SPCA New Zealand

Just a bag of bones... animals like Sully need your help

21 October 2021
Just a bag of bones... animals like Sully need your help

My name is Jeanee, and I have the often challenging - but always rewarding - role of being an Inspector here at SPCA. In my work, I see the good, the bad, and sometimes, the downright ugly, but no experience could prepare me for Sully.

You may recognise Sully the St. Bernard whose story I shared tonight on Seven Sharp. I am writing to you on behalf of this sweet boy. Trust me, I understand better than most how confronting stories like Sully's can be, but he is living proof of how powerful your support is.

When I first met Sully, he resembled a bag of bones, a mere shell of what he should look like.

His hips, ribs, and spine were jutting out, his skin and fur were coarse and clinging desperately to each bone. I've never seen such a large dog look so defeated and afraid. Sully is just one of countless other animals I see every year who need saving from the unthinkable.

Seeing Sully on that day shook me to my core. As a St. Bernard, he was half the size he should be. I could count each individual rib bone and fit both my hands around his hips. To see a dog of such a large, strong breed withering away in front of me broke my heart. Sully is the worst case of neglect I have ever seen.

I know this is difficult to read and the urge to stop scrolling is strong. But I am sharing Sully’s story with you today because when SPCA Inspectors get the call to rescue animals like him, you are the reason we can act. Please will you make a donation and support the lifesaving work of SPCA Inspectors today?

There is no question Sully needed urgent assistance. I freed him of his chains and walked him off the property to my van.

Severely malnourished and weak, just walking was a struggle for Sully, his paws dragging along the concrete the whole way. It was difficult to witness and I couldn't wait to rush him back to the Centre to get him the medical attention he needed.

Our vet team did everything they could to help Sully heal. Weighing just 43kg, he had suffered such serious weight loss that his bodily functions were impacted. I knew this wasn’t going to be a quick fix, and extensive rehabilitation lay ahead.

The biggest and most immediate concern was Sully's emaciated frame, and he was put on a special feeding plan to help safely get his weight to where it needed to be. Having been starved of food for so long, we had to take it slow and steady.

I know that, like me, you want the very best for this boy and others like him. You’ll be relieved and comforted to know that Sully was incredibly stoic during his journey to recovery, overcoming the odds. He was fighting for his very survival.

When you give to SPCA, you ensure Inspectors like me can give animals in need - like Sully - a new lease of life. Will you show neglected animals what it means to be loved and cared for?

I wanted to get justice for Sully. At SPCA, we strive to hold those responsible for such horrific suffering accountable. But unfortunately, after extensive efforts and investigations, his former owners were unable to be tracked down.

The good news for Sully was that he become officially, legally ours. Now, Sully is no longer chained to his past and our team can secure him the very best future.

Since he arrived in our care, Sully is almost unrecognisable. This gentle giant has put on 30kg since he first walked through SPCA's doors and he's nearing his ideal healthy weight every day. Every time I see him, I need a moment to gather my thoughts – I can’t fathom he’s the same dog! Seeing Sully smile brings me so much joy.

Soon Sully will be ready to find his forever home. Knowing that's just around the corner makes every difficult moment and every hard call absolutely worth it.

I'd love to say that with Sully healed, the work is done. I wish that was the reality, but it isn't. There are hundreds of animals that still need my help. Every day, SPCA receive calls about suffering animals just like Sully. I can't be there for them, without you.

SPCA receives very little Government funding to carry out this life-changing work. Vulnerable animals count on you to be there in their hour of need.

Please will you rescue them? I can't do it without you.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read Sully's story today, and for standing with SPCA Inspectors to save precious lives. When we say your support truly saves lives, Sully shows just how true that is.

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