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Home / Articles / Columnists / Dog World with Tina /  A Home for Annie
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Friday, September 6,2019

A Home for Annie

By Tina Valant-Siebelts  

Broward County residents Susan Traas and Jim Legender were worried. Their devoted dog Cayman was not acting like himself.


It seemed like he had gas, with difficulty breathing. They whisked the 10-yearold, 70-pound dog to the vet. He succumbed to bloat on May 20. Questioning themselves about how this happened made Cayman’s unexpected departure immeasurably difficult. Their house no longer felt like home. They consoled themselves by looking at pictures, and recalling his emancipation from the Cayman Islands as a young pup by the Humane Society of Broward County. They smile at all the wonderful years and adventures shared. Jim made it clear, he was apprehensive about ever opening his heart to experiencing this kind of pain again. Susan had a feeling the right dog would come, at the right time. They went along in their routines, but missed having a dog, the walks, and love.

Five months prior, on New Year’s Eve in Miami, a light brown “Pibble” clung to life, abandoned in a shopping cart. She resembled a skeleton. Her ears had been shorn, nearly to her protruding skull; yet she mustered the energy to wag her boney bottom. Covered in fleas and ticks, she weighed just 23 pounds. There was also a serious issue with her lady parts. Miami Dade Police summoned Paw Patrol Animal Rescue, a 501(c)3, founded in 2015 and led by Cristy Torres. ( “I was speechless. I just could not believe someone could be so cruel to an innocent animal. I was speaking with Annie (Paw Patrol Rescue’s VP), when Gloria called me about the dog she had just picked up. On impulse, I named her Annie”, Cristy stated. She was taken to Knowles Animal Hospital. Her prognosis was guarded, with more than one life-threatening issue. Her initial veterinary care estimate was high, without any guarantee of survival. Paw Patrol Rescue took to social media for financial assistance. Annie was not amiable with other dogs, which tossed an additional wrench into any future placement.

The team of vets estimated her to be five or six years old, and to have led a very rough life, most likely used as a breeder and/or bait dog. Her female issue was diagnosed as pyometra (infection of the uterus), requiring immediate attention and antibiotics. Lacking any muscle, her iron and B12 levels were barely readable; an autoimmune issue was also suspected. Her prognosis was grim, as her care estimate was rising, even with a substantial rescue discount. Paw Patrol Rescue fans would not give up on this emaciated Pibble. Kind thoughts, caring words and lots of prayers flowed in with needed funds. Cristy and her volunteers remained hopeful that she would survive, and began soliciting for a foster home where she could recover after her release.

After almost three weeks, Annie went to a foster home with other dogs. This required hypervigilance to keep Annie and their other dogs apart. Her sweet personality and loving disposition was unveiled, and they nicknamed her Annie Cakes. She was a fast learner, gentle, loved people, and had no issues with food or resources. Her videos were viewed thousands of times, but not one application was received. In May, the fosters informed the rescue they were being transferred out of the area and would need to return Annie. As a last resort, she would be boarded. She had already come so far, surviving brutality, neglect and medical issues. She would not do well in boarding. Paw Patrol went to warp speed to find Annie’s forever home or a foster-to-adopt situation. “With appreciation to Knowles’ vets and staff, Annie’s life was saved. Due to the kindness and overwhelming generosity of Paw Patrol Rescue’s fans, fosters and adopters, her (nearly $10,000) bill was covered”, added Cristy.

Cayman’s mom Susan had kept up with Annie’s story and progress. She dropped hints to Jim that maybe they could help. He wasn’t ready. Weeks rolled by, Paw Patrol Rescue was exhausting all avenues to find a soft (dogless) spot for Annie to land. Things were not looking good. Then Susan said to Jim, “Maybe we could foster Annie?” With less than 24 hours to spare, Cristy brought Annie over on June 22. Annie sauntered in and sniffed Cayman’s regular spots. She looked at Susan and Jim, as if to say, “I understand.” “She made herself right at home, climbing onto the sofa,” Susan shared, smiling. Annie went right to work on winning Jim over. They bonded immediately. She hates rain, loves her many toys and maintains her 9:30 pm bedtime. Susan and Jim agree, “Within 48 hours, we knew: Annie was home.”


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