SPCA New Zealand


Rescued and rehabilitated after being chained up and left to starve.

Hessie was rescued by an SPCA inspector from a life of misery. She was found chained in her previous owners' backyard. Hessie was skin and bones, had sores on her body, and was suffering from mange.

“When Hessie arrived at the centre, she was unsocialised, and had no idea how to trust people,” says SPCA Waikato’s Centre Manager, Laura Vander Kley. “Hessie couldn’t believe she was getting fed four times a day. Her food was just gobbled up in seconds.”

The canine team at SPCA worked round-the-clock to give Hessie the care she needed to help gain weight and learn to trust people again. Her coat was in bad condition, and needed lots of attention to grow healthy again.

All Hessie had ever known was a life of neglect, so SPCA teams were determined to help her recover, mentally and physically from her trauma.

Christmas Miracle

Hessie then went to spend time with a foster family and quickly learnt how to become part of the family. It always amazes me how quickly dogs forgive the mistakes made by humans.” says Laura. “Despite having no love for their entire life, they have so much love to give.” Hessie’s foster family decided to take her on a holiday with them to their bach in Raglan. They took her out kayaking, on road trips, out for coffee at cafes and ultimately taught her what it was like to be truly a part of a family.

Hessie was eventually ready for adoption in December 2018 after months of recovering. Hessie’s new family spotted her on SPCA’s website, and decided to drive four hours from Napier and stay the weekend at Raglan to meet Hessie and learn more about her. “It was love at first sight, and the new family didn’t want to leave Hessie while they made the adoption official. So I drove to Raglan from Hamilton that weekend to finalise the adoption on site for them,” says Laura. “It was lovely to see Hessie with her new forever family.”

A life of Love

Hessie went from chained to cherished and is now living the life she deserves. She constantly wants to play and loves to head out on little adventures with her new adoptive parents. It was a rough start to life for Hessie, but now she has love and affection on tap and her training is coming along nicely.

“We are so happy with this happy ending – Hessie couldn't be more deserving after such a rough start to life and now she has the best life any animal could ask for.” says Laura.

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