By the time Oscar the Miniature Poodle was rescued by the NYPD, he was severely traumatized from a lifetime of abuse. Although his rescue signaled the end of a terrifying nightmare, Oscar still faced a long road to recovery—and it took more than a year of medical and behavioral care before he was able to feel comfortable in a loving home. Today, Oscar is not only thriving in his new life, he is living proof that every animal deserves a second chance. Here is his Happy Tail.
The NYPD rescued Oscar in March 2014. He arrived at the ASPCA with a severe wound on his muzzle, as well as an ear infection and damaged nasal cavity. At the ASPCA Animal Hospital, Oscar underwent multiple reconstructive surgeries to mend his snout and help repair holes in his palate and sinuses. Although his muzzle would never look completely “normal,” he was comfortable and physically functional. Emotionally, though, he was far from recovered.
Oscar’s trauma left him with extreme anxiety. He would cry, bark and urinate when left alone; he was afraid of strangers, loud noises and crowds, and he did not like for his sides, mouth or face to be touched. It is likely that the poor pup had never in his life experienced a stable, loving home, and we were saddened to see him adopted and returned two times over the course of the next year. In both instances the adopters meant well, but Oscar’s special needs were more than either one could handle.
Our behaviorists spent time working with Oscar to help him overcome his anxiety, and in June 2015—more than a year after his rescue—a third adopter was ready to give him a chance. Her name was Bethany, and she was determined to make his adoption stick.
Bethany spent the last ten years living in California, where a full-time job with long hours made it difficult consider dog adoption. Earlier this year, she decided to leave that job and move to Connecticut, stating, “My need for having a dog is what really pushed me to make the change.” Once she arrived on the East Coast, she began searching for the right pet immediately.
At the ASPCA Adoption Center, Bethany was introduced to a number of dogs, but Oscar immediately stood out. “All the dogs were adorable but Oscar was such a sweetheart,” she says. “I was told that he had high anxiety, would need medication and was a barker, but despite that, I wanted to have a one-on-one visit with him.”
During their meeting, the precious Poodle immediately took to Bethany and was very well-behaved. “I got to see just how friendly and sweet he is,” she says. “You would have no idea that he had suffered that trauma before coming to the ASPCA.”
Unlike his prior two adoptions, Oscar settled into his new life with Bethany immediately. “He’s so comfortable in my apartment, you would think I’ve had him forever,” she says. He goes with her to work every day, and he enjoys long lunch walks and games of tug-of-war with visitors. “People joke that he’s my shadow since he follows me everywhere, and I love it,” Bethany says. He loves to snuggle on her bed while hugging his favorite stuffed bear, and lately he’s been enjoying long walks on the beach.
“I just can’t imagine why anyone would ever have given Oscar up,” Bethany adds proudly. “I bring him to see my 97-year-old grandmother in her facility every week and everyone’s face lights up when he comes in. He really is a dream, so thank you for taking him in, making him healthy and training him to be so well behaved. I think it’s important for people to see that even a dog who suffered trauma and needs medication can be the best low-maintenance dog.”
We are so thrilled that this amazing pooch recovered from his past abuse and is living the happy life he has always deserved. And as for his unique muzzle, Bethany says, “The work done on his face left him with a permanent ‘Elvis’ half-smile that everyone comments on. He’s already such a happy doggie, and now he’s got the smile to prove it!”
Chase and Blaze are a dynamic duo looking for a loving home. These two loveable, low-key Shih Tzus are brothers with an inseparable bond, and would do best in a home where they can live and play together!
Both pups get along well with most people they meet, but aren’t always interested in playing with other dogs. Chase and Blaze love to go for walks, and will stick close to their pet parents when out for a stroll. At home, these two couch potatoes love to relax, and are excellent lap dogs. Adopt Chase and Blaze!
Chase and Blaze are available for adoption at the ASPCA Adoption Center. If you are interested in adopting them, please call our Adoptions Department in New York City at (212) 876-7700 ext. 4120.
Meet Raymond. This sweet and handsome cat is looking for a loving, quiet, kids-free home. Although he has lots of energy and loves to play, Raymond is also a fairly sensitive cat who tends to get nervous around new people. New friends meeting Raymond for the first time should let him approach first, and can encourage him to warm up by extending a hand gently or offering a toy.
Once Raymond settles into his new home, he is sure to make a perfect and playful companion. Adopt Raymond today!
Raymond is available for adoption at the ASPCA Adoption Center. If you are interested in adopting Raymond, please call our Adoptions Department in New York City at (212) 876-7700 ext. 4120.
Each year, the ASPCA awards financial support to U.S.-based nonprofit animal welfare organizations through grants, sponsorships, technical assistance and training. The ASPCA Grantee Highlight Series is a collection of stories that celebrates and showcases the impact that these organizations are having on the lives of animals across the country.
The Greyhound Adoption Center (GAC) in El Cajon, California has been rescuing and rehabilitating retired racing hounds for nearly 30 years. With a staff consisting almost entirely of devoted volunteers who work tirelessly to find loving and permanent homes for these hounds, GAC has long relied heavily on their personal modes of transportation to conduct emergency rescues and bring the hounds to adoption awareness events in various cities throughout the state of California.
In June of last year, the ASPCA awarded an animal relocation grant to GAC, giving them the opportunity to purchase a large van that has provided the staff of GAC with a level of flexibility that is helping to change the way that they work.
“The new van enables GAC to respond to more emergency rescue situations in an efficient way. And we are now expanding our adoption program to areas that we could not otherwise serve,” says Darren Rigg, Founder and President of the Greyhound Adoption Center, which, since its founding, has rescued and found homes for over 6,000 rescued Greyhounds across the country.
One of GAC’s major rescues this year involved transporting dogs from Arizona in 100-degree temperatures. In addition to the safety and relief that a functioning air conditioner brought to the hounds, the new van was spacious enough to accommodate the individual crates of each dog. Separating the animals who didn’t know each other provided a safe and stress-free ride for both the hounds and the rescue crew.
In addition to facilitating safe and efficient rescues, the wrapped van gives a visual nod to the ASPCA support and serves as a mobile billboard designed to encourage community discussion and increase awareness around Greyhounds and Greyhound adoption. “Since the van is fully equipped for a show and tell, we don’t spend extra time setting up a booth with tables, chairs, awnings, etc. And when we are ready to pack up, it takes about 15 minutes to get the dogs back in the van and our supplies packed away,” says Rigg.
“The ASPCA support portrayed on the van wrap is a feather in our cap. By prominently displaying the ASPCA logo on our new rescue van, we have more credibility in the public’s eyes. The prestige of being associated with such a highly regarded organization like the ASPCA is an honor for GAC, and definitely accounts for more retired racing Greyhounds finding their forever homes,” says Rigg.
To learn more about the great work of the Greyhound Adoption Center, visit their website at www.houndsavers.org.
Guadalupe is looking for a loving home with an experienced and patient adopter. Having come to us from an abusive situation, Guadalupe can be anxious and fearful in unfamiliar company, and has a bit of difficulty trusting strangers. It takes time for this sweet pup to adapt to new environments, and she will often stick close to her caretaker during walks. Our Behavior team has worked to help Guadalupe with some things that trigger her nervousness—like sharing her food—and can give her adopter tips on how to help Guadalupe feel more comfortable adjusting to new environments and engaging with new faces.
Guadalupe is already house-trained. She is currently living in a foster home where she loves spending time outside, and would be thrilled to join a home with backyard space. Guadalupe would be most comfortable living with a pet sibling who has a compatible personality. With a little time and a lot of love, Guadalupe will make a perfect, loyal companion. Adopt Guadalupe today!
Guadalupe is available for adoption at the ASPCA Adoption Center. If you are interested in adopting her, please call our Adoptions Department in New York City at (212) 876-7700 ext. 4120.