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Dog Who Swallowed a Basketball Graduates Rehab Center

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - 11:15am
Close up of pit bull

Over the years, we’ve treated tons of animals who have swallowed unusual things. Legos, chew-toys, beer bottles, pocket change, even a toilet brush—but we’ve never before met a dog who ate a basketball. That is, until we met Hannah.

We first received a call about Hannah in December 2013. She was a stray who was found wandering around Fairport, New York, emaciated, with a big dent in her head. Described as extremely fearful, Hannah would tremble and retreat from both new and familiar people, in both new and familiar situations, and was fearful of loud noises. It was clear that this dog needed help.  After being taken in by Rochester Animal Services, she was transferred to Lollypop Farm, the Humane Society of Greater Rochester. Lollypop Farm worked with Hannah for about a month, but they knew she needed more intensive rehabilitation in order to become adoptable. So, on December 26, she came to the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in Madison, New Jersey.

When Hannah’s intensive treatment began, we had no idea that there was a basketball lingering inside of her. In fact, no one could have known—until she began expelling pieces of the ball. Hannah was taken to the Rockaway Animal Hospital in New Jersey, where the remains of the ball had to be surgically removed and her intestines repaired.

Back at the Rehab Center, Hannah was given time for her physical wounds to heal. Once she was strong enough, our Behaviorists continued the even bigger task: healing her emotional wounds, as well.

Over the next several weeks, Hannah made great progress. At our groundbreaking facility, experts worked round the clock to reduce her fears and help tackle her crippling anxiety. Slowly but surely, she began to acclimate to unfamiliar sounds, objects, and people. She even grew to love walks, and began to wag her tail, bounce around, and approach new people, ready for treats. In fact, Hannah was such a good walker that she became one of our best “helper dogs,” encouraging other fearful dogs to enjoy walks as well.

Nowadays, Hannah is known for her goofy personality, with a toy or Kong almost always hanging from her mouth. We even found her “sweet spot”— a deep ear rub. We are so proud of her amazing progress. In early May, she became an official graduate of the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center.

Hannah’s experience has been quite a journey, and we are so inspired by how far this sweet girl has come. She is finally ready to find her forever home, and we hope you will consider making her a part of your family. If you are interested in adopting Hannah, please contact St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center at (973) 377-2295 or visit www.sthuberts.org

Pit bull being looked after by ASPCA Behavioral Center staff

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fred

I think they said it the wrong way they must have met she eat the ball

Patricia

She ate it out of desperation from being emaciated & starving. She didn't eat it whole she chewed it into pieces, passed some & finally had to have the rest removed surgically. Hannah is lucky they found it in time. I was a vet tech. for many yrs. & we removed alot of strange objects from tennis balls (whole) to fish hooks. Young dogs being mischievous, not out of desperation like Hannah.

lo

The article said she ate it...chewed and swallowed...she is not a snake...so she didn't consume it in one gulp.

jtdds

The article also says she began to "bounce around". Which would make you think she swallowed the ball in one gulp.

Christine

Hilarious!!

Leah

Christine, that's not funny! I feel sorry for Hannah, but am glad she's better. She's so cute!

stephanie

LOL!!

Denise

Under different circumstances, your comment may have been amusing. However, in light of the painful abuse suffered by this animal, it is cruel and a bit sick.

jtdds

My remark wasn't intended to mock the poor animal or its abuse. Rather, it was a commentary on the silliness of the debate surrounding the literal interpretation of what was conveyed in the article.

jtdds

My remark wasn't intended to mock the poor animal or its abuse. Rather, it was a commentary on the silliness of the debate surrounding the literal interpretation of what was conveyed in the article.

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