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Help Bessie Heal From Multiple Traumas

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UPDATE August 18, 2014
It has been a little over three months since Bessie found her forever home. Recently we received an update from her new parents who say "she has been such a pleasure to have in our life!" Bessie and "her new 'husband'" Toby have been spending the summer upstate and living the good life. Her new parents want to thank everyone who helped support the Help Me Heal program and made this happy ending possible.

Update: May, 2014
Have a Sweet Life, Sweet Bessie!

When Bessie, a four-year old pit bull mix, arrived at our no-kill shelter in January, she had a long list of serious ailments.
Today, she has a family!

The victim of “severe neglect,” Bessie overcame pain, fear, and loneliness to become a confident, friendly, outgoing dog, all because of your generous donations to our Help Me Heal Program.

Thanks to the affection and patience of our compassionate staff and the expertise of our medical professionals, Bessie recovered from surgeries to correct a rectal prolapse and a perineal (pelvic) hernia. She then spent her rehab in the welcoming home of a supportive foster family.

Bessie benefitted from almost every service North Shore Animal League America offers: rescue from a small shelter down South, medical care, socialization, fostering, and careful screening for a new home. We are absolutely thrilled that every bit of our TLC and professionalism led to the best outcome possible for sweet Bessie: Adoption!

From now on, Bessie will be living with a young couple and their nine-year-old Boston terrier. According to Junior Kennel Manager Rachael, the meet-and-greet went perfectly. “Bessie played in the park with the other dog for about half an hour,” Rachael says. “and they got along famously. Before long, they were hanging out underneath the bench, right next to each other.”

We thank all of our Help Me Heal supporters for giving us a chance to write this happy ending for Bessie. You not only helped her heal, you gave her the life she deserves!

Update: March, 2014
Bessie is Ready for the Rest of her Life

In mid-January, when emaciated Bessie arrived at our no-kill campus, our veterinarians quickly diagnosed a painful list of serious medical issues. The cause of all her misery? Those familiar yet heartbreaking words: “severe neglect.”

Just two months later, and after multiple surgeries and meticulous medical care, Bessie is looking at a healthy, hopeful future, due in large measure to your generous support. All she needs now is the right home that will counter her history of “severe neglect” with years of “excessive affection.”

Everyone marvels at Bessie’s transformation. Even before joining her foster family, she’d overcome her shyness, thanks to the affection she received here at NSALA. Then, with the support of her foster parents, she put on weight and developed a fondness for petting, lap-sitting, kissing, and other sweet doggie skills. And within just one week of living in her fosters’ home, she was fully housebroken!

Clearly, Bessie, who’s about four years old, is a lovable, smart “people dog.” Not only is she good with kids and other canines, she is also spayed and up to date on all vaccinations.

“When she arrived here,” recalls an NSALA staffer, “she was a timid, apprehensive little thing. She walked with a wide gait because of all her medical issues. She was sad. Now she’s friendly and curious, and she’s plumped up nicely. She has that proud pit bull stance. She’s a completely different dog.”

Well, we think Bessie deserves a completely different future, too. Could you be the person to make that happen for her? To arrange a meeting with Bessie, please contact our Foster Care Manager, Alex Bab, at (516) 883-7900, ext. 352, or email

Bessie's Story

When heroic animal lover Susan Ford heard the story of Bessie, the sweet dog pictured here, she didn’t simply shed a tear. She took action.

Susan, who runs an all-volunteer rescue group in upstate New York, learned about Bessie from another small rescue group down South. Bessie was extremely ill and in desperate need of medical treatment. But the shelter in which she was living didn’t have the resources to provide that level of care.

Susan contacted North Shore Animal League America, and we didn’t hesitate to say yes, of course we will help Bessie.

When Bessie arrived at the safety of our no-kill campus, our veterinarians determined that the emaciated girl was in such bad shape that there was no time to waste. She was suffering from a rectal prolapse and a perineal (or pelvic) hernia.

Bessie also has fractures to her teeth and an abscess on her foot, and it appears that the tip of her tail is dying off, which is probably due to frostbite.

Although we can’t be certain what caused all of these painful conditions, it’s very likely they were the result of severe neglect. 

Our medical team performed multiple surgeries on Bessie, including a Colopexy and a perineal hernia repair. They also had to surgically remove both of her top and bottom “fang” teeth.

We are watching Bessie closely and giving her round-the-clock care. Her pain is already diminished greatly, but she may need further surgery, and she has a long road ahead.

Won’t you please open your hearts by donating to the care of Bessie, and all the ailing, abused and neglected animals in our care?

Despite all she’s been through, Bessie is showing affection and gratitude to all her caretakers here at North Shore Animal League America. It’s an amazing testament to the love that’s inside the soul of every precious animal.

Please donate today so we can continue to heal animals, like Bessie, who had no hope without your generosity.

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