Xena, the Warrior Princess

Fleas and ticks are common nuisances for pets and their owners, but they are also perfectly preventable. The HSEP sees many animals arrive with fleas and ticks, and the Humane Society of El Paso is asking for your help to ensure our rescues stay safe and parasite-free.


 This is Xena, a 6 month old shepherd mix who has spent the entirety of her life tied up outside. She and her older sibling were brought in by their family due to trouble with their landlord. Xena and her sibling were covered head to toe in ticks, a superfamily of bloodsucking parasites that attach themselves to warm-blooded vertebrates to feed and import vectors of infectious diseases. It soon became apparent to HSEP intake staff that Xena's sibling could not be accepted, as she was expressing symptoms of tick-borne illness. Because the Humane Society of El Paso cannot take in sick animals, the family was referred to a vet clinic for blood test instead. Xena, however, was not showing symptoms and was taken in by HSEP staff.

Xena had hundreds of ticks all over her body, and was extremely afraid in such a new environment. Xena had lived outside for the duration of her life and didn't know anything different. She never met anyone new, never went for a car ride, and was never even taken for a walk.

Several tick baths and tick removal sessions later, Xena was tick-free and on the road to recovering physically. She was still extremely afraid, however, refusing to move much or interact with people and other animals. This was especially concerning to HSEP staff, who quickly decided to put off putting her up for adoption until further notice. Xena is under observation to ensure she does not break with a tick-borne illness, and is also going through socialization therapy.

Many people are under the impression that if they're not going as far as to raise a fist against an animal, then it couldn't possibly be classified as abuse. The simple truth of the matter is this: neglect is a very real form of abuse. It is classified as a situation in which a companion animal is denied basic necessities of care, such as fresh water, food, or (in this case) adequate shelter.

The Humane Society of El Paso makes it its mission to educate the public about good, responsible pet ownership in hopes to prevent cases like Xena's. Many dogs aren't so fortunate, and every year owners tie up their pets and leave them outside in the sweltering El Paso heat without the basic necessities, knowingly or unknowingly neglecting them and, in turn, abusing them. Xena is a warrior and a survivor. With a couple of rounds of meds and socialization therapy given by HSEP personnel, she will likely grow into the dog she was always meant to be; a dog that will be loved and cherished by her family, not ignored and neglected. Xena, though shy and timid, will open up and return the unconditional love and affection that will be given to her by her future family.

You can donate to Xena’s care, or to the care of animals like her. Monetary donations may be made online. Flea and tick preventative is also graciously accepted.

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