It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that Marshall passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, Jan. 18 at the age of 13. At Marshall’s owner’s request, we have set up a special fund to honor his bravery, spirit and life-long inspiring story of resilience.
Rescued by the Humane Society of Missouri’s Animal Cruelty Task Force in the fall of 2011, Marshall came to our shelter with 80 other dogs from a deplorable hoarding situation in which he was severely bullied by other dogs in his dirt floor pen. Though many of the dogs were very thin, with open wounds and parasites, their injuries paled in comparison to Marshall’s. A fist-sized hole in his left cheek exposed jaw bone and muscle. His left front leg was infected and shattered and eventually was amputated. Despite concerns he couldn’t be saved, the surgical and treatment expertise of our veterinarians and shelter staff and his own determined will to live pulled Marshall through.
After months of rehabilitation, this resilient, gentle yellow Labrador Retriever mix was adopted by Cyndi Willenbrock who realized his story would be an inspiration to children everywhere. This book was made into a movie and national bullying prevention program called the Marshall Mentor Program. Cyndi and Marshall were a part of the Humane Society of Missouri’s Humane Education Program prior to moving to Montana, telling their anti-bullying story of hope to the thousands of children we reach every year. The book’s moving afterward was written by our former director of HSMO’s Animal Medical Center of Mid-America, Dr. Steven Schwartz. The animals pictured toward the back of the book received their second chances for loving, forever homes from the Humane Society of Missouri. A portion of the proceeds from this book will come back to the Humane Society of Missouri to help many more animals in need.
Marshall’s story perfectly exemplifies the work we at the Humane Society of Missouri do every day for the thousands of animals who so desperately need us.