Rescued from Abuse, Two Starved Puppies Recover

Thursday, September 13, 2012 - 11:45am

Lacey, before and after receiving treatment at the ASPCA Animal Hospital

When ASPCA Special Agent Ann Kelly brought hound mix puppies Cagney and Lacey to the ASPCA Animal Hospital on February 17, the two were so skinny that their bones were visible from across the room.

The dogs’ owner, Gillian Irving, relinquished them to the ASPCA after Agent Kelly visited her home in the Norwood section of the Bronx. In April, Agent Kelly arrested Irving, who was charged with two counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. (If convicted, Irving faces up to two years in jail and/or a $2,000 fine.)

Meanwhile, under the care of our veterinary professionals, the frightened dogs put on weight quickly: Cagney went from 16.4 to 27.1 pounds, and Lacey from 15.2 to 26.9, in the months leading up to Irving’s arrest.

As these shy puppies gained weight, they also made new friends among ASPCA staff and learned that new people weren’t so scary after all. At first, the dogs “would cower to the ground when they were removed from their kennels,” recalls ASPCA Senior Behavior and Training Manager Victoria Wells. “Once the vets gave the medical okay, they were paired up with each other and more confident dogs for play sessions and walks to expose them to new people and places. They slowly began to overcome their fear.”

They even made a special friend in Kim Danley, a licensed veterinary technician. When the dogs were ready to move to foster homes, Danley brought Lacey to the home she shared with her Rottweiler and ASPCA-alumnus cat, while Cagney went to another foster home.

As Danley invested lots of time in teaching Lacey that new people and places were exciting, not scary, Lacey became an irreplaceable member of the family. When Lacey was made available for adoption, Danley decided to make it official. She filled out the paperwork and renamed her Frankie.

Since then, the Danley family has moved to California, where Frankie loves running on the beach, sunbathing on her deck and taking boat rides. Danley reports that “now she’s the happiest dog in the world. She and Charlie sleep curled up with each other every night. She’s not afraid of a thing.”

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So thankful for these rescues. They saved starving Wonderful unconditional dogs! This World should be educated in school on how to treat people and animals. People are sick and should not be allowed to have loving unconditional animals if they aren't going to properly feed and care for them! They are finding a lot of Dog fighting rings now maybe through satelites that can see what is going on places! Which is great! Great work and yes change this dogs name to a sweet loving new name! =)

Three Dog Night

The most important thing is that the ASPCA rescues dogs like this and others, nurses them back to health, and finds them a kind, loving home, where they will be happy, well cared for and well fed for the rest of their lives. If they are given them a new name, they will acclimate. I'm glad to see my monthly contribution dollars are well spent on dogs like these. Woof!!!!

Linda Larnerd

Hopefully he will get ALL the time allowed....what a jerk he must be...


Hi, I'm very happy to hear that the 2 dogs are doing well after what they went threw unfortunately !!!!!!!!!! Some people just shouldn't get animals if there NOT going to take care of them !!!!!!!!!

mary fisher

So glad this turned out to be a happy ending for these these two precious ones after all the suffering they went through. Thank you for saving them.

Vivian Turner

a happy ending for one pup, i hope the other gets adopted soon heart breaks when I hear of animal abuse :-(

Sarah Berkowitz

The original name is their "Slave Name"!!! Of course you change it!!!


Show them love and attention. The rest will simply follow. Regardless of the past, they will respond accordingly to their "name".

Crystal Shade Derr

people, get a grip!
You can call me anything.
just don't call me late for dinner!

Lisa Weaver

What a great story!!It's so good to hear stories with happy endings!!Beautiful animals!!