Jada makes remarkable recovery

Published 10:21 pm Saturday, August 20, 2011

After seeing Jada’s sweet, fun-loving nature, it would be hard to guess that she was abused and neglected.

It was only eight months ago that Animal Control officers found the 4-year-old boxer mix unresponsive at her owner’s home. Her body temperature was more than 30 degrees less than normal, and her heart rate was only a quarter of what it should have been.

She had a short leash wrapped around her neck, had no food or water, was lying in her own waste and had numerous health problems from neglect and over-breeding.

This 4-year-old boxer mix named Jada lived on a chain until she was discovered by Animal Control officers this winter. She now has her own team for the Mutt Strut.

Email newsletter signup

“She’s an example of what happens when a companion animal is not in the hands of a responsible pet owner,” said Kay Hurley, director of community outreach for the Suffolk Humane Society. “She’s an example of what sometimes happens to dogs who live on chains.”

When Jada was found, she was taken to Bennett’s Creek Veterinary Care, where a doctor recommended euthanizing her right away. But then, he saw a spark in her eyes and decided to wait 24 hours.

“If she wasn’t improved in that 24 hours, they were going to euthanize her,” said Ellisse Parker, Jada’s foster mother. “She was a bag of bones. You could feel every bone in her entire body. But I looked into her eyes and I could see the exact same spark.”

Against all the odds, Jada has made a remarkable recovery and is now in foster care. Her abuser was found guilty of cruelty to animals.

“She is doing so amazing,” Parker said. “You would not really know where she came from if you met her today.”

Jada now weighs about 55 pounds and boasts a shiny coat and few health problems. She loves attention and has never met a stranger, Parker said.

In honor of her remarkable recovery, Team Jada has formed for the fourth annual Mutt Strut Dog Walk and Festival. The event, a fundraiser for the humane society, is set for Sept. 18 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Sleepy Hole Park.

“We decided to form Team Jada in Jada’s honor, both to create awareness about her need for a permanent home and to create awareness about animals who are abused and neglected,” Parker said.

According to Hurley, Jada is a remarkable case. Part of the humane society’s community education involves trying to convince dog owners not to put them on chains.

Dogs who live on chains can develop numerous problems, Hurley said. They can get tangled in their chain, and the chain can catch their food and water bowls and spill them. Living on a chain makes them more fearful and likely to bite. They get bored, are subjected to the elements and, if left there too long, are living in their own waste products.

“They are companion animals,” Hurley said. “They deserve better. Jada is a happy story. She brings attention to the misery and suffering of a lot of dogs.”

To help dogs like Jada, find out more information on the Mutt Strut by visiting www.suffolkhumanesociety.com.