The SPCA often finds itself in the middle of some of the saddest stories about animals who have suffered from abuse and neglect, but they’re wrapping up 2019 with some happy endings.
The latest story is about a pooch named Darla that was found during a thunderstorm in the North Peace area.
A Good Samaritan spotted her in the brush behind their house and called the North Peace SPCA.
“When SPCA staff arrived to pick up the dog, they noticed she was in rough shape. Her back legs were so badly matted together that she could barely walk and she was covered in urine and feces,” the SPCA released in a Dec. 29 story.
“It’s suspected that she was a backyard breeding dog who had been so terrified by the thunder and lightning that she had fought desperately to escape from her enclosure.”
SPCA staff called a local groomer to take Darla in on an emergency basis to clean and trim her fur and soothe her skin. The dog may have lost her matted coat at the groomers but she would need a medicated bath and medication to cure her full-body skin infection.
Her teeth were either broken or worn down to the gum line and the roots of her teeth were exposed. SPCA staff believe she may have been kept in a cage or small enclosure and had been biting the bars or wires out of boredom and stress.
“She was booked in for extensive dental surgery to have several damaged teeth removed and received treatment to clear the infection,” the SPCA said.
Darla was frightened of other dogs and her teeth would chatter when she heard them barking in the kennels beside her. She would not want to return from walks and completely shut down.
“Darla was timid, wary of fast movements and didn’t know how to play with toys,” North Peace SPCA Branch manager Candace Buchamer said in the release.
This six-year-old dog was moved into a foster home with the hope that her mental health would improve in a quieter environment.
As Darla recovered from her surgery, she began to come out of her shell and learn how to be a normal dog. Now, this timid dog began enjoying walks, playing with toys and was becoming comfortable with meeting other dogs.
She adjusted well to life in the foster home, becoming best friends with the foster’s cat and young boy. The three would often be found sitting together on the sofa and watching cartoons.
“Her enthusiasm for life has never dwindled despite her original horrid condition,” Buchamer said.
“The immediate and ever-strengthening bond between this once-neglected dog and a young boy is amazing to see.”
Darla is now called Tiny and her new family is committed to ongoing treatment for Ker food and environmental allergies.
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