Animal Cruelty Prevention

November Patient of the Month

Dorothy's Story, Part II


You may remember that we featured Dorothy's story a few months back.  She is a senior dog who was left on the street when her owners decided it was too much trouble to care for her and her medical problems.  If you missed our original post about her, you can catch up here:

We have an update from her family, about how Dorothy's care has been going since that original article:

Once Dorothy had recovered from all her urgently necessary treatments, it was time to begin focusing on the rest of her.  It was clear by her posture, movements and body language that she was experiencing pain all over her body. Dorothy was evaluated by Dr. Burnett and prescribed a regimen of pain management medications, laser and massage therapy.  Dorothy has been visiting Lis and Dr. Burnett for 10 months now and has shown remarkable improvements.  She has always enjoyed her walks around the neighborhood but now runs around the yard like a puppy, tossing her favorite rubber ducky into the air!  There was a time that she would run away from a massage at home and tremble when you would touch or try to stretch her. Now she can’t get enough of her massages and stretches.  She still needs work and is not 100% but she has come leaps and bounds from where she was 10 short months ago.  If you look into her eyes close enough you will see that she is saying thank you to VMC and CARE for significantly reducing her pain and allowing her to live again!  

We thank you from the bottom our hearts!  

~ Dorothy's Family


Dorothy's issues:

  • Suspect chronic arthritis (hips/stifles) with compensatory muscle pain


  • Pain Medications
  • Supplements (Omega 3 Fatty Acids)
  • Physical Rehabilitation (laser and massage therapy)


Dobby's Story

Dobby’s Story

Beautiful Dobby

Dobby was rescued by Officer Becky Thompson of the Syracuse Police Department.  She was found tied to a toilet in absolutely horrible conditions.  She was dangerously emaciated and terrified of everything.


Her arrival at VMC sent shock waves through the staff, and through one of our veterinarians in particular. One of our emergency doctors, Dr. Annette Otis, offered to foster her personally during her delicate re-feeding and recovery period.  And so Dobby’s life of horror, hunger, and uncertainty ended and her new life began.    Physically she recovered very well with the loving and experienced care of Dr. Otis, but her psychological scars did not heal so easily.  Dr. Otis kept everyone updated on her progress, Dobby visited VMC frequently, and so everyone was concerned when Dr. Otis reported that Dobby had acted aggressively toward her nephew.  Most of us were of the opinion that Dobby would probably do best in a home with no children.  Except, that is, Shannon, our Client Services Manager, who insisted that she be allowed to take Dobby on a trial basis, even though she had a young daughter at home.  We’ll let Shannon tell Dobby’s story from here:

Dobby frequented the hospital and I would give her kisses and hugs and was in love with her. I talked Dr. Otis into giving my home a shot. I had a baby and a young boxer named Barley, so Dr. Otis warned me about her aggression towards kids, dogs, and food but I said “let’s just give it a go."  Dr. Otis trusted me to keep everyone safe during the trial period and knew that I understood her issues, so Dobby came home with me.

In the beginning Dobby was very shy and hated Barley. She would lunge at him, even trying to bite him, and she would be very protective of me and her food. Barley had such a kind soul and didn’t take it personally. One day I decided to let them outside together and, at first, Dobby tried to attack Barley, but Barley (being the loving kid he was) wouldn’t give up until she played with him. Finally she gave in and they started playing and chasing each other.  After that, they were the best of friends.  They ate near each other, played with each other, and even slept next to each other.

Warm Dobby

Unfortunately a few months later, Barley passed away suddenly and unexpectedly and our family was crushed.  Dobby definitely felt the loss, but also comforted us. She provided us with the light we needed in that dark time. That was more than a year ago and Dobby’s days are now filled with love.  She is never alone and spends her days playing with my daughter who is now 3years old. My daughter will hand feed Dobby her kibble from her bowl. Her food and kid aggression is gone.  Dobby still has issues with other dogs (mainly females), but every Friday she goes and visits her boyfriend Bruin (who is the cutest pit bull!).

Dobby and Bruin

Dobby had a horrible life before she came to us. I have made it my mission to make sure she never has a bad day and always knows we love her.  Her guardian angels Dr. Otis and Officer Thompson not only saved her life, they saved ours too. I will be forever grateful to them and all the staff at the Veterinary Medical Center for loving my girl when no one else did.

This beautiful girl got caught in the safety net just in time.  She had no more time to spare.  Just look at how her life and her forever family’s lives have been enriched by having each other.   Please report cruelty when you see it.  Please don’t turn a blind eye.  There are a number of excellent local organizations doing great work in combating cruelty in our area, but Animal Alliance of Greater Syracuse and Cuse Pit Crew are standouts in this regard.  Now would be a great time to donate if you are passionate about this topic!



Jada's Story

This month in Syracuse, NY, a Good Samaritan reported seeing an emaciated dog in a cage, in her own filth, with no access to food or water. Syracuse Police Department Animal Cruelty Investigator, Officer Rebecca Thompson, and Syracuse Dog Control Officer, Jason Driscoll, promptly removed two dogs from the household and charged the owners with animal cruelty. The dogs were relinquished to the care of the City of Syracuse. The Veterinary Medical Center of CNY handles all critical cases of neglect and cruelty for the City of Syracuse, and so admitted the most severely neglected dog, named Jada, to our care (the other dog in the household was well enough to be admitted directly to the city’s contract shelter). Jada on admit

Jada was emaciated, weak, filthy, covered in scars and lumps, and was 1000% sweet. We ran some bloodwork to further asses her health, washed her with warm cloths as best we could, and placed her in a warm kennel with plenty of fluffy blankets. We kept Jada with us for several days during the very delicate process of getting nutrients into her abused body. Animals suffering from such severe starvation can experience dangerous, sometimes fatal, complications if their food intake is not carefully planned and very gradually increased.

For the first couple of days, Jada was a bit anxious. She barked a bit, attempted to quickly exit her kennel whenever the door was opened, and definitely looked forward to her feedings!  She bonded very quickly with her caregivers, and we tried to keep her occupied with lots of snuggling and attention, which she loved. We were all so happy when we saw her relax. She began to sleep soundly, stopped her anxious barking, and steadily gained close to a pound per day.

Jada in the tub

Jada in tub 2

Jada getting dry

Jada flourished with us, and, after a couple of days of care, was strong enough to finally have a proper warm bath and truly get cleaned up. Jada’s story was receiving attention in the local media, and while she was in the tub, another Good Samaritan dropped by with presents for her: a new bed, a toy, some treats, and $100 in coupons from our local PetCo for whoever eventually adopted her. The Good Samaritan had mentioned that she was shopping for Jada, and the manager of PetCo gave her 50% off the bed, insisted that she take a toy for free, and donated the coupons! So, the newly clean Jada returned to a cozy bed (in addition to her mountain of blankets), a new toy, and some new sweaters that the staff at VMC gave her.

Jada's presentsJada loves her new clothesJada loves her bed

After a week of controlled re-feeding and supportive care, Jada was finally well enough to leave us and head to a shelter environment to continue along her road to recovery. Jada had amassed quite a fan club at VMC during her stay, and there were tears when she left us. Jada was passed into the good hands at the Humane CNY, where her admiration society continued to grow.

Jada was well enough for further veterinary assessment after she arrived at Humane CNY. We had been concerned about the amount and appearance of lumps and bumps we identified when she first came to us, and, tragically, x-rays showed that she had cancerous lesions that had spread throughout her organs. The Humane CNY veterinarians thought she would likely have only a few months left. Humane CNY put out an urgent call for an experienced hospice-type foster home that would allow her to live as an only pet.

But that wasn’t all. Humane CNY was not content to just wait for a foster situation (which, due to Jada’s unusual requirements may never come) and decided to make Jada as comfortable and happy as possible for as long as possible. Thus, "Jada’s Bucket List":

Jada's winter bucket list

And did the CNY community respond? Did they ever! In her first week, Jada knocked through at least half of her bucket list, adding people to her fan club at every stop. She looks sweet in photos and film, but she is truly irresistible in person! Her daily adventures have also allowed all of us to see her improvement on a daily basis – she looks stronger and happier each and every day.  Yesterday, she happily ate a chef-prepared steak on live television (then stopped by VMC of CNY for a visit with her friends!).

Jada and friendsJada firefighterJada story time

(Photos courtesy Humane CNY FaceBook page)

Jada’s story is sad. No creature deserves the treatment she endured prior to being rescued, and her medical issues are sadly now too advanced to treat. But here’s how we’re looking at things:

  • We are grateful that there was someone who wouldn’t turn the other way when confronted with the sight of such terrible neglect and made sure the authorities were contacted.
  • We, as always, deeply appreciate and respect Officer Rebecca Thompson, SPD animal cruelty officer, and Syracuse Dog Control Officer Jason Driscoll, who show such gentleness and compassion to these animals and such resolve in pursuing justice for them.
  • We grew to love Jada at VMC of CNY, and are proud we have played a positive role in her story and the stories of other abused animals in Central New York.
  • We are grateful for the Good Samaritan who dropped off her presents unannounced – already so moved by Jada’s story that she was spurred to act.
  • We are grateful to Humane CNY for providing a home-like atmosphere for this special girl in a shelter environment.
  • We are so happy that Jada is out in our community raising awareness about animal cruelty and also about the wonderful things that our local shelters do, often without much notice. We know that Humane CNY will do everything in their power to ensure she is happy and comfortable for the time she has left and we’re here to help in any way we can.
  • We are inspired by those who are already working to use Jada’s story to strengthen animal cruelty laws in NY and encourage everyone to report abuse.
  • Finally, we are grateful to the wonderful citizens of Central New York who have rallied around Jada and are determined that her life will be full to the end.

Jada’s story is sad. But Jada isn’t sad at all. Jada spreads happiness and love to everyone she meets and to every place she enters. That’s an example we can all learn from.