ASPCA Happy Tails: A Better Life for Brooklyn

December 2, 2015

Looking at Brooklyn today, it’s almost impossible to comprehend all that he has been through. By the time the two-year-old Shih Tzu was rescued, he was blind, severely injured and traumatized from a lifetime of abuse. Thankfully, after recovering at the ASPCA, Brooklyn found a loving home and the very happy life he deserves. Here is his story.

Brooklyn was rescued by the NYPD in March of 2014, and it was immediately apparent that he was in dire straits. At the ASPCA Animal Hospital, Brooklyn was diagnosed with multiple rib and limb fractures—some old, some more recent—which required three separate surgeries to repair. His broken forearm needed metal screws put in, and his hind legs, hips and neck were all fractured as well. In addition, Brooklyn’s right eye had suffered a traumatic injury and had to be removed. His left eye had a cataract and was completely blind. The poor little guy had spent most of his life in pain.

Brooklyn’s abuse also left him with emotional scars. The 7-lb. pup was perpetually nervous, frightened of new people and very wary of other dogs. We placed him in our Office Foster program so he could recover with some extra attention, but our primary goal was to find the sweet dog a loving, patient adopter who would be willing to work through his special needs. Thankfully, in July, we met Danika R.

Danika grew up with dogs and is currently in her second year of veterinary school outside of Chicago. She says, “I had wanted a pet since I was in college, but didn’t get one because I was moving around so much. When I found out I got into veterinary school and was going to be in the same place for four years, I knew it was finally time to adopt.” She headed to the ASPCA Adoption Center.

Danika admits that she had her heart set on a small dog, but she also knew that she was in a unique position as an adopter. “As a vet student, I figured I should get a dog that might not otherwise find a good home,” she says. “Brooklyn had some trust issues and needed a lot of TLC, but I was up for the challenge.” It was a perfect match, and she adopted him that day. Soon after, the twosome packed their bags and headed to their new home in Urbana, Illinois.

In the year since Brooklyn’s adoption, he has grown by leaps and bounds. Danika says, “Brookie has settled into his life as a country dog, and I feel like we’ve finally gotten into a groove.” He is currently taking medication for his intense separation anxiety, and Danika says, “He finally feels like he can trust people, and feels comfortable being alone in his crate while I’m in class.” Even better, Brooklyn adores Danika’s nieces and nephews, loves other dogs and frequently plays with a neighbor’s cat.

“When I first got him, he did not know how to walk on a leash or go up stairs, and now he is a pro, despite his blindness,” Danika beams. Brooklyn is also a big fan of peanut butter, and, of course, his new home.  Danika says proudly, “I can truly say I know he is a happy dog, and I’m a happy mama!”