At the ASPCA, we meet a lot of dogs…and to be honest, we fall in love with most of them! But some pups stand out as very, very special. A few even seem to serve as role models for us, reminding us to stay positive even in the face of adversity.
Johnny is a dog like that. Rescued by our Humane Law Enforcement department in August, Johnny had already been through a lot in his four years of life. He wasn’t able to use his back legs, and at first we thought he had been injured. Then our veterinarians learned he had a severe spinal infection that had left his hind legs paralyzed.
Our vets addressed his long-untreated infection right away and began the task of rehabilitating him. Slowly, Johnny regained his strength until finally, it happened: Johnny learned to walk again.
Through it all, Johnny remained the happy-go-lucky, cuddly, sweet little muffin he is to this day. He thinks he’s a lap dog and essentially lives for snuggling. Frankly, his cheery outlook on life is downright inspiring.
Though he won’t ever have a full range of motion again, Johnny gets around just fine and loves to use his legs. Now, he’s ready to go home—in fact he’s already waited months to meet his match.
Could you please help us spread the word about Johnny? We can’t wait to see his well-deserved happy ending. He doesn’t seem to want much beyond affection and kindness. He can live with kids eight and up and other pets, and he’d be happy in a home just about anywhere—he only needs people who are up for tending to his sensitive skin, and who have as much love to give as he does!
Ninja has come a long way. This sweet dog was one of 50 rescued by ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement agents last summer from a dog fighting ring in the Bronx. Ninja suffered in terrible conditions in the dingy, dark basement of an apartment building, rarely seeing the light of day. When we rescued her, she was extremely underweight and suffered from infections to her skin and paw. We got to her just in time, transporting her to a temporary facility to begin her recovery.
Now Ninja is healthy and thriving with her adoptive pet parent, Samara Lynn, in Midtown Manhattan.
“I wanted a dog for some time,” Samara says. “I went to the ASPCA a few times and finally when I saw Ninja and her size and temperament, I knew she was perfect. I waited about two weeks to think about it. I finally thought, someone must have adopted her already, but when I went back, she was still available. We picked each other.”
Staff at the Adoption Center warned Samara that Ninja might be a bit skittish with all the traffic and noise of New York City. But over time, she has adjusted.
“We live in Midtown Manhattan and she loves walking and jogging with either me or my boyfriend,” Samara says. “She also really enjoys meeting all the new people and dogs out for walks.”
She is also a fast learner. After just a month, Samara taught Ninja to walk on a leash, heel, sit, stay, give paw and other tricks.
“She is very smart, sensitive, and very aware and is the only dog I have ever had that pays acute attention when another dog is on television,” Samara says.
We’re thrilled that this special and talented dog has a second chance at life in such a loving home.
The Cruelty Intervention Advocacy (CIA) program works in conjunction with Humane Law Enforcement to intervene in cases involving animals that are not victims of cruelty but may be at risk of becoming victims without intervention. To date, CIA has intervened in over 80 animal hoarding cases in New York City’s five boroughs. CIA’s Colleen Doherty told us about her work during Sandy.
When Hurricane Sandy hit NYC, I knew I had to get out to cases in impacted areas as quickly as possible to check on the condition of the animals. I responded to 11 cases in two days with a Humane Law Enforcement Agent and veterinarian, providing wellness checks to animals and critical supplies such as pet food and litter.
One case in particular in Coney Island, an area heavily impacted by Sandy, involves a family with 50 cats. Just before Sandy hit, the CIA team was coordinating a rescue operation to remove these cats and place them for adoption as soon as they were rehabilitated. Sandy interrupted this effort, and after the storm, I was not able to get in touch with the family because the cell service and power was out. I headed there right away to check on them.
Luckily they didn’t sustain major flooding. They were in need of some supplies as lots of local stores were closed or flooded, so we provided them with all the essentials.
It is an unbelievable feeling to be a lifeline to so many animals in my community. Being able to have a hands-on approach, seeing the condition of animals, pet parents and homes, and to see a case to completion, is an amazing privilege that I feel very lucky to have.
On Tuesday, the ASPCA arrested Queens resident Crystal Lashley, 18, for allegedly neglecting her six-year-old German Shepherd mix, Briana.
ASPCA Agents found Briana tethered to a tree outside a home on August 21. She’d been neglected so long that her collar had become embedded in her neck, causing a deeply painful wound.
Lashley agreed to surrender her dog to the Agents, who took Briana straight to the ASPCA Animal Hospital for treatment and evaluation.
In addition to her neck wound, ASPCA veterinarians found Briana to be dehydrated, underweight and infested with fleas. Briana is continuing to receive treatment for these issues and is recovering at the hospital.
When she’s made a full recovery, this resilient dog will be available for adoption—we can’t wait for her to experience a real loving family.
Lashley was charged with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty. If convicted, she faces up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
If you suspect you’ve witnessed animal cruelty, please report it. It saves lives like Briana’s.
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.”