The story of an elderly dog who returned to a shelter over a decade after being rescued from the same place has a happy ending. After a social media appeal, Netty, who was returned to the shelter by her owners aged 12, now has a forever home where she will have “the best last days”.
“Netty is 15 years old. She was adopted from our shelter in 2010 and recently returned with incontinence,” the Pennsylvania branch of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) said in August. 7 posts on social media.
Thanks to medication, Netty was soon doing “beautifully,” but her “general demeanor was fairly depressed,” Gillian Kocher, director of public relations at Pennsylvania SPCA, told me. News week. “Because of her age, and that she was fighting with a… [urinary tract infection], she lived in the hospital of our shelter. Of course she got a lot of attention, but for the most part she slept.”
Kocher continued: “The animal return rate varies and it doesn’t happen often, but when it happens, especially after a decade, it can be heartbreaking. It was in Netty’s case. But instead of focusing on what had happened, With her back to us, we’ve chosen to focus on how to give her the best final days.”
Netty had no interested adopters until the shelter shared her story on social media. That led to her new family: Amy Kidd, owner of Pocopson Veterinary Station in West Chester, and her husband and children.
“Our ultimate goal is to love and spoil her every day. We know we won’t have years with her, but she will be treated like the queen she is from now on,” Kidd said. News week.
Kidd was notified of Netty by one of her receptionists, who had seen the Facebook post. Kidd’s family only rescues older pets, especially those with special needs.
“As a small animal vet, I see the needs of older pets on a daily basis. The puppies and kittens are always adopted, euthanizing the puppy mill mothers, adult pets and seniors,” she said.
“After losing our 12-year-old rescue pointer to cancer last month, we turned our eyes to our next family member. Then came that face,” Kidd said.
Kidd’s daughter and two sons ran to Philadelphia with two of their other senior dogs. The kids fell “in love” with Netty, who immediately got along with their other dogs.
“They brought her home and she immediately fell asleep on the couch with my daughter surrounded by our six house cats,” Kidd said. “The next day she dragged my kids’ beanbag chair around the house and crawled in it to take a nap. Since it’s now her safety blanket, she won’t go far without it.
“We bought a huge teddy bear so she can cuddle whenever she wants. Since my husband has been working from home, she has been overseeing his Zoom conversations outside on a raised pet bed with her blanket,” Kidd said.
Netty was put at ease by the SPCA team, but as Kidd explained, being in a shelter is a grueling experience for any animal, let alone a 15-year-old dog with arthritis.
Although her previous family could not care for her because of her incontinence, Netty is now on medication and goes outside regularly. But she has other health problems. A series of X-rays taken by Kidd showed she was suffering from arthritis in her lower back and elbows.
But Netty couldn’t be in better hands now that she lives with a vet and her family.
“We’re lucky enough to have a pool, so we started doing physical therapy in the water,” Kidd said. “She wasn’t a big fan at first, but is starting to get the hang of it. Hopefully we can undo the four months of being sedentary over time. I also suspect she has a breathing problem called laryngeal paralysis and which can be life-threatening and may require major surgery in the future.”
While Netty’s story has a happy ending, Kidd and the SPCA know how many other older dogs don’t get theirs.
“At the Pennsylvania SPCA, we are committed to our animals for life,” Kocher said. “That means whether they come back to us in a day, a year or 10 years, we will always accept our animals back. And we will do everything we can to find them another home.”