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What should S.P.A. have done?

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S.P.A. received a call from a woman whose breathless voice sounded desperate as she made her plea. "My name is Shonna and I am begging for your help. I have had my Zoopie since she was a puppy... for all of her life... and she is my best friend."

In-between labored breaths she explained that she had to move to assisted living, and could not take her Zoopie with her. She said that she called her local humane society and they gave her S.P.A.'s telephone number, stating that they couldn't accept a 13 year old dog into their adoption program.

It's never easy to adopt out 13 year old dogs. So I suppose most rescue's immediate response of, "We don't have room... We don't have any foster homes available... We don't have room for seniors," is somewhat expected.

Shonna Hodge is suffering from a genetic disease which affects her lungs; 'Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency' is an inherited disorder that can cause lung and liver disease. Shonna is on oxygen 24 hours a day.

I explained to Shonna that S.P.A. didn't have foster space available. She said Zoopie hadn't been around other dogs. All S.P.A. foster families have other dogs.

S.P.A. had five days to find a home for Zoopie. Shonna was moving into Assisted Living in just five days because she could no longer care for Zoopie or herself.

She became extremely upset when I telephoned to let her know that... Yes, I understood that she "had to move to Assisted Living tomorrow." I wanted her to understand that I genuinely made every effort over the past five days to find foster care for Zoopie. Shonna's crying while she was struggling to breath really got to me. At that moment I knew what S.P.A. needed to do.

I met Shonna at Westview Veterinary Hospital, where Zoopie has been boarded since December 1st, 2014.

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Shonna brought Zoopie's favorite blanket and toys, and all of her medical records. As she struggled to sit down in a chair to begin giving her goodbyes to her best friend in the world, she began to cry, and I became concerned about her breathlessness. I am here to tell you, this entire situation really broke our hearts.

Image -  - Zoopie seemed to understand that this goodbye was forever.

Zoopie seemed to understand that this goodbye was forever.

Zoopie was traumatized. She began peeing and pooping in her kennel and was very leery of everyone. She nipped at an S.P.A. member who went to visit her, and when given time in the middle room at the boarding facility she became panicked and tried to escape out of the windows and door in an effort to find Shonna.

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And then... a very special young lady named Lynne called S.P.A. and said she'd like to begin visiting Zoopie on a regular basis to remind her that she is loved. To work with her so that she'd be more adoptable. Lynne was unable to foster Zoopie because she already has large, senior, special needs dogs that she cares for at her home.

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Lynne sends frequent updates and photos to keep S,P.A. abreast of her progress. Zoopie is full of life when she sees Lynne coming! Lynne has her playing with balls and doing tricks for treats. She's even giving kisses!

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Here's Lynne's latest update (including photos):

Since my first visit with Zoopie last December until now she has truly blossomed. At first, she was a very frightened and timid girl. Her world had been turned upside down so no one could blame for being so frightened. But slowly, through many visits, she is learning to trust others and know she is loved. Zoopie finally seems able to be herself again.

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She loves tossing her bone into the air especially when I stuff it with treats. Just a couple days ago I brought a tennis ball so we could play together and she acted like a puppy, running after it and grabbing ahold of it and bringing it back to me. Truly, my last visit was the most lively and perky Iíve ever seen her. So I can tell you that Zoopie girl has a lot of love to give someone gentle and patient. She's the perkiest and most playful 13 year old dog I've ever seen!

The girls at Westview Veterinary Hospital are giving Zoopie lots of love, too.

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S.P.A. paid for Zoopie's vaccination update, heartworm retest and preventative, and 2 1/2 months worth of boarding expenses.

We will not give up on finding the perfect home for her to live out the rest of her life. Zoopie has a happy skip to her step, now, thanks to Lynne and the care she is receiving from Westview.

S.P.A. does what's right, not what's easiest. We couldn't turn our back on Shonna and Zoopie. We're all living in this life together. Planting seeds of Compassion, together.

S.P.A. can't continue to rescue animals in need without your help. YOU CAN DONATE SECURELY ONLINE AT: http://www.spaohio.org/donate.php (CLICK DONATE IN THE PINK BAR ABOVE).

Or you can donate directly towards Zoopie's care by calling: WESTVIEW VETERINARY HOSPITAL - 419-332-5871. Explain you would like to donate towards Zoopie's boarding and medical expenses.

YOUR DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE!

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