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Helen Woodward Animal Center thanks "Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation" for their support of our Spay / Neuter program!

Special thanks to the Tippett Foundation and the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation for supporting our Adoptions program.

Hoarded Mom Holds on ‘Just Long Enough’

Have you ever felt “alone in a crowd?” Summer, a white Miniature Poodle mother, was the embodiment of that statement as she bore the brunt of a hard life in the possession of a hoarder.

She had always been the stranger in the crowd, never physically alone, yet always feeling abandoned… with despair as her only companion. That changed one day when Summer had a litter of puppies. Her only companion from that day forward was her sole surviving daughter, a tiny puppy that matched Summer’s gentle temperament and fluffy coat.

Summer took care of her puppy. Cleaning her, feeding her, her whole life was now consumed with raising this tiny puppy. We will never know if it helped Summer’s emotional state, but it certainly did not help her physical state. Summer had to compete with 25 other dogs and puppies for the scant amount of food that was provided. Now that her body had to feed another life, it quickly took a toll on her health and strength. She grew thinner and thinner… but never gave up caring for her puppy.

Summer held on just long enough for a concerned citizen to take action. The hoarder, originally a good-hearted individual who just wanted to help stray pets, let the situation get out of hand before asking for help. All 27 of his dogs would soon be impounded and potentially euthanized before more generations of unwanted litters would arrive.

Summer, her tiny baby, and the 25 other dogs were running out of time.

The concerned citizen called our partner organization, telling them about this horrible situation. The partner organization could take in some dogs, but not all, as they had run out of room.

We received a call from that partner organization asking if we could care for and find homes for Summer, her baby (now called May), and two other dogs.

We agreed and eagerly awaited these newly freed, but helpless, individuals.

Summer, May, and their two companions, needed some time before they were ready to find forever homes. Due to their unknown medical history, we did thorough medical exams and gave them a lot of time to adjust to being in a new environment, with new dogs and people.

May, Summer’s single puppy, was very underweight. She weighed barely two pounds! We have kittens larger than that! Summer was also underweight and needed time to gain her weight and strength back before being ready to find a new family.

Summer and May both gained weight quickly and bounced back to life! With mom and baby healthy, it was decided that Summer could start to look for a forever family and May could go to a foster family to wait for her surgery.

Summer quickly became a staff favorite and is currently available for adoption ! She has a gentle disposition and a cuddly personality. Her favorite thing to do? Be with you! You can visit her now at her Adoption page, or come in to Helen Woodward Animal Center to say hello.

How can we continue to help pets from hoarders? It takes donations to fund our life-saving transfer program. Give today to help a pet in need.

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