SPCA New Zealand


When SPCA inspectors arrived at the breeder’s property, they couldn’t believe what they were seeing.

When an animal ends up at SPCA, they have often experienced some sort of suffering in their short life. Slipping over in her own faeces, tangled in urine-sodden newspaper, and living amongst old food scraps – this was Carla the german shepherd’s sad start to life. Carla, adult dogs and puppies were confined to small rooms with no light or fresh air. They were barking for attention, their eyes pleading for help. Carla is just one of the dogs rescued from this horrible breeding situation. Although her past can’t be changed, she has been given a bright future.

Frightened by everything

When she first arrived at SPCA, Carla hid in the corner, frightened by everything. She was skinny and weak, with dirty ears, matted fur and overgrown nails. Three years of being tethered with minimal food and water was evident. The canine team at SPCA spent two months bringing Carla up to a healthy weight, grooming her, and teaching her how to trust people. But Carla needed to be in a home environment where she was loved and cherished. She needed to be introduced to the outside world. One of our amazing foster parents took her on to do just that.

Adopted by her foster dad

When Stefan, Carla’s foster dad, first brought her home, she wouldn’t get out of the car. “I had to pick her up and carry her into the garage,” says Stefan.“Then she wouldn’t go out into the garden – she would just hide in the corner. Everything was new to her – she had never seen a child, a car, water, or toys in her life.” Stefan and his family took things slowly with Carla, introducing her to as many things as possible. Two weeks is all it took for them to fall in love with her and decide to make her an official member of their family. Carla finally started to have the life she should have had from the beginning. “Now Carla’s days start early with a walk with me before I go to work,” says Stefan. “She has bonded very well with me and we’re all certain she sees me as ‘her human’. She’s a big softie, and seven months on she is a lot more laid back.”

A new life

Carla will probably never be a ‘normal’ dog due to her poor start to life, but she has improved an enormous amount in a short space of time. She still isn’t interested in toys, but Carla loves the water – something she was once terrified of. Stefan is also lucky enough to work for a dog-friendly company, so Carla goes to work with him every couple of weeks. “My workmates have even noticed the huge differences in her since the first visit,” he says. While at home, Carla loves to spend time with the family’s bichon frise puppy. “She mothers her like mad. They love to run around the backyard and the grass ends up like a motocross track,” says Stefan. “I’m so glad our paths have crossed. She’s enjoying being with us as much as we enjoy having her. Thank you SPCA for picking us to have this fantastic dog.”

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