. Apparently, I did not but my heart was just shattered,” Cross said.

Nala appeared to have been wandering the desert for several weeks before she had been picked up. Cross discovered that Nala had walked dozens of miles in an attempt to return home.

”I had found out that she apparently was dumped in either Elmo or Cleveland at the dinosaur quarry,” Cross said. “She has traveled over 40 miles to make it back and she was about five miles away from our house.”

Cross said that Nala had been sprayed by a skunk, had cactus thorns in her, and a broken bone.

Nala walked almost 40 miles in an attempt to get home.
July 23, 2018

”When we picked her up she was skin and bones like she couldn’t even… I don’t even know the torture she’d been through but she didn’t even remember her name for the longest time. Now she knows her name again but it was awful,” Cross said.

So far, no charges have been filed to any of the individuals who were allegedly responsible for abandoning Nala.

Dan Harmer, with the Animal Hospital of Eastern Utah, released the following statement on Nala’s condition:

“Nala will undergo an operation on Monday to pin the broken bones in her leg and repair damage to her mouth. She has been through a lot, but is expected to make a complete recovery. In the meantime, she is resting comfortably.”

A GoFundMe for Nala’s recovery and veterinarian bills can be found here.

A video of Cross meeting Nala after she was found can be seen below: