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OUR ANIMALS, OURSELVES: Little Ann healthy, ready for adoption
June 29, 2018

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It was the evening before Thanksgiving when five emaciated dogs came through our door.

They were brought in by law enforcement after it was discovered that they had been abandoned inside a vacant house. The extent of their neglect was obvious: visible ribs, hips and vertebrae. The dogs had been wasting away.

We spent Thanksgiving with the five of them who we named Little Ann, Dan, Pepper, Roo Too and Cayou. We made sure they had meals befitting the holiday and they ate voraciously, like they weren't sure when they might be able to eat again.

This was the beginning of the latest newsletter from the North Country SPCA and it became clear to me that it was a story that had to be shared. It's a story that could be retold by any one of our local shelters ... the one about abandoned, abused and mistreated animals who have gratefully found safety in the arms of the shelters and are now looking for homes. This story has an almost happy ending.

As the meals, petting, treats, walks and kind words kept coming, they began to show us their individual personalities and how much love they had to give. They began to heal.

They gained weight. Little Ann and Dan each gained nearly 35 pounds! Before long, they were playing, giving kisses and smiling. They were starting to act like dogs again. It doesn't matter how many times we see it, we are always amazed and moved by the way victims of animal cruelty and neglect are able to overcome their past trauma.

As each and every one of them blossomed in our care, they began to find loving homes with people committed to making sure their past was a distant memory. However, Little Ann has not been lucky in love. She is the only survivor of the five victims who has not found a home. But, she has come so far! Little Ann loves going for long walks, playing with tennis balls, riding in the car and TREATS!

She is a sweet girl who loves all people. Little Ann thinks she has hit the jackpot here at the shelter, which makes us sad. We know that there is a loving home out there for her. We can't wait to see her living the good life in a home where she can be treated like the queen she is.

After reading this story and seeing the photos, I decided to visit the shelter and meet Little Ann. I have to admit that I'm not always comfortable going up to an unfamiliar dog, but Little Ann greeted me with an open heart and happy attitude. She gently took treats from my hand and gave me a kiss on the cheek when I kneeled down to pet her. It was evident that she was a kind and loving dog regardless of the abuse she had received in her life. Since coming to the shelter, she has had nothing but love and care and the newfound experience of trusting human beings.

She was running around in a large fenced in area when I met her. Laurie, the volunteer who was working with Little Ann, had her sit and come on command for me. We shared dog stories as Little Ann romped around the area then later rested under the shade of a tree. When it was time to go, Laurie called her and she came without hesitation and walked nicely on the leash back to the kennels. I wanted to reassure Laurie and Little Ann that we would find her a home knowing that there had to be someone out there for her. After being overbred, starved and mistreated, she was now healthy, happy and ready to be part of a family.

When I returned home, I took my dogs, Arlo and Addie, for a walk on the trails through our woods. They chased chipmunks, ate grass, smelled the remnants of wildlife and kept watch over me. Occasionally, on our walks we would run into Anna, the Lab who lives down the street and is always beside herself with joy when she sees my dogs. Or Hank, the Malamute across the street, who howls so beautifully alerting the world of his honorable presence. I see all these fortunate, happy dogs and wish no less for Little Ann.

So, if inspired, at the very least visit the shelter. Sit with Little Ann, and in those moments together, let her show you that she can become your best friend. Perhaps you might decide to take her home. If so, she will love you for the rest of her life knowing that you gave her the kind of life she should have had right from the start.

If curious, call the North Country SPCA at 518-873-5000. The Animal Abuse Hotline is 844-473-7763.

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