South Florida woman helps bring abused Dalmatian from Russia

NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - It was a Christmas miracle for a dog who was rescued from an abusive situation in Russia to find a new “fur-rever” home in America, and it was all thanks to the efforts of a South Florida woman.

7News cameras captured a dog’s-eye view of Lucky, boundless with excitement after having crossed the pond.

The 10-month-old Dalmatian was abandoned and abused. A photo shows him chained up to a barrel in freezing weather in far Eastern Russia.

“Well, if this is not a true Christmas miracle, then I don’t know what is,” said South Florida attorney Evelina Libhen.

Libhen found out about Lucky through Facebook and knew she had to do something. “He’s truly lucky, because I’m not on Facebook too often, and I was just browsing that day,” she said. “I saw a post with a picture of that dog, and I made a connection.”

Lucky was rescued by a local volunteer, but they had no way of finding him a home. “The people that had him in Russia were first afraid of sending him so far,” said Libhen. “Then, figuring out the logistics was a major challenge, because he was literally at the other end of the globe.”

There Lucky was, stranded in Russia on the border with China. “I had to ask literally everybody I know in Russia, and here, I think, for a favor,” said Libhen.

On Christmas Eve, he made the 11,000-mile trek, from the cold of Russia to the warmth of South Florida. Miami. Cellphone video showed the canine resting in his carrier.

Libhen coordinated with Pati Dane, who runs Dalmatian Rescue in North Miami Beach. Dane found Lucky a home.

“He has a home with a previous adopter of ours we’ve known since ’96,” said Dane. “He’s going to have an awesome home on a 20-acre ranch in New Mexico.”

“Just the fact that we were able to put this all together and get him on a flight on Christmas Eve was nothing short of a miracle, in our estimation,” said Libhen.

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