Like many 10-year-old dogs, Trio has a few health issues; She gets laser therapy at the Integrative Pet Care Center to treat stiff joints. But the pit bull has been ailing longer than most. When Trio was just five weeks old, she lost her leg while being used as bait in a dog fight. A stranger found her and took her to a vet. Another stranger offered to pick up the tab.
"Trio had a ten percent chance to live and this woman did the surgery to fix her up. She had gangrene, so she had a piece of her stomach taken out and this woman paid for everything and I kind of thought about the whole pay it forward thing," Naiden said.
The experience motivated Naiden to start the Trio Animal Foundation ( www.trioanimalfoundation.org) in 2009. The organization raises money to pay the medical bills of injured animals that are homeless or abandoned and otherwise would be put down.
"We have this one now who he was shot by his owner and he went and hid under a porch for three days and he literally tore an eight inch by four inch hole in his side from scratching," Naiden said. "With the funding we've been able to pay for him to stay at the vet the whole time, get surgery. It was infected. He had tubes put in his side."
That gunshot victim, known as "Dozer," is one of several dogs being housed at a Lincoln Park dog boarding facility called Unleashed ( http:www.unleashedpups.com. The foundation is partnering with the company and has paid to remodel space to accommodate rescued dogs.
"A lot of the animals when they first come, they can't go into a boarding facility or straight into a foster home because they need some medical care first. So what the Trio Animal Foundation did was they outfitted all of the rooms to help with every stage of the dog's medical care before they're available for adoption," Bridgid Nolan, owner Unleashed, said.
There is an isolation area for dogs who are just arriving, a step down room for dogs who are recovering from treatment, and a third room for dogs who are ready to go home with a family. For Naiden, it's her way of giving thanks for Trio's life having been spared.
"When I saw her, Trio crawled up on my shoulder and started chewing on my earlobe and it was over," Naiden said. "I literally had her home within 15 minutes."
The Trio Animal Foundation also organizes volunteers to work at the Animal Welfare League in the Englewood neighborhood about once a month.