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From rescued to rehomed: Bear’s Story

15 September 2022

Here at SPCA, we have dozens of animals come through our doors every day. Our ‘Rescued to Rehomed’ stories share just some of the tales of those who come into our care, in pain and often fighting for their lives, before making an inspiring recovery.

From rescued to rehomed: Bear’s Story

In desperate need of help

When an SPCA Inspector first met a beautiful Huntaway they had received a concerned call about, he was in dire need of help. As well as being thin to the point of his ribs showing clearly through his shaggy coat, the dog was sporting a nasty wound to his tail, which we could see had become badly infected, causing him a great deal of pain.

It was clear this dog required urgent medical attention. In locations where SPCA Centres do not have an onsite vet, SPCA works closely with vet partners in the area to make sure that all animals who come into our care receive the medical attention they need, as soon as they need it. For this brave boy, that meant being rushed into Vet South in Winton, where the amazing team set to work treating his tail wound.

During assessment, wounds were also found on his neck that suggested prolonged tethering, and indicated a history of neglect. From the very first meeting, and despite all he’d been through, this sweet dog displayed the loveliest nature, and proved himself a gentle giant. He quickly earned the name of Bear – both for his huge bear-like paws, and his sweet, cuddly nature. Both the Vet South and SPCA teams fell in love with him.

Together, we made sure Bear had everything he needed so his journey to recovery could begin. Slowly but surely, he began to show signs of improvement. Sadly, it soon became clear the damage to his tail was too severe for medication alone to heal. To stop the infection spreading, the bottom half of Bear’s tail needed amputating to allow the rest to recover.

Operation: Recovery

With access to much-needed medication and treatment, Bear was strong enough to safely undergo surgery. This brave guy managed it all like a champ. Despite his rough beginnings, it was clear Bear was going to be just fine when he gave the team a goofy post-surgery smile that warmed our hearts.

Recovery from surgery such as this takes time, so to make it more comfortable, Bear was transferred to our Christchurch SPCA Centre for further rehabilitation.

Post-surgery, though well on his way to recovery, Bear was clearly struggling with his new ‘cone of shame’ and used his Huntaway intelligence to let us know about it! After tearing off his bandages and wriggling free of his protective cone several times, the team needed to get crafty to contain the troublemaker. To the cone of shame were added two inflatable layers, plus a double wrapping of chew-proof bandages. Bear had met his match!

Happy ever after

After some rest and recuperation, Bear’s tail and neck had healed, and he had regained some much-needed weight. He was finally ready to find his new forever home.

We knew it wouldn’t take long for this sweetheart, and as it turns out – family members of the original vet team that cared for him had heard of this lovely lad, and wanted to meet him! Christchurch-based David applied to bring Bear home on a trial adoption, though the trial didn’t last long! As David recalls, “he made himself at home within his first week!”

It was clear from David’s first visit that this would be Bear’s new family, and we couldn’t be happier for this deserving pup. Now fully settled in his new home and his adoption finalised, Bear gets to spend his days enjoying the good life, running and playing with his new human, who utterly adores him.

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