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Sadie is Ready to Find Her Permanent, Loving Home
It’s no wonder people fall in love with the adorable puppies in pet store windows. But what store owners don’t want you to know is the stories of these pups’ mothers.
Like the story of Sadie, the beautiful cocker spaniel pictured here. Tragically, Sadie was used as a breeding dog at a puppy mill—an inhumane commercial facility where dogs are kept in tiny wire cages, with little or no medical care, affection or socialization. Almost all the puppies at pet stores or those sold on the Internet come from puppy mills.
Sadie came very close to being destroyed by the mill owner because she was no longer profitable. But luckily, Sadie found safety here at North Shore Animal League America, where we rescue 20,000 animals each year who are at risk of being euthanized, whether at a puppy mill, kill shelter or through some other unfortunate circumstance.
Like most of our puppy mill rescued dogs, when Sadie was brought to Animal League America, she was matted, filthy and frightened. Sadie, estimated to be about five years old, was evaluated by our medical team, who found that she was suffering from severe cataracts. Unfortunately, because Sadie also had poor retinal function, she was not a candidate for corrective surgery.
The good news: After such a difficult start to her life, Sadie is now thriving! We placed her in a wonderful foster home, where one of Animal League America’s dedicated volunteers has been working with her for the past six months to help her overcome her fears and prepare her for adoption.
“When we rescue mill dogs like Sadie, we’re always amazed at their incredible resiliency,” says Joanne Yohannan, Senior VP of Operations at Animal League America. While the majority of rescued mill dogs are ready within days of arriving here to be adopted, Joanne notes, some need a little more time and training to develop the trust that will enable them to be great companions. “Our volunteer foster parents do such an amazing job reassuring these dogs, and we’re so grateful to them,” she says.
Leslie Berlin, Sadie’s foster mom, is happy to report that the sweet dog has made remarkable progress. “Sadie is a whole other dog than the terrified, shaky girl I took home,” says Leslie. “She has responded to the love I’ve given her, and is learning to trust other people. She loves to sit and cuddle in my lap, and once she develops a trusting relationship with her adopter, I know she’ll be just as affectionate.”
Leslie has done a terrific job building Sadie’s trust and confidence, but Sadie will need a very special person to take on the challenges that remain. Her eye condition is very likely to deteriorate significantly, almost certainly resulting in blindness. While it’s not clear whether that will happen in a period of months or years, the person who brings Sadie into his or her life will need to be aware of her medical issues.
Leslie says that Sadie gets along very well with her other dog, Zeke, and that she would be fine in a household with another canine companion. “Sadie is very quiet, but she follows Zeke’s lead,” says Leslie. “If he barks, she barks. If he waits patiently for his cookie, she sits and waits too.”
Sadie loves her belly rubs, and she craves attention. Although she still displays some fear—especially around new people—Leslie believes that, with love and patience, Sadie will bond with her adopter, once that person or family comes along.
“Sadie is a wonderful dog, but she needs a lot of love and patience. She’s sweet and affectionate, and she’ll make a wonderful companion. All she wants is to be loved.”
If you are interested in meeting Sadie, please contact Alex Bab, our foster care coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org, 516-883-7900, ext. 352.