Loving home sought for terminally ill dog at Woodward Center in Rancho Santa Fe
By City News Service
The Helen Woodward Animal Center put out a call Aug. 13 for a big-hearted household willing to adopt a dog that survived Hurricane Sandy only to be diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.
Rio, a 5-year-old black Labrador retriever blend, arrived at the Rancho Santa Fe animal center last November along with other dogs and cats that had been in an East Coast shelter when the catastrophic storm hit and left the facility uninhabitable.
Though Rio’s advanced illness has left her with a prognosis of only months to live, she remains “an incredibly affectionate dog with the people she gets to know and love,’’ according to HWAC animal trainer Rob Kuty.
“But she needs a very special home due to her condition,’’ Kuty noted.
Rio, who has been prescribed several medications, would do best in a low-key household with one or two adults and a fenced-in yard, according to staffers at the animal center. She cannot go hiking or jogging but enjoys short, slow walks, they say. Also, her condition has precluded a spay surgery.
“Animals know when they’re sick, but they can’t process what is actually happening to them,’’ Kuty said. “Because of this, she is timid when she meets new people, can get stressed at times and likes the security of her crate. She is exceptionally sweet with other dogs and cats, but it’s important that she stays fairly calm, so mellow pet friends are best.’’
Upon hearing Rio’s story, Del Mar Albertsons/Sav-On Pharmacy store director Shaye Holden called the animal center with an offer to cover the costs of Rio’s medication expenses for any foster family willing to take her into their home.
“We’re hoping this gesture will motivate someone in the community to welcome Rio into their family,’’ Holden said.
Anyone interested in adopting Rio or getting more information about her is asked to call (858) 756-4117, ext. 375.
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