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Special-Needs Dog Is Ready for Her Loving Home


Wendy has found the perfect home, living with her human mom Anna and “sister” dog Linnea, a Pit Bull mix Anna adopted six years ago.

“I was planning to adopt a senior dog since they often have a harder time finding homes, but when I read about Wendy on North Shore Animal League’s website, something about her story just spoke to me,” says Anna. “I thought, this dog really needs a loving home, and I can give that to her.”

Wendy not only found a loving home, she also has a new name: Smilla, from one of Anna’s favorite books.

Although Smilla will always have residual effects from her bout with Canine Distemper, Anna reports that the sweet pup is getting stronger all the time. She especially enjoys swimming with her new sibling—as well as times relaxing together on the porch.

“She’s very smart and sweet,” says Anna. “I feel very lucky to have her.”


All of us at Animal League America extend our congratulations to Anna and Linnea on the new addition to their pack! We are dedicated to rescuing, nurturing and adopting as many animals in need as possible. Please continue to support our mission today!

Wendy's Story

Meet a real survivor.

Wendy, the adorable puppy pictured here, had all the odds stacked against her. She was a homeless puppy in the South, where euthanasia is a sad but all-too-common response to the overpopulation problem.

Living in a municipal shelter in Tennessee, Wendy hadn’t received any vaccinations, and she contracted the Canine Distemper virus at a young age. Distemper—the most common infectious disease of the nervous system in dogs— is highly contagious and, if left untreated, can be fatal.

But thankfully, the shelter is one of our partners in our Humane Relocation Program, and Wendy was part of one of our weekly rescues.

When Wendy arrived at the safety of our no-kill shelter in April, our medical team immediately suspected that she might have contracted distemper, since they noticed some subtle twitching in her front right leg. Blood tests confirmed the diagnosis.

Wendy was given antibiotics to ward off any further infection, and she was cared for around the clock in our Medical Center as she recovered. We were thrilled to see her improve, since many dogs with distemper are not so fortunate.

Once she was well enough, we placed Wendy with Carmen, one of our devoted volunteer foster parents, who has cared for the dog for the past few months.

The good news: Wendy is now 100% clear of the virus, and this sweet girl is ready to find her permanent, loving home!

The distemper virus has left Wendy with significant residual shaking, an involuntary condition that will most likely be with her for the rest of her life. But this brave girl is a wonderful dog in every way, and she’s come incredibly far since Carmen first took her in.

“She could barely walk at first because the shaking was so bad and her legs were weak,” says Carmen, “but now she’s like a totally different dog! She loves to walk and run, and she can even climb up and down the stairs. She’s like any other dog in so many ways, and she will be a wonderful addition to the person or family who is lucky enough to call her their own.”

Wendy has a warm and loving temperament, and she is great with people, kids and other dogs. Although Wendy has not lived with cats, Carmen reports that she and the cat next door have a cordial “across the fence” relationship—so we’re optimistic (though not certain) that she might do well in a house with cats, too.

Wendy deserves a lifetime of tender, loving care. To arrange a meeting with Wendy, please contact Alex Bab, our foster care coordinator, at, (516) 883-7900, ext. 352. Thank you for opening your heart to this special dog!