Neglected Dog Gets Pacemaker And New Home

SunnySunny, a 13-year-old chow-husky mix, spent most of her life tied to a tree near an empty house in Connecticut.

She finally was rescued by animal control officers in January.

When Sunny was taken to the animal shelter, workers had to cut 30 pounds of matted hair and feces from her fur. She also was mostly deaf, extremely underweight, and had a heart rate 50 percent compared to a normal dog.

Gregg Rapoport, a cardiologist for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said it seemed that Sunny had endured a pattern of neglect. But he added that despite being abandoned for most of her life, Sunny had the “right spirit.”

Fortunately for Sunny, someone was looking out for her welfare. A neighbor spoke to the animal shelter about Sunny and her health, and she started to raise around $6,000 for Sunny’s medical treatment, which also included a pacemaker for Sunny to help her weak heart.

Sunny has recovered from her surgery and is doing well. A month after her surgery, Rapoport, the man that helped this neglected dog, decided to adopt her and give her a loving home.

“Although she was tied to a tree for 13 years, she doesn’t show any sign of looking back,” Rapoport said.

Source: Boston Globe

16 Responses to “Neglected Dog Gets Pacemaker And New Home”

  1. Lynne says:

    Good for the people who rescued her but why did it take so long?

  2. Nora and Rufus says:

    Long suffering Sunny. So sad that she had to endure so many years of lonliness and neglect. Can’t you imagine all those years she wondered why no one loved her. So wonderful that she now has a loving home. I hope they indulge her with ultra care and hug and kiss her everyday, many times a day!!!!!

  3. catmom5 says:

    My thoughts exactly. Why was she left tied to that tree for so long? However, I’m delighted that Sunny was rescued, finally, and that she has a home with someone who loves her and is willing to take such good care of her. She deserves no less.

  4. mittens says:

    i believe gregg rapaport was my persian cat’s cardiologist….

  5. dewclaw says:

    How could anyone be so cruel,,, so thankful sunny gets to enjoy a little love and comfort before she leaves this earth, God bless the one who saved her, wish it had been sooner,,,,,,

  6. Vettech says:

    I want to know why they spent that much money on an old dog when many puppies and other very adoptable dogs were most likely killed while they raised the 6 thousand for the surgery. And then to top it all off the surgeon keeps the dogs, so he charges for the surgery, does the surgery and gets to keep the dog, doesn’t seem ethical, if he wanted the dog he should have donated the surgery in the first place. It may seem harsh but 6 thousand could have saved many dogs and cats lives and spayed and neutered many animals.

  7. mittens says:

    a private individual raised the money- she can opt to spend it on any animal she pleases old or young- it’s really not for anyone else to say she ought not have done it. we have no right to expect other people to save the whole damn world just because we might think it would be ‘ better’ for a poor old dog to die so other people’s lack of responsibilty can be addressed.

    i took in a 10 year old very difficult cat from a shelter to save her from being euthanized as ‘ unadoptable’. i paid my 100 plus and took her home. did i waste money that should have been spent on saving a younger , healthier cat or on spaying 4 or 5 cats at the low cost clinic? would that have been the humane thing to do or just the selfrighteous holier than thou thing? i’ll spend my money on whatever i opt to and i dont care what anyone thinks of it. i love my old sick and or/ difficult should be dead so other cats can live pound rejects- i wouldnt part with them for the world and i’ll sink 6000 into them if i think it would save them. most of my girls were saved from instant death due to age or being feral. others, like this dog, were sponsored by private individuals who paid for their care and medical needs while they resided in the shelters waiting for adoption. without the private intervention they would have required care the shelter itself couldnt afford and thus may have been euthanized if someone wasnt generous enough to provide the funds.the shelter didnt allocate funds inappropriately-someone opted to sponsor a particular’s a common enough practice.

    a dog such as this requiring special care would have been very hard to place-seeing how further expensive care is probably required. that the doctor- who i have met and who seems like a nice enough caring guy in person not a greedy dog napper as is eluded to here-was kind enough to adopt her should be lauded not used as the basis of groundless negative speculation.

    really, it’s a bit much to crank about saving the life of this poor creature who certainly deserves some time on this earth as a cherished pet after years of abuse. even if a doctor donates their services the hospitals charge for operating room time, post op, the pace maker, drugs etc etc-it’s itemized down to the cotton balls.walking through the door at one of the hospitals this particular cardiologist works at costs over 200 bucks.if you dont have the money they basically drop kick you and your sick pet through the exit door. a life saved is a life saved not an excuse to chastise generous individuals for their kindness and by implication making those who are the caring, the givers entirely responsible for the neglect and irresponsibility of others.perhaps our negativity and lectures are better focused on those creatingthe pet over population and abuse problem not on those actually doing something unbelievable kind and gracious.

  8. Lynn says:


    Maybe, just maybe, the ones that had a really hard life deserve a little peace. And if it costs $6000, so be it.

    And if you go by the numbers, it’s true, the life of one old dog was spared in lieu possibly helping many puppies and kittens. But kittens and puppies are often cute enough to find homes just by looking cute.

    As far as the vet taking the dog…..perhaps no one else offered, considering the future medical care/costs that will be needed.

    I agree with Mittens, “Perhaps our negativity and lectures are better focused on those creating the pet over population and abuse problem - not on those actually doing something unbelievably kind and gracious.”

  9. shibadiva says:

    Many folk whose pets have been involved in the pet food recall have ploughed (Canadian spelling) that and more into saving their animals, whatever their ages. I don’t expect the people in the forums said, “My cat is old, so I’ll let her go and just get a kitten.” My 11 year old rescue cat has had at least that amount thrown at her vet bills this year and none of it is recall-related.

    Why does it have to be either-or or a focus on ROI? This sounds like the argument some folks make over money spent on pets that could have gone to feed starving children. Why not do both?

    Maybe if we pay attention to Nathan Winograd, it won’t be either-or some day. In this case, a lovely starfish was thrown back into the sea and saved. One at a time, and it made all the difference in the world to this starfish.

    Dog help us when we get old, and are of no value…

  10. Jenny Bark says:

    This is such a sad but wondeful story. I am so happy for Sunny for each & every day she has. I pray living with the Dr. she will have a lot of them. 13 years of pure he!! and still being a happy girl that is really something. One day sometimes can be like a lifetime.

    People have a right to spend their money the way they want to & with money getting tight I think people are rethinking how they spend it. I will no longer give what I worked hard for when the people at the top make big bucks & imo don’t spend it wisly, and or make changes to make a difference. I would have been happy to give to Sunny for just the chance of her having one great day. I’m not rich or even have a lot of $ but I do give but only to whom I choose. I’m tired of the same old story & no difference in the #, sorry but that’s just the way I feel.

  11. nancy says:

    it took CT animal control that long to figure out she was neglected! WOW! Are they that sharp with criminals, too? What happened to the person who tied her to the tree? there should be a warrant out for that person…….

  12. Lynn says:

    Nancy’s right - ought to be a warrant out for the former owner AND serious retraining of the CT animal control. Appalling. My heart breaks for all the years that poor dog suffered. So in my book $6000 is a cheap price to pay for one dog to have some enjoyment [finally!] in life.

  13. Lynne says:

    If you sacrifice one life to save five is that a bargain?

    Not if you believe that every life has value.

  14. Radcliff, Allie, Luna, & Ozzie says:

    Is it just us, or have the trolls been getting thicker on Itchmo lately?

  15. Lynn says:

    Lynne: EVERY LIFE HAS VALUE…….and every life deserves to have good days. So you would kill all those that are old and use up resources? What about a severely handicapped child using lots of government resources….would you toss him out in favor of spending the money on milk for the kids in a school?

    It’s about quality of life, too, Lynne. And the puppies and kittens referred to earlier in this blog have already experienced decency in life. This old dog has not. Not one day of a good life until his surgery. And you would deprive him of that one day?

    You need to remember that we are not bargain basement shopping here.

  16. Juanita S. Ross says:

    Oh Boy! This opens up a soapbox for me. Tell me why people are selfish enough to keep this stuff going? San Mateo had a huge dog problem (it showed the dogs piled on a wagon for the dump after they had been put down) several years ago. People were being attached. The responsibility lies on US. We need to put an end to this type of stuff or WE are to blame (Every one of us). County/State wide spay and neuter fee to begin with. If you are caught breeding dogs/cats/ferrets/penguins without a license, you are fined a stiff fine. Then you obtain license, shots, and you find them homes. Then, tell me why she sat for so long where she sat without someone intervening. Somewhere a dog person was aware she was sitting in this garbage. Just like no one noticed the 13 year old kid tied to a tree????? If the person who rescued her helped her out, good for them. Those that point fingers are partially the problem on the other end and the solution. So, get busy, and start a petition for spay/neuter before you point fingers. This is what I am considering here if I get time. I have four cats and two dogs. All rescue or part of a litter somewhere that someone let happen. I also helped an old horse out that was a cool old pony. He had been rolled down a mountain and provided no vet care for the injuries, etc., etc. (some good human’s judgment, I’m sure). But was a great horse and just needed to be a horse. So I paid his vet bills and gave him that. There are millions of horse right now being sent to Mexico where they are hacked to death, and others sent to Europe where they become horse steaks. Want to take that one on? Thanks for listening. Juanita S. Ross

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