Sweeter than Honey: Once-Neglected Dog Finds a New Life

May 24, 2017


Honey had no hesitation to jump on us and kiss us. We both felt that connection and knew that Honey was the one for us!” –Divina N. of Alexandria, VA

In late January 2016, several dogs were removed from a Bronx home by the NYPD after being found in squalid living conditions. It was clear that the dogs had been victims of severe neglect, as they were found underweight and living in their own feces­­. The NYPD officers that discovered the dogs quickly brought them into the ASPCA for care and treatment.

After being assessed individually at the ASPCA’s Animal Recovery Center (ARC), several of the dogs were sent to the ASPCA’s Canine Annex for Recovery and Enrichment (CARE) to begin behavioral treatment and slowly start to heal from the emotional trauma they’d endured.

Of these dogs, the oldest in the pack was Honey. The 6-year-old pit bull-mix quickly became known for her goofy, lovable and undeterred spirit. Despite the circumstances she’d been saved from, Honey’s natural sweetness never waned. 

Honey with a Toy

Honey spent just a few weeks at CARE before she was placed at the ASPCA Adoption Center, where everyone felt that the happy-go-lucky goofball would soon find the perfect home.

Sure enough, just a few days later, an adopter took Honey home. Unfortunately, Honey’s new home didn’t last long. Two months later, Honey’s adopter brought her back to the Adoption Center, explaining that she’d had a death in the family and needed to spend an extensive amount of time out of the country with no one to take care of Honey in the meantime.

The sweet dog then spent a few more weeks in the Adoption Center before another adopter showed interest in her. Sadly, this adoption also resulted in a return when the adopter, having recently lost her family pet, realized that she was not yet ready for another dog.

It seemed as if Honey couldn’t catch a break, and she took her place at the Adoption Center once more in October 2016. Team members at the Adoption Center all hoped that for this loving dog, the third time would be a charm.

Honey being petted

That’s when we met Divina N. and her new husband Eugene. Both dog-lovers, Divina and Eugene had recently decided that they were ready to introduce a furry friend into their family. The newlyweds began their search on the ASPCA website, looking over the available Adoptable Dogs. Originally, Divina wanted to find a smaller dog, while Eugene didn’t have a preference. Then, the couple spotted a medium-sized dog on the website, and decided that they would go in and meet him in person.

It turned out that the dog, Luther, was unavailable, but the Behavioral Specialist at the Adoption Center told Divina and Eugene that there was another dog from Luther’s case that had recently become available—Honey. Divina tells us that seconds after meeting Honey, she and Eugene knew that she was the dog for them. “You could see it on our faces, the joy we had once we hugged and kissed her,” she says.

Honey, Divina, and Eugene

Once they made the adoption official, Divina and Eugene decided that their newest family member would need a new name, since “Honey” was what the couple called each other. They soon decided that Mavy was a good fit for their sweet dog, and Mavy then began to settle into her new life. 

Honey at her new home

“We wanted to give her all the love in the world, especially since sometimes she still gets nightmares from the past,” Divina says. “We wanted her to feel that we will take care of her and will protect her.”

Divina tells us that Mavy is very comfortable in her home now. Mavy’s favorite things are cuddling with her pet parents and sleeping between them at night. “Now, she knows who mommy and daddy are. We both feel like a parent to her,” Divina says. After a long journey to becoming a beloved pet, Mavy finally found her permanent home. Mavy, Divina and Eugene have certainly developed a remarkable, heartwarming bond. 

Divina, Eugene, and Mavy