Tuesday, March 10, 2009

From Distress to Success

If the purpose of this blog is to feature Pennsylvania SPCA success stories, then it's time to talk about Jeffrey, who is one of our greatest accomplishments.

Last summer Pennsylvania SPCA Humane Law Enforcement Officers found Jeffrey, a 3-year-old Standard Poodle mix, abandoned in a backyard in Philadelphia. He was sitting next to a dead dog but was too weak and too emaciated to move. Jeffrey was hours away from being next.

He was rushed to the Critical Care Unit at the PSPCA Veterinary Hospital. The veterinary staff shaved off his matted fur and cleaned out the maggots eating away at his decaying ears. He received the first of two blood transfusions. It was July, the thick of summer, but Jeffrey was freezing. He weighed only nine pounds. Swaddled in blankets, he rested on heating pads and struggled to stay alert.

Those first few hours were critical, but Jeffrey held on. And he continued to hold on for weeks as he grew stronger and regained his health. Like an infant learning to walk, he took baby steps, walking farther and farther each day. His hair started to grow back. The maggots in his ears disappeared. He was becoming a dog again.

On August 20, Philadelphia District Attorney Lynn Abraham held a press conference at the PSPCA to announce Barbara Paul's appointment as the city's Assisant District Attorney handling all cruelty and neglect cases. Jeffrey attended. He WALKED across the stage.

Things were on the up and up for Jeffrey, but there was still a long road ahead. It took months of rehabilitation for him to heal, both physically and mentally. He wasn't ready for adoption. Besides, the right match hadn't come along yet.

In December a couple came to the PSPCA to meet the infamous Jeffrey.

It was a match.

On January 3, 2009, Jeffrey's long process of healing, waiting, and hoping finally came to an end! That day, he walked out of the shelter alongside a loving family who welcomed him into their home. Jeffrey -- who was abandoned in a backyard, left to die alongside another dog who had already passed -- now had a yard of his own!

To signify his fresh start, the couple gave Jeffrey a new name: Tucker.

Looking at the picture above, it's hard to believe that the dog playing the snow is the same dog who was swaddled in blankets, resting on heating pads in the middle of the summer.

Miracles happen every day at the PSPCA, but Jeffrey/Tucker belongs in a category of his own. Talk about a success story!


  1. For everyone who supports the PSPCA by working or volunteering or contributing to the organization this is a story that keeps you going. Sometimes the odds seem stacked against the animals but actually when a rescue/rehab like this can happen there is HOPE for all ! To all who helped make this success possible my most grateful thanks !

  2. Oh my GOSH!!! Those photos made me want to cry. What an incredible success story and I'm so glad to see Tucker in a loving home. What a strange coincidence that our recent success story dog was named Jeffrey too!

  3. Wow. I can hardly believe that is the same dog! What an amazing and truly inspiring story!!


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