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Abandoned pups have tail-wagging happy ending

By Pat Johnson

Published 12:49 PDT, Fri July 31, 2020

Two puppies, about seven- or eight-months-old, were found wandering on No. 5 Road on June 2. They were thankfully discovered and taken to the RAPS City of Richmond Animal Shelter. Shockingly, no one came to claim them.

The puppies, who RAPS staff named Lucy and Sadie, are a Rottweiler-Labrador cross.

“It is so fortunate that nothing terrible happened to these pups,” says RAPS CEO Eyal Lichtmann. “They were in a very dangerous location. We just cannot imagine how people could allow two such magnificent and practically defenseless animals to find themselves abandoned and alone on the streets. It was a sad, sad situation. But it has a super happy ending.”

The sisters were taken to the RAPS Animal Hospital, where they were spayed and assessed. They are both in good health. Then they were given a behavioural assessment. While it’s obvious that the two are sisters, they are quite distinctive. Lucy looks more like a Lab, mostly black with brindle on her legs and behind her ears; Sadie is more Rottweiler in appearance.

Nash Parnell, assistant manager of the RAPS Animal Shelter, succinctly summed up the results of the behavioural assessments: “They’re very good.”

Parnell, who has plenty of personal and professional experience with dogs, just bought his first home and was looking to adopt. As he and Lucy got to know each other, they formed a bond. The adoption was finalized a few days ago. Sadie is still at the Shelter, but she has been adopted by a family and will soon be going to her forever home. Parnell hopes the sisters can continue to meet up.

Meanwhile, he has been busy helping Lucy explore the world. 

“She’s great with children, she’s good with other dogs,” Parnell says. “She’s just very good with everything. She’s pretty chill, she loves to play fetch and she’s a good swimmer. It was hilarious when I first took her swimming, watching her learn how to doggy paddle.”

He sums up: “She’s just the sweetest.”

While this story has a tail-wagging happy ending—two in fact!—it could have ended much differently. Lichtmann wants the public to understand the significance of what happened.

“These two sweet, beautiful puppies could have suffered terrible injuries or worse,” he says. “Adopting a dog is a commitment for the lifetime of the animal. Of course, extreme situations or changes in a family’s life can sometimes make it impossible to keep that promise. That’s why we’re here. If it becomes necessary to surrender an animal, call the Shelter. Abandoning an animal is about as inhumane as a human can be.”

Lichtmann and others who work in animal rescue are concerned about a potential looming increase in abandoned pets related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As a lot of people were spending more time at home than usual, some people decided they would get a pet,” Lichtmann says. “Now that many of us are returning to a slightly modified version of normalcy, there may be people who are coming to understand the time and resources required to adequately care for a companion animal. We say it again: Adopting a pet is a lifetime commitment. But if circumstances make that promise impossible to keep, please, please do not abandon it. With the support of our community, we are here to help.”

Pat Johnson is communications manager of the Regional Animal Protection Society.

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