Comment permalink

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

Pit bull being looked after by ASPCA Behavioral Center staff

ASPCA staffer sitting next to dog wearing ASPCA bandanaWant to stay up-to-date on the latest news from the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center?

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter, ASPCA News Alert - you'll receive important updates on what's going on and how you can make an impact to save animals' lives!

Add new comment




I am so glad that pretty, sweet Hannah has gotten better and received the loving care she so desperately needed. Thank you ASPCA doctors for saving this precious dog's life. I hope she finds a loving
and safe home and lives a very joyful life.


I wish we could take in this precious girl. She looks like a boxer. Is she? We run a rescue in San Diego.

Anya woods

How did she swallow a basketball?


i wonder how she could of swallowed a basketball and how it could of came out did she have surgery to get it out? or did she get it down by herself


Geez Malissa, reading is fundamental. Your answers are in the article.


Geez to you Peter. The "reading is fundamental" thing. Come on now. Did you need to say that to make yourself feel good? Why not be as nice to others as you would be to that dog in the article.


Right on Brian. This isn't the place for people with who live crappy lives to take it out on other people. I thought it's supposed to be a nice web site to read a story with happy endings for the animals. Craig's list gas a section called "Rant & Rave" where Peter could tell everybody how much better he is compared to others.


WHY does there ALWAYS have to be some Jackoff who has to make snide remarks in the comments. Can you NOT attack others, and just comment on the wonderful job that was done to save this dog??? Were you not taught if you can't say something nice, then shut the hell up!!!


My comment was for Peter.


Puppies chew on everything. It may not even have been inflated when she
was chewing it up. Thank heavens she got help both to heal wounds from removing the basketball and also her extreme fear and anxiety. I suspect someone abused her.
I hope she finds a real loving family to love a care for her. She certainly deserves a break in her young life.