A life of neglect; sometimes they wrote it on their face, body and soul. If you are an animal lover, seeing that look of deprivation, fear and helplessness in a pet is heartbreaking. I find it especially heartbreaking when it comes to an older animal who has obviously suffered for years. This is the case with our little Bonita, a mixed breed dog found in Bridgeton and around 10 years old.

She has a long list of physical issues and has that look in her moving eyes as if she has carried the weight of the world on her shoulders. When I first laid eyes on her, she was lying on a bed in her intake kennel with her head bowed, her eyes following me but too scared to recognize me in this strange new place. Defeated. That’s the word that came to my mind as soon as I saw her.

Obviously, that wouldn’t do. Anything that could be done to make sure that this poor little girl never suffered adversity again had to start happening then.

First step – get medical attention. She had a terrible flea infestation and judging by her appearance, she had suffered from the parasites for a very long time. She has huge bald patches on her back, tail, and legs, where her skin was red with irritation and open sores.

She was very skinny and needed treatment for tapeworms caused by her flea infestation. What was really telling were the bruises on both ears. Her left ear is bent and shriveled from an old bruise, and her right ear is swollen like a balloon, filled with fluid from furiously scratching her itchy skin.

She has a lump on her right front paw that will need to be removed and tested during sterilization. His teeth are broken and decayed. She is also showing signs of having had many, many litters of puppies. Considering his general condition, I can only imagine the fate of all these puppies.

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So, in the future, how do we put Bonita on the right track?

Two things are of critical importance; seek treatment for his medical needs and help him regain his senses.

She is very personable and the staff gave her special attention to help her feel safe and give her a reason to trust humans. She was put on preventive treatment against fleas and ticks as well as treatment for intestinal parasites and antibiotics for her skin.

Now that she is gaining weight and feeling a little better, the vet will decide whether it is better to drain her ear or leave her to heal on her own and what to do with her dental problems.

She may seem a little rough around the edges, but she is a “keeper”. She will make a great companion for a lucky person or family. If you would like to give the precious girl a chance to live the life she deserves, or even just donate for her care, we would love to have you a part in saving Bonita.

Shelter needs: Chow for kittens without red dyes; canned pâté style food for dogs, cats and kittens; treats for dogs and cats; dog chewing; rope toys; small fleece blankets for pets; hand towels; liquid hand soap; and gift cards for pet food stores and grocery stores.

Address of the refuge: 1244 N. Delsea Drive in Vineland.

To submit an adoption form for one of the Pets of the Week or another animal at the shelter, visit https://southjerseyregionalanimalshelter.org/forms/adoption-questionnaire.

To volunteer, email the Volunteer Coordinator at [email protected]

For more information on SJRAS, call (856) 691-1500 or visit southjerseyregionalanimalshelter.org or SJRASVineland on Facebook.

Drexy

DOGS OF THE WEEK

Bonita is a very gentle 10 year old mixed breed. This little darling came to the shelter like a stray animal in terrible condition. She seems to have endured years of neglect, but somehow it hasn’t changed her loving and happy spirit. Bonita just wants to love and be loved.

Fiona he has got everything! She is gorgeous, super nice, and has a loving, eager to please personality. This lively young puppy knows seated command, loves treats, and wants to be someone’s new best friend.

Autumn is a very sweet 2 year old stone mix. She is small, only 37 pounds. Although small in stature, autumn has a huge heart. She is adorable, engaging and fun. This sweetheart will make someone a wonderful friend forever.

Pebble is a beautiful 2 year old boxer mix. She is a typical boxer, active, cheerful and engaging. This young girl will need a little work on basic dog manners, but she is smart and ready to learn. Due to its high activity level, it would not be suitable for a home with young children.

Drexy is a very pretty one year old pit bull terrier. She’s calm, smart, and ready to be someone’s new best friend. He is a good dog who needs a loving home forever.

Gromit is a 2 year old beagle. He’s a great little dog, adorable freckles on his paws to a white tip on his tail! While most beagles always have their noses on the ground, Gromit absolutely loves people and his full attention is on them. He has such a sweet personality and even knows how to sit and give paw commands. He is a beloved young dog who needs to be in a loving home.

Donald is a big boy! He is a 5 year old pit bull terrier, who weighs over 70 pounds. Donald is friendly, but very strong and will need some training in basic dog manners, including walking on a leash. He knows the seated order and loves treats. He’s a nice boy and will fit in well in the right house.

Destin, Kelly, Beyoncé and Michelle

CATS OF THE WEEK

Jupiter is an affectionate and silly 1 year old cat who is looking for his home forever! Her stunning beauty and loving personality are to die for!

Turn signal is the sweetest cat in the shelter! If you are looking for a sweet cat with a personality that you will love, then Blinker is the cat for you!

Four female kittens (destiny, a white and tabby, Kelly, a white with orange, Beyonce, a tabby, and Michele, a gray) arrived at the shelter in June as tiny, scared and wheezing babies. All have gradually come closer and will allow you to stroke and pick them up. They also purr when you give them treats!

Tangé is an adorable kitten who has spent time with a foster family. If you’d like to meet him, drop by PetSmart in Millville.

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