July 22, 2011


Diamond flourishing under SPCA care

Dog living well beyond original bleak prognosis

TriathlonBob Ellis/staff photographer
The SPCA’s Bill Carr feeds a biscuit to Diamond, a German shepherd with cancer that has managed to live much longer than expected.

Living and Leisure Editor

When Diamond the dog was given six months to live, SPCA officials decided they wouldn’t adopt her out.
“We took (that idea) off the table right away,” said Sandy Snyder, shelter manager at the Cortland Community SPCA.
“The dog was diagnosed with cancer when we went and had her spayed,” said Bill Carr, SPCA investigator at the McLean Road animal shelter in Cortlandville.
The veterinarian performed surgery to remove several tumors, but wasn’t sure they were all removed, Carr said on Wednesday.
“They gave her a prognosis of six months to live,” Carr said.
Now the German shepherd, abandoned by its owner a year ago, is living six months longer than expected and looks as healthy as a puppy. About 11 years old, she is vital and energetic and is known to bounce and dance about.
When SPCA officials first met her after her Cuyler owner abandoned her, she was skinny, with a lot of hair loss and a skin problem on her back end.
“She became a mascot,” Carr said. And the staff started spoiling her.
“We were giving her cheeseburgers,” said Snyder. “She likes McDonalds,” said Carr, who was also secretly sneaking her Gainesburgers in his office. Dustin Burleigh, an investigator with the SPCA, visits with her every day and slips her a treat as well.
“We thought she was dying but then she was gaining weight,” said Snyder. “And by the time the six months stretched out, we were too attached. This is her home,” she said. “That all being said, if someone came forward that we thought could provide a better home, we would let her be adopted,” said Snyder.
The dog gets has free reign behind the SPCA counter. She also spends time in the kennel. At night, she has no problem going into her kennel space.
“She’s just a sweet dog,” said Carr. “Generally, she gets along with any dogs in the office here,” said Snyder. But Carr said she is a one dog person. Sometimes she gets jealous of other dogs.
Snyder said her constant appetite is probably from being bred so many times and constantly needing food. “That dog would eat nonstop if you let her,” Carr said.
Snyder was impressed how quickly she recovered from the tumor removal surgery.
“She never showed any sign of pain. Sometimes she literally bounces,” she said.
“Are you sure she still has cancer?” she asked the vet. The vet said the test showed cancer quite clearly. But SPCA officials will not do any more testing to see if it’s gone.
“She’s been through enough,” said Snyder.
Diamond has her own Facebook page. Type ccspcadiamond into your browser to access her Web presence.
“She’s a very happy dog. If it were otherwise, we would do something different,” Snyder said.


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