World's Largest NO-KILL
Animal Rescue
and Adoption Organization

Help Lucy Overcome Severe Neglect

Like us on Facebook  
| Share share | email | print | A A

UPDATE: March 9, 2014 - A Sad Farewell

Love is probably the greatest risk we take in life; it’s a risk a woman named Peggy joyfully accepted last August when she left North Shore Animal League America with a bright-eyed little Maltese named Lucy in her arms. Lucy had survived the horrors of being a female dog in a puppy mill, bred over and over again, without medical care, without affection. When Lucy arrived at the League, she came with a number of serious illnesses — including heartworm and dental disease — which we treated and cured thanks to the support of donors who responded generously to her plight. Most serious were the malignant mammary tumors our surgeons removed.
Sadly, we learned recently that the cancer was back and had moved to Lucy’s lungs. She was suffering, unable to breathe. She passed away on Sunday, March 9.

We are sorry to tell you this part of Lucy’s story, and we want to convey our deep sympathy to Peggy and to Linda, who was Lucy’s foster mom during her recovery with us. We have all lost a brave spirit.  

Still, it is some comfort to know that for the last six months of her life, Lucy was loved and appreciated for the special being she was, all because Peggy took a risk, which Lucy reciprocated by allowing herself to be loved — for once.

UPDATE: August 11, 2013 - Lucy, a Puppy Mill Survivor, Is Safe at Home!

We are thrilled to report that Lucy, the sweet Maltese we rescued from a puppy mill, is now in her permanent home with a loving adopter!

Peggy, Lucy’s new mom, had read about the dog’s sad history on Facebook, and knew that she wanted to be the lucky one to bring her home. She filled out all the paperwork and was thrilled when she was given the news that she would be Lucy’s adopter.

Peggy came to our Port Washington, NY adoption headquarters on Sunday, August 11 to meet Lucy in person, and brought her home that day. Lucy is now part of a three-dog family, joining Molly and Sandy, along with Peggy’s human roommate.

“The three of them get along so well,” says Peggy. “They really love each other already, they and play all the time. They can’t stop giving each other kisses.”

Lucy is safe in the arms of Peggy, her new adopter. Her foster mom, Linda, is on left.

Lucy is receiving all the love and affection she had been denied so long as a breeding dog in a puppy mill, where dogs live in inhumane conditions and are treated as profit centers, not pets.

“I know she’s been through hell and back, but she’s so sweet, and I’m so happy to have her,” says Peggy. “She follows us around like a little duck. She’s already brought so much joy to our lives.”

Thank you to all who donated to enable us to provide the care that Lucy, and other ailing, abused and neglected animals like her, need. Please continue to donate to our Help Me Heal program so the wonderful dogs, cats, puppies and kittens we rescue can receive the medical treatment they need to live full, happy lives.

UPDATE: July 24, 2013 - Lucy is Ready For Adoption:

Lucy, the beautiful Maltese who is a true survivor, is ready to be adopted!

Lucy is super sweet and loves to cuddle. She’s housebroken, and also knows how to use a wee wee pad if she has to go to the bathroom when her foster mom isn’t home.

After years of neglect at a puppy mill, Lucy deserves a lifetime of affection. Are you the one who will give Lucy that loving home? Contact Christina Travalja at or call (516) 883-7900, ext. 453 to arrange a meeting with this wonderful dog.

Thank you again for helping Lucy and many other ailing, neglected and abused animals by supporting our Help Me Heal program!

Update: May 7, 2013 - Lucy’s Healing Journey Continues

Lucy’s foster mom, Linda, has been taking wonderful care of Lucy for the past month, and reports that the adorable girl is getting better every day.

“Lucy is so friendly to everyone, even people she meets for the first time,” says Linda. “She is just a joy to be with.”

Last week, Lucy was back at Animal League America’s Medical Center receiving her scheduled injections of a medication designed to kill heartworms. Lucy’s case of heartworm disease was very severe, but the treatment appears to be working. She has another round of treatment in a few weeks, after which we hope the condition is eradicated.

Once we determine that Lucy’s heartworm has been resolved, she will be able to receive surgery on her mammary gland tumors, and we will report back to everyone at that time with her condition.

“Lucy is one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever met,” says Alex Bab, our Foster Care Coordinator. “She has a long journey ahead, and she’s been so brave throughout everything. We are so grateful to everyone who has donated to help Lucy, and other animals in need, to recover.”

Please continue to help ailing and injured animals by donating to our Help Me Heal program.

Lucy's Story

Puppy mill breeding dog, caged for years, has serious medical issues and desperately needs your help

When North Shore Animal League America rescued Lucy, the sweet Maltese pictured here, from a puppy mill in the Midwest, her medical condition was very grave.

Lucy had lived most of her life in a tiny wire cage, forced to breed litter after litter of puppies. Mill operators put profits first, and most of their breeding dogs are given little if any medical attention, socialization or affection of any kind.

This terrible neglect caused Lucy to suffer from a multitude of illnesses. Not only does she have heartworm disease (easily preventable had she been given appropriate medical care), but she also has a heart murmur, upper respiratory infection, dental disease and mammary tumors—painful masses that are a result of constant heat cycles.

Lucy is taking medication to help cure her heartworm disease, and she will need lifelong medication to manage her heart murmur; but she also needs surgery to treat her mammary tumors.

Won't you please help?

Animal League America rescues hundreds of puppy mill dogs each year, and many of them are ready to be adopted within just days of their arrival. These resilient animals just need someone to give them the love they’ve been denied for so long.

But Lucy’s condition is one of the worst we’ve seen. Of course, we never give up on an animal in need, and we are determined to give this brave survivor the chance at a new, happy life.

You can make the difference by donating generously today.

Once Lucy is well enough for surgery, we will be able to determine whether or not her tumors are benign or cancerous. We will provide her with the best care in the world, and then find her a loving adopter who will treasure her for life.

Please donate today so that Lucy, and other animals like her, receive the life-saving treatment they deserve.

On behalf of Lucy, we thank you for your heartfelt generosity.

Read More Stories ยป