WATCH: Willow the severely emaciated husky mix went home with her new family today. Willow continued to charm everyone, including the media, as she prepared to leave the SPCA.
VANCOUVER – Willow, the Siberian husky found wandering and starving in Maple Ridge, is going to her new and forever home today.
“Willow is doing incredibly well – she’s gained more than nine kilograms since coming into BC SPCA care,” said Maple Ridge SPCA assistant branch manager Faydra Nichols. “She’s a completely different dog – much stronger, much more interested in the people – and animals – around her, and she loves to run and go for car rides and long walks by the river. She absolutely loves going into the water – it’s hard to keep her out!”
When Willow was rescued she weighed only 15 kg and should have weighed around 24 kg.
Willow, estimated to be between one and two years old, was brought to the Maple Ridge SPCA by a Good Samaritan on Jan. 31. She was found wandering near 256th and 128th Street.
“She [had] been assessed with a score of “one” on the canine body conditioning scale of one to nine, meaning that she is severely malnourished,” said BC SPCA senior animal protection officer Eileen Drever when Willow was first found.
“When she first came in she was unable to lie down due to abdominal pain caused by rocks and soil in her gastrointestinal tract. There were no food remnants in her stomach so we think she was eating gravel to try to stay alive.”
After her story was made public, a number of people stepped forward to adopt Willow, including the Good Samaritan who found her. However, Willow needs to go to an experienced home.
“We are so grateful to the many, many applicants who applied to give this darling girl a new and better home, including the Good Samaritan who found her and brought her to the SPCA,” said Nichols. “Because of her past, she has a number of behaviours that will need continued work by someone with breed experience. We were fortunate enough to find a family who has experience with this breed and they’re so happy to include Willow as a new, furry family member.”
Willow’s former owner has been identified as a Coquitlam resident and university student in his 20s. The BC SPCA’s Cruelty Investigations Department have recommended animal cruelty charges under both the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the Criminal Code of Canada. No charges have been laid at this time and the man’s name has not been released.
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