From Cruelty to Compassion: Sampson and Spot’s Story

November 11, 2020

Sampson and Spot

When the last of Ines M.’s trio of rescued Pekingese dogs passed away, she told her son, John D., “We need to have a dog in the house.”

“In fact, she wanted two dogs,” says John, who lives with his mother in Beacon, New York.

John visited shelters and combed through websites just after Christmas last year, looking for two dogs who would fit the bill.

“By the time I’d get to a shelter, the dogs I was looking at online were no longer available,” he says. “Then, one Thursday, I spotted two dogs on the ASPCA’s website. They were bonded and had to be adopted together. That’s just what my mom wanted.”

John phoned the ASPCA to ask if Sampson and Spot were still available.

The next day he took the train from his Upstate New York home to Manhattan. He jumped into a cab and headed to the ASPCA.

Sampson and Spot being held

Rescued from Neglect

Sampson, a young Shih Tzu, and Spot, a male Toy Poodle, were among 75 animals rescued by the APSCA on September 20, 2019. They were found living in substandard conditions on a property in Lake Butler, Florida.

“The animals lived in poor conditions where even their basic needs weren’t being met,” recalls Jasmine Holsinger, Senior Manager of Rescue and Removal for the ASPCA National Field Response (NFR) team. “They had unkempt coats and were neglected, some living in unsanitary kennels and suffering from various medical issues.”

Sampson and Spot when they were rescued

After being cared for at a temporary shelter, Sampson and Spot were transported to the ASPCA Adoption Center in New York City on January 21, 2020. There, both dogs underwent dental surgery.

Nine days later, John noticed them online. The following day, January 31, he adopted them.

“Meant To Be”

John spent just over an hour with Sampson and Spot at the ASPCA, then called Ines to tell her he was bringing the pair home.

“Mom was so excited, she couldn’t wait for me to bring them home,” says John. “Once home, it was love at first sight. The dogs were immediately comfortable.”

Sampson and Spot at their home

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, John, a recruiter in the medical field, started working from home, giving him and Ines a chance to spend all day with the dogs.

“Spot is attached to my mother and Sam is attached to me,” he says, “We love them both so much. Mostly they hang out with mom and have the run of the house.”

John reports both dogs walk well on a leash and loved “going nuts” in the snow—perhaps for the first time—last winter in his backyard.

“They’re just the most lovable dogs,” John says. “I’m telling you, this was meant to be.”