You could say that we're used to seeing transformations at the Richmond SPCA. After all, some pets come to us at arguably the worst time of their lives. But once they arrive, they experience a world of care waiting for them, and with it, another chance at living a life – a good life.
Our admissions team was visiting Buckingham Animal Control in November when they came across Maurice, although he was not named Maurice just yet. "He was a wet, dirty stray beagle who showed us he wasn't too fond of other dogs," explained admissions counselor Amber Garcia. Unfortunately the team could not transfer him that day due to space constraints but asked Buckingham to hold him until a kennel was available. A few days later the beagle was in the care of the Richmond SPCA, and the admissions team named him Maurice after an animal control officer at Buckingham with whom he shared a kind, low-key personality.
Upon intake, however, our animal care team noticed a marked change in Maurice's physical condition. "He was trembling and drooling and just didn't look okay," said Garcia. The next several days turned out to be very important for Maurice as he underwent medical tests and examinations to determine what was wrong. Blood work and a full-body radiograph concluded Maurice was suffering from Spondylitis, inflammation and compression of the spinal cord, which was causing him severe neck pain. In addition, Lyme Disease and Ehrlichia, both tick-borne diseases which attack bones and joints, were discovered. "He would hold his head down and scream in pain any time you tried to touch him," recounted veterinary assistant Clarissa Davis.
Today, Maurice is a changed dog. The animal care staff began a treatment plan including pain and anti-inflammatory medications to treat the Spondylitis and antibiotics for the Lyme Disease and Ehrlicia, and his response was magnificent. Davis said, "He has done fantastic on the medications and seems like a totally different dog!"
In no time, the dog who was once in too much pain to be gently touched was asking for attention at every chance. Amber Garcia, who met Maurice at Buckingham Animal Control, said, "Maurice is one in a million. Of all the dogs I've transferred in my time at the Richmond SPCA, Maurice holds a special place in my heart. He is the cuddliest, sweetest boy, despite all he's been through."
While Maurice patiently awaits adoption, our staff who interact with him daily are grateful for the time spent with this special guy. Every day they tell new stories about his loving antics and share new photos. Below are a few.
We know that Maurice will soon find a family who loves him for everything he has been and is becoming – one that is able to manage his physical ailments while reveling in his endearing pleas for affection. Until then, Maurice will continue to bring smiles to the faces of everyone he encounters at our Robins-Starr Humane Center.
Abbey Howarth is the communications specialist for the Richmond SPCA. To read her biography or that of our other bloggers, please click here. Before posting a comment, please review our comment guidelines. Please note that our comment policy requires both your first and last name to be used as your screen name.