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The story of Bright Eyes: From dumped in a box to happiness


The story of Bright Eyes: From dumped in a box to happily adopted

Bright Eyes, the dog that captured the sympathy of thousands of Aucklanders since she was found severely emaciated in a cardboard box in January this year, has finally found her forever home.

SPCA Auckland Senior Inspector Kevin Plowright, who has fostered Bright Eyes since March, has decided to make her a permanent part of his family where she will be free to happily roam his 10-acre block.

It has been a six-month road to recovery for the dog that was found dumped in appalling condition in a cardboard box at the end of a driveway in Alfriston Road, Manurewa on Friday 27 January 2012.

Bright Eyes was discovered by a member of the public in the box, shivering, emaciated, and so weak she could not stand.

“Her bones were showing through her skin, her claws were seriously overgrown, and she was close to death,” says SPCA Auckland CEO Christine Kalin.

“This case stands as one of the most extreme examples of animal cruelty and neglect we have witnessed. Yet despite the best efforts of Police and SPCA, as well as widespread media coverage, the culprit has never been found.
“And although our dedicated staff have managed to salvage this abused animal and nurse her back to physical health, the emotional and psychological harm will be with Bright Eyes for the rest of her life.”

Senior Inspector Kevin Plowright says the change in her physical health is nothing short of miraculous.

“You almost wouldn’t recognise her now. You certainly wouldn’t think that she was the same dog that was in the papers,” says Mr Plowright.

“I still remember the first time I saw Bright Eyes. Lying in the hospital, hairless and scared. She was so thin and weak she couldn’t even stand. Now she races out to the van every morning, excited to go to work.

“However, Bright Eyes isn’t out of the woods yet. She has had behavioural problems and can be aggressive around food. Food once meant literally life or death to her, so it was worth fighting for. She can also become aggressive when she’s scared. But we’ve been working hard and she is now a lot more relaxed when eating, and calmer when meeting new people.”

Mr Plowright believes the support of the many people who emailed and donated in response to Bright Eyes’ story helped her to pull through.

“Bright Eyes is a dog that will go down in SPCA history. Her name will be remembered with the likes of Job and Eve, other dogs that saw the worst of human nature and yet never lost the ability to love. People from all over the world heard about her story and have followed her though this journey.

“To now be able to give her the home she deserves is nothing short of a privilege.

“I want to say thank you to everyone who has followed her story and sent donations and words of encouragement. Everyone played a part in this success. We can all be proud of what we have achieved.”

In the meantime, the work of rescuing, rehabilitating, and re-homing dogs and other animals goes on. SPCA Auckland is currently overflowing with dogs so from Saturday 11 August until Sunday 19 August, the organisation is running a special campaign to encourage people to adopt dogs.

“Entitled ‘Exercise your heart – Adopt a dog’, the campaign can save prospective dog owners up to 40% of the normal adoption fees,” says Ms Kalin.
“It means you could provide a loving forever home for a dog who has had a hard time and deserves a break in life. If you’re considering adding a canine member to the family, now is a good time to do it.”

SPCA Auckland is empowered under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 to protect all animals from abuse, neglect, and abandonment, and to prosecute people who break this law. To report such cases, please phone 09 256 7300.



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