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Homeward Bound: Penelope, the 12-Year-Old Rat Terrier

Written by: Kimberly Ring

Penelope Came to AHS as a Stray, Frightened and Unable to be Handled.

Though Penelope, a 12-year-old Rat Terrier, snapped and cowered away from any form of contact, AHS was not ready to give up on this pup. Through patience, understanding, and countless time with the behavior team, Penelope slowly learned to trust people again. Like many of the animals who arrive as strays at AHS, Penelope's past was totally unknown. She may have been abused, neglected, or simply fended for herself her whole life. In her first exam with AHS' medical team, she was discovered to have heavy dental tartar, stiffness walking, patches of hair loss throughout her body, and a wound below her right eye. The behavior team also worked tirelessly on Penelope's defensive nature with humans. It is possible that she had never interacted with humans, or at least not positively, so the team knew it was very important to gain her trust. Over time, she began to enjoy the company of her human friends. She even learned how to properly walk on a leash and before anyone knew it, she was jumping into the laps of strangers! AHS' Homeward Bound project is an adoptions expedition program that will place dogs that are in the final stages of recovery from pre-approved medical and behavior issues for adoption on an accelerated timeline. This project will reduce length of stay and kennel stress for dogs that would otherwise not be available to the public, which will also increase recovery kennel space for newly treated dogs and improve flow. Through AHS' Homeward Bound program, adult dogs like Penelope who need extra attention from the behavior team are given a second chance at happiness by accelerating their adoption process. Thanks to the help and support of the Pedigree Foundation, Penelope’s confidence in people has been restored and she is able to continue to thrive in a happy home. After just one day on the adoption floor, this sweet girl won over the hearts of her new family! Adopting a pet is an extremely rewarding decision, and we’re here to help you pick out the perfect furry family member. When you adopt a pet, not only are you adding to your family, you’re saving a life. All of our pets are waiting to give you their unconditional love and introduce you to the joy of pet ownership!


March 28, 2017