Lost dog has a new home

Husky found starving in east Maple Ridge a month ago adopted by family in Langley.

Maple Ridge BC SPCA's assistant manager Faydra Nichols joins Willow for one last photo before the husky heads to its new home in Langley.

Maple Ridge BC SPCA's assistant manager Faydra Nichols joins Willow for one last photo before the husky heads to its new home in Langley.

Willow, the emaciated Siberian husky rescued by the SCPA in Maple Ridge early in February, has found a new home.

The dog was adopted by a family from Walnut Grove in Langley on Monday.

The new owners, who asked not to have their names published, were excited to offer Willow a new home. However, the new owner said she wasn’t drawn to the dog because of its notoriety.

“This is our fifth rescue dog we’ve adopted,” said the Langley resident.

“We just lost our malamute to old age a few weeks ago and we initally came here about a different dog.”

She said they have always been drawn to rescue dogs because they seem the most vulnerable. She said their last dog was around 10 years old when they adopted it.

“Quite often, it’s their last chance to give them another home, so why not?”

Willow, the Siberian husky they adopted is much younger.

She’s estimated to be between one and two years old. She weighed only 15 kilograms, below a normal weight of 24 kg, when she was rescued.

Willow had been assessed with a score of “one” on the canine body-conditioning scale of one to nine, meaning she was severely malnourished when it was first brought into the Maple Ridge Community Animal Centre.

Willow then was taken to the Dewdney Animal Hospital, where she received around-the-clock care.

At first, she was unable to lie down due to abdominal pain caused by rocks and soil in her gastrointestinal tract.

Faydra Nichols, the assistant manager at the Maple Ridge SPCA, said Willow has come a long way since she was first brought into their care.

She said she’s gained more than nine kilograms and is recovering emotionally

“She’s becoming quite the husky, with all it’s normal traits. She loves car rides, long walks and going in the water any chance she gets,” said Nichols.

She said while they had received numerous requests for adoption, potential owners had to meet the dog’s best interests.

“Willow has specific behavioral traits that people need to be aware of,” said Nichols.

Husky’s are considered highly intelligent said Nichols, and need lots of stimulation.

She said Willow is no different. Nichols said they worked on basic commands and impulse control with the dog, and Willow showed tremendous improvement since it first came to the SPCA.

So it was time for the adoption.

“It’s hard seeing her go.”

The dog’s original owner has been identified as a Coquitlam resident and university student.

The BC SPCA has said there is enough evidence to go forward with animal cruelty charges under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the Criminal Code. There has been no word from Crown counsel on whether charges will be laid.