Victoria is an adult Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She is also a puppy mill victim and survivor. Victoria came to the Animal League as part of a collaborative puppy mill rescue the Animal League took part in.
Puppy mills are mass breeding operations that run solely for the purpose of making a profit. In these mills, the health, happiness or well-being of the animals is of no concern.
Because of the total disregard for medical care in puppy mills, Victoria’s vision became impaired. Eye problems are common to her breed; however, they can be prevented or postponed with appropriate veterinary care. Victoria also has a mild heart murmur which will remain with her for her entire life. Though the murmur currently does not require any medication, it still needs to be monitored with regular checkups, as it will likely progress with age.
In addition, she has mitral valve disease (MVD). MVD is a degeneration and fibrosis of the heart’s mitral valve (one of four sets of valves in a canine’s heart. This valve is designed to prevent the backflow of blood from the left ventricle into the left atrium of the heart. Unfortunately, as the disease progresses, the valve no longer fully closes after each pumping action and blood moves backwards into the atrium again. This eventually causes the heart to enlarge.
Regardless of her harrowing ordeal, Victoria is an incredibly loving dog. She enjoys cuddling close and being held like a baby. While many puppy mill victims often experience behavioral issues from their abuse and neglect, Victoria has remained true to her breed – an eager, affectionate tail-wagger who wants nothing more than love and companionship.
The Animal League is happy to oblige Victoria her needs and gladly welcomes her into the Sponsor Program. With the help of generous monthly Sponsors like you, Victoria will live out the rest of her days as healthy and happy as possible. We hope that you will choose to be her Sponsor Program Pet Parent – thank you!
Victoria’S neurological condition has progressed, but she is still able to walk. Although she does shake at times and can lose her balance, she usually picks herself up and continues to move forward just as she’s always done throughout her life. Victoria’s mom, Lauraine, says since she has some trouble getting back up on tile or laminate/wood floors they’ve placed several special rubber mats and runners spread throughout the house. Her vets at North Shore Animal League America recommended trying a magnetic/electrical treatment that can help with inflammation, and it seems to be helping. Her groomer at Animal League America, Dawn, helps keep her comfortable and looking her best! “Through all of the issues with her health, she is still happy and she always looks forward to her meals and snacks. My family feels it is a privilege to love and care for Victoria in her golden years.”
Life has become harder for Victoria as the symptoms of her Syringomyelia become more difficult to manage. She has trouble walking in general, but on tile and wood floors it’s even more of an effort. Victoria’s mom, Lauraine, purchased special rubber mats for several areas of the house so her golden girl is able to navigate more safely, but it’s been an uphill battle. A specialist from our Alex Lewyt Veterinary Medical Center recently started Victoria on prednisone, and the veterinarians at Animal League America suggested acupuncture and laser therapy on her hind legs to help ease her symptoms. Despite her struggles, Lauraine said her little girl still tries very hard to follow her everywhere and still wags her tail to greet her family when they come home. “We love her dearly and are doing everything we can to make sure she is comfortable and happy. Victoria’s never-give-up-spirit, which helped her through her puppy mill years, is assisting her in her golden years. We will be there to help her every step of the way,” she says. And we know all of her supporters have been too.
Victoria’s mom, Lauraine, is happy to report that her little girl, although slowing down, is doing very well. She continues to enjoy her walks, cuddles, and, of course, food of any kind. As of her latest echocardiogram, her mitral valve disease has not progressed, and her neurological condition does not prevent her from enjoying her two short walks a day. Victoria was recently part of a Mutt-i-grees Curriculum™ program for children – an Animal League America initiative — at a Staten Island library. The students enjoyed meeting her and getting the chance to say hello and pet her. Her presence alone started a discussion about puppy mills, which proved very informative for the kids according to Lauraine. She said the students went on to make adoption posters for some of the rescued pets at Animal League America.
Victoria is managing to still get outside for two short walks a day. She and her mom, Lauraine, walk slowly since her neurological condition affects her gait. The good news is that her mitral valve disease has not progressed. She was recently cleared by both the cardiologist and the neurologist to have a dental cleaning. Recently, her family fostered some kittens for a few weeks that became so close to Victoria that they purred when she walked into the room.
Victoria’s neurological condition seems to have progressed slightly. She has been having more frequent tremors and staggering to the side from time to time. Our doctors at the Alex Lewyt Veterinary Medical Center have been closely monitoring Victoria to be sure no change in treatment is needed. Her family is very relieved that this is the case. Victoria recently visited her Uncle while her family went on vacation where her Cousin showered her with endless attention. Victoria’s Aunt loves to cook and welcomed Victoria as the official taster of all doggy friendly recipes.
A neurological consultation confirmed that Victoria does have caudal occipital malformation syndrome (COMS) where the hole at the back of the skull joining the brain and the spinal cord is malformed. COMS causes too much cerebrospinal fluid to flow around the spinal cord resulting in neck pain and weakness in coordination. The Neurologist prescribed medication to stop her pain and reduce the extra spinal fluid that seems to be working! There are some days when she’s more active than others. Victoria and her mom, Lauraine, still take two short walks every day for a healthy heart. She is a real trooper and her family all just adore her!
Victoria is doing well and aging gracefully. She naps a lot and enjoys two short walks every day. She recently attended a Mutt-i-grees library program with her mom, Lauraine. It turned out there were mostly younger children in the audience and they delighted in taking her leash to walk her around the room. For the past few months, Victoria began to suddenly bob her head with her eyes closed that may simply be part of her golden years, but Lauraine will be taking her for a neurological consultation to be sure it’s nothing else. Victoria thanks all of her sponsors for giving her such an incredible life for the last seven years. She really has a lot of heart and is such a fighter as a puppy mill survivor!
Victoria recently visited the Grooming Department here and left looking as beautiful as ever! She has become quite a princess as she has gotten older and craves her creature comforts—soft bedding, treats and warmth. During rain, snow, extreme heat or cold she must be leashed or carried out to the dog run. On nice days, she is still up for her walks, just shorter ones now. She still gets excited when she sees the squirrels racing around, up and down trees. Mom Lauraine is happy to lovingly provide all that her highness needs to keep her happy. All hail Victoria!
Victoria was recently diagnosed with the start of cataracts during her yearly exam. Thankfully, the echocardiogram report confirmed that her mitral valve disease has not progressed any further so no medication is needed. She has been enjoying her morning walks – chasing the birds and any cats she sees in the neighborhood. She was the star of a recent Mutt-i-grees student internship program for 5th graders at the Adoption Center here. As always, she is a joy to her family!
Victoria has been feeling fine, but is starting to slow down a bit. She enjoyed the summer with her family. Victoria gained a pound, so mom Lauraine has been taking her for a few extra walks – which they both enjoy. Her canine brother, Hunter, has to take it easier as his veterinarian has started him on heart medications – only one walk a day. Everyone enjoyed the rest and relaxation of their annual trip to the mountains. Victoria and Hunter loved all the new smells – and endlessly searched for the resident chipmunk! Victoria and her family thank all her wonderful sponsors!
A recent x-ray and echocardiogram revealed that one side of Victoria’s heart is more enlarged. The good news, though, is that she is not coughing or having any other symptoms from the mitral valve disease. Her cardiologist has decided to just monitor her a bit more closely and take another chest x-ray in three months. We are very pleased that no medication has been prescribed yet.
Recently, Victoria has proved yet again that she is a shining star. She accompanied her mom to two Mutt-i-grees® education programs. The first was a library program that focused on the proper way to care for your pets – Victoria walked around and received lots and lots of attention; she certainly didn’t mind. The second program was a Pet Education and Information Fair at a library where Victoria was favored by both the children and their parents. As always, she is thriving and well.
Victoria is precious as always. She is extremely happy that we are now into the cooler fall days. She recently celebrated her canine brother, Hunter’s, 10th birthday. They are true pals and she was excited to share his special day! Victoria is quite determined; she has been able to jump over any gate in her home – no matter how high. Her mom, Lauraine, thinks it’s her determination that enabled her to survive in the horrible puppy mill. She has overcome so much and we are just delighted to give her the life she deserves.
Victoria is as precious as always. It has been recommended by our veterinarians that she stays on an extensive dental regimen to assure she doesn’t have any tartar build up. She will certainly have the nicest smile when she attends the Mutt-i-grees® Pet Adoption Fair. She will help her mom, Lauraine, promote the many different programs that we offer at Animal League America. She will be a prime example of how wonderful adopting a shelter pet is! Victoria’s family thanks all of her sponsors.
Victoria had her 6-month echocardiogram with the canine cardiologist here at North Shore Animal League America. We were relieved that her heart condition has remained stable – the mitral value disease hasn’t progressed further. She is due for her dental appointment which helps manage tartar build up on her teeth. Her mom, Lauraine, is getting advice from the veterinarians to find out what else can be done to keep the dental disease at bay. Victoria was a shining star at a High School Mutt-i-grees® class. She was passed around the classroom getting a ton of love and attention. She sat completely relaxed in their arms. She also had some entertainment with a classroom, not just filled with students, but with other animals like birds and cats. Victoria is a happy dog and we are thankful to have her sponsors.
Victoria is aging gracefully, always the little lady. She, and her King Charles Cavalier buddy, Hunter, are ready for another nap after their main walk. She’s still very alert otherwise—she hears and looks for the birds and barks at the squirrels and cats in the street. Victoria’s allergies have been acting up lately. She’s been licking and even biting at her paws, and scratching all over too. North Shore Animal League America veterinarians changed her allergy medicine, increased her eyedrops to 3 times a day to better manage her dry eye issues and added an ointment that all seem to be helping. She may need another dental procedure, but will have to check with the cardiologist beforehand.
Victoria is taking it easy during the hot summer which is the most difficult time for her to handle her heart murmur. Her allergies seem under control and there haven’t been any ear infections. She gracefully takes eye drops daily. It is nice that she is able to sometimes come into the office with her foster mom, Lauraine. She especially enjoys accompanying Lauraine to the school assembly programs and taking part of student internship programs here at North Shore Animal League America. She and her brother Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Hunter, enjoyed a fun filled family summer vacation!
Victoria’s medical conditions are stable right now, and her family is very grateful. She just had another echocardiogram, and the cardiologist said that her mitral valve disease has not gotten any worse. Her dry eye is controlled with eye drops that the family administers everyday. They hope that she won’t have to have any more teeth extracted. Victoria recently joined a library program for the Animal League America. She enjoys all the attention she receives from the children. At one point, ten young girls surrounded her, and she loved every minute of it. Just being one of the girls!
Victoria is always such a happy and friendly dog. She has been a member of the family for more than three years, and her foster mother Lauraine is seeing her slow down a bit. Her next echocardiogram is due soon. So they hope to have good news then. Victoria and her pal Hunter joined their family for a ski trip. She loved taking walks in the snow and following the trails of all the different animals in the woods.
Good news: Victoria had her echocardiogram and it remained the same as the last echo. Her heart disease has remained stable these past five years. The canine cardiologist was pleased and did not prescribe any medication. She has dry eye so she gets eye drops twice a day for the condition. She eagerly jumps into Lauraine’s lap and waits for the eye drops. If she is a good girl, she gets rewarded with vegetable treats. Victoria is always a good girl, she loves her treats. She has lost a bit of weight, which is what they were working on, as she did put on a few pounds over last winter. It seems that less food and some extra exercise have helped. She is one of the sweetest dogs, and her adopters are so happy that they have the honor to have her as a family member.
Victoria is due for her echocardiogram in two weeks, so we will let you know how that turns out next quarter. We are all hoping that her mitral valve disease has not progressed. She recently had another ear infection. She had severe ear infections and teeth and gums infected when she came in from the puppy mill three years ago. One of the ear canals is narrower after many years of neglect at the puppy mill, so Victoria’s family has to be sure to clean her ears often so they do not get infected again. She had another dental cleaning and two more teeth had to be pulled. Poor thing, so much for her to go through in such a short life. We estimated she is over eight years old. It is hard to believe that it has been three years since we rescued her from the puppy mill. The family says she has greatly enriched their lives. She is such a ham! Any event that is required for one of our Sponsor Pets to be present, you will be sure to see Victoria. She is the “Belle of the Ball.” She is the center of attention, and her tail wags with sheer delight when people want to pet her. Thank you Lauraine for loving her as much as you do! We can see she is a happy dog when she is with you.
Victoria is doing well even though she is itching more. Animal League veterinarians believe that she has environmental allergies, and she is on Benadryl as well as special food and a special shampoo. She is, without a doubt, the queen of her home. She demands her share of attention from the people in her family or anyone who visits. She will cuddle up with brother dog, Hunter, if her other family members are not present. However, she must be the first dog out of the door and the first dog leading the daily walk or she complains loudly. She also must be the first to greet her foster mother when she comes home. She actually keeps Hunter away from her mother. If her mother brings Victoria to work, Hunter misses her and looks for her. However, when it is the other way around, Victoria is content to be home alone. If her mother is petting Hunter, Victoria will push her away from him and nudge her hand to get her share. Sometimes she will even rub her head against her mother just like a cat. She really does act like a QUEEN!
Recently, Victoria attended a middle school assembly program for the first time in a large New York City public school. There were going to be 350+ 6th grade students at the assembly. She loves going to classes, but her foster mother was a bit worried that the noise of that many children might be overwhelming. About halfway through the presentation, they brought her out from behind the curtain on the auditorium stage. She was fine. They were able to tell the story of her rescue from a puppy mill. Then her mother carried her and walked her through the audience and the children loved her. Many of them were able to pet her. She has come so far from being in a cage in a puppy mill! Victoria’s next echocardiogram will be in a few weeks. Let’s hope her cardiac condition has remained stable.
Victoria’s family can’t believe that it’s been two years since Victoria came into their lives. They report that she is very sweet and loves everyone. In the last six months, Victoria’s foster mother feels like their bond has become even stronger. They connected right away when she came to the Animal League from a mill dog rescue transport. As a foster care parent, she helped to nurse her back to health through ear infections, severe dry eye, infected teeth, upper respiratory issues and pneumonia. These days, when she is separated from her foster mother and wants to be with her, she is one very determined dog. Nothing stops her; not even extra tall dog gates or fences. Her foster mother thinks she likes it when she brings her to work because then she gets her undivided attention. She hangs out in the office and gets to greet everyone who passes by.
Victoria had a good echocardiogram result recently. The cardiologist did state to keep an eye on her when exercising. She sometimes takes a long time to recover after a walk–she pants and pants especially when it is hot. Of course, she is a very fast walker! Her foster mother is supposed to tell the cardiologist if the exercise intolerance gets any worse or if she hears coughing at night or early in the morning. So far Victoria still doesn’t need medication for her heart. Since the medication can cause other physical problems, he’d prefer not to give it to her unless she absolutely needs it. Otherwise, she is doing great and will be meeting some special 5th grade students soon through the Animal League’s Mutt-i-grees program.
The return of more birds in the backyard is delightful to Victoria’s family. However, Victoria wants to chase them and flush them out. She listens for the chirps, whistles, songs and then tries to locate them, even if they are sitting on a telephone wire above or flying by over her head. On her walks, she sometimes spots a bird flitting about in a bush. She would go charging in there if her foster mother let her. After all, that is part of her instincts; yet her Cavalier housemate dog is not nearly as proactive about chasing them. Victoria recently had a haircut and bath and looks great! Her echocardiogram was good and the cardiologist is still not prescribing medicine yet for her heart condition. It is status quo for now. Her licking and scratching does increase in the spring, but she is on Benadryl for that and it is helping. They continue with ointment for her dry eye and she will probably need it for the rest of her life.
Victoria’s echocardiogram results came back looking good. There has been no change in her heart condition. Victoria has been enjoying the colder weather. She doesn’t pant as much on walks or tire as easily. Victoria has learned a lot from Hunter, the other dog in her house. She now plays with stuffed toys, just like Hunter. She grabs one and runs around for a play session when her foster mother gets home. She also quickly learned about treats and loves them – even if they are vegetables. Victoria and Hunter can often be found climbing up and walking along the top of the sofa (just like cats!) to find a good spot to look out the window for birds and other cats. Walking both of them together is often NOT a calm experience! They are usually always barking at something, often squirrels or joggers and sometimes barking for no reason at all except sheer excitement!
Victoria’s human foster brother helps take Victoria and their other dog, Hunter, out for walks. If he walks Victoria and stays behind his Mother and Hunter, Victoria starts barking. To stop her from barking, he has to walk with Victoria in front of his Mother and Hunter. He thinks that’s because Victoria wants to be the top dog (or the queen) and always come first. They use a longer leash so Victoria can be ahead on the walk by a little bit. She barks and gets excited when she sees squirrels and cats, especially when they run away. Victoria will push Hunter away from her Mother when she comes home from work because she wants to be the first to greet her. She also wants to be the first to go out the side door into the dog run. Even though Victoria always wants to be first, they love her. She cuddles with her human foster brother on the couch and likes to have her belly rubbed by him.
Victoria has learned to like stuffed toys. We don’t think she ever had them before, but when she first went home she watched the other dog carry them around in his mouth. Now, when her foster mother comes home from work, they both grab toys and run around the living room excitedly. She’ll shake it around like it’s a prey item. The dogs even carry them out into the dog run and backyard. Victoria’s mother has to check the bushes every once in a while to look for missing toys. Unfortunately, Victoria likes to chew on the ears so they have to watch her closely. There are many earless stuffed puppies, elephants and squirrels around the house! Victoria’s next routine chest x-ray and echocardiogram are coming up so that we can check on her heart murmur and the mitral valve disease. We’ll keep you posted on the results.
Victoria continues to bring joy to her family. She is always happy and loves everyone. Her adopted mother and Animal League Associate, Lauraine, often wonders who is helping who and looks at it as they are helping each other. Victoria is outdoors more now that the weather has become nicer. Even though she is on special food to determine what’s going on with her allergies, she continues to scratch. Her mother gives her soothing baths. They are working on better leash walking – she’s still pulling them on her walks around our neighborhood and even though she is small, they think all that pulling might be stressful for her. The veterinarian advised that due to her heart condition she needs to be on a harness. She can’t have any constriction around her neck. Her mother bought a gentle leader and will be starting to train her to this. Right now, if she spots a squirrel or bird, it is difficult for them to hold her back. We can’t blame her for getting excited—flushing out birds and small animals is part of her spaniel instincts.
After her last echocardiogram, the veterinarian said Victoria does not have to return for another six months. That’s good news! Her new family is still working on her obedience training. She will “wait” before going out a door, but she barks the entire time. There was a recent snow storm of 18+ inches. We don’t know if Victoria has ever seen snow before. When it was just 2-3 inches, she could walk through it, but when it piled up to over 12 inches, she did her business in a small shoveled patch of the dog run and wanted to come right back inside (and so did her dog friend, Hunter). We can’t say that we blame them at all!
New to Program! We are thrilled to report that Victoria has found a loving foster care home. She will be fostered by an Animal League Associate and her family. She has fit right in with all family members and even another small dog. Now that she knows what a “walk” is, she gets very excited. Her “Cavalier” King Charles spaniel instincts are very strong-she’s ready to chase any small creature that moves. If she hears some birds chirping, she cocks her head to listen and then she must find them. She also enjoys just relaxing on the couch and cuddling with her new human brother. When they fall asleep on the couch together, you can imagine what an endearing sight it is!