The Life of Riley...

Posted by Pia

Riley, a senior maltese/poodle mix, was not always living 'the life of Riley.' When a little stray ball of matted grey fur was brought into a southern California shelter, kennel workers began to call him Snowball. Snowball was in bad shape- he had been severely neglected and for some reason he had been doused in a pine sol type cleaning product, which is very toxic for animals....

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The shelter deemed his neglect too severe to remedy so they reached out to the community with a final plea to get him help-Alisa & Faye stepped in immediately as his lifeline & advocates.

1 The shelter deemed his neglect too severe to remedy so they reached out to the community with a final plea to get him help-Alisa & Faye stepped in immediately as his lifeline & advocates.

This poor guy was just howling at the walls- temporarily blind and burning from the toxins and now deaf from untreated ear infections that led to ruptured ear drums.

2 This poor guy was just howling at the walls- temporarily blind and burning from the toxins and now deaf from untreated ear infections that led to ruptured ear drums.

When all of the rescue groups contacted said that Snowball's medical expenses would be too much for them, Alisa and Faye secured a second chance for him through SPOT rescue group.

3 When all of the rescue groups contacted said that Snowball's medical expenses would be too much for them, Alisa and Faye secured a second chance for him through SPOT rescue group.

Having been through so much, many in the community felt this sweet pooch simply had to have a chance at happiness and love.

4 Having been through so much, many in the community felt this sweet pooch simply had to have a chance at happiness and love.

The caring folks at Dexter's deli pet supply store in Carlsbad California wanted to help!

5 The caring folks at Dexter's deli pet supply store in Carlsbad California wanted to help!

Jamie & Josh at Dexter's Deli were tremendous advocates for Snowball.

6 Jamie & Josh at Dexter's Deli were tremendous advocates for Snowball.

Dexter's caring customers donated money for Snowball's medical fund and signed a

7 Dexter's caring customers donated money for Snowball's medical fund and signed a "Snowball Paw Print" which was displayed at the Carlsbad store

Snowball was speechless!

8 Snowball was speechless! "Look at how many people care about me....all of these Paw Prints just for me?"

Many people donated in the name of their own rescued animals who, Like Snowball, had once needed help!

9 Many people donated in the name of their own rescued animals who, Like Snowball, had once needed help!

Thankfully a wonderful foster family cared for him while he was being treated medically and getting used to all the changes.

10 Thankfully a wonderful foster family cared for him while he was being treated medically and getting used to all the changes.

This gave rescuers a chance to look for the loving forever home he had long deserved!

11 This gave rescuers a chance to look for the loving forever home he had long deserved!

Everyone was pulling for him. When a local TV station aired his story, some special people perked up their ears...

12 Everyone was pulling for him. When a local TV station aired his story, some special people perked up their ears...

A local semi-retired couple wanted to meet the recovering pooch- Snowball seemed like just the pooch they were looking for- and they had lots of love to give!

13 A local semi-retired couple wanted to meet the recovering pooch- Snowball seemed like just the pooch they were looking for- and they had lots of love to give!

SPOT made sure that the couple could provide the care and love that he needed from a forever home.  They passed with flying colors and renamed him Riley!

14 SPOT made sure that the couple could provide the care and love that he needed from a forever home. They passed with flying colors and renamed him Riley!

The folks at Dexter's Deli wanted their customers to meet the dog they had helped save- so the festivities began!

15 The folks at Dexter's Deli wanted their customers to meet the dog they had helped save- so the festivities began!

Snowball, now Riley, was the guest of honor! His adoptive parents were right there with him celebrating his new life!

16 Snowball, now Riley, was the guest of honor! His adoptive parents were right there with him celebrating his new life!

Party guests included other rescued pooches like terrier mix Molly- she was in a similar situation at one time.

17 Party guests included other rescued pooches like terrier mix Molly- she was in a similar situation at one time.

Party treats were handed out....

18 Party treats were handed out....

And a good time was had by all!

19 And a good time was had by all!

But best of all was seeing the deserving Riley get to have his cake...and eat it too!

20 But best of all was seeing the deserving Riley get to have his cake...and eat it too!

Snowball's extensive neglect and abuse may have seemed insurmountable to the already overtaxed California city shelter and other local rescue groups- but not the very special folks at SPOT. And thankfully the shelters who could not help directly were willing to spread the word and enroll SPOT to do the outreach they do so well!.

SPOT (Saving Pets One At A Time) is a unique advocacy group in that they work with many local shelters, government agencies and rescue groups to meet the needs of animals in their community. They assist with Spay/Neuter outreach, fosters, trainers and others to help specific animals in a direct way- and they get their community involved so they can be of help!

A community can not step up to help if they are not alerted of a need. So being the voice for shelter animals is a critical role we can all play. Thanks to Faye, Alisa, SPOT, Dexter's Deli and Pet supply, The Total Dog wellness and rehabilitation center, Dr. Gary Haver at Surfside Animal Hospital, Local TV station KUSI, concerned donors, a foster family and a wonderful adoptive family.... Riley can now have the life he so deserves..."The life of Riley!"

In kinship,
Dr. Pia Salk

If you would like to support animals like Riley- those who need another chance- please contact SPOT. All funds go directly to this important and life-saving work.

Comments (7)

  • Thankfully Riley was given a second chance at love. What an adorable little guy he is. Congratulations to everyone who opened up their hearts to save Riley. :smile:

  • Dr. Pia
    I like those happy endings. For the life of me I can't understand how a human could abuse an animal. There are some really sick - F'd up people out there. Hearing stories of abuse gets my french up!

    I'm so happy Snowball-Riley has a loving home now. Thank you to all those people who help save the animals and all those who hurt animals I hope you all burn in hell!!

    Zoe

  • Hello Ladies & Dr. Pia,
    I am so glad Snowball-Riley is safe and happy now, thanks to so many individuals. Hopefully more people will see the need, thanks to Dr. Pia. And I hope all the bad people that neglect and hurt animals are locked up and they throw away the keys.
    Have a great day all!
    Love & licks,
    Basil

  • Well, Dr. Pia you have me in tears again! Both for the sadness of Snowballs(Riley's)adventure and the happy ending. This dog reminds me so much of a little poodle we found(forgive me if I'm repeating myself) abandoned in a California field running for her life from a pack of dogs, she could hardly run because she was so tangled with weeds and out grown fur. When bathing her the water turned red from the fleas...she was already a mature dog but so skinny...We named her Pipa and had her for over ten years...Thank God for the people that saved Riley and the pooch Molly

  • Dr Pia, thankyou for being an animal advocate. Bullies need to be stopped! My daughter had an excellent teacher once .She taught kids empathy, maybe if there were more like her they wouldn't grow up to do things like that!Terri

  • Hi Dr. Pia, This was a very sad, yet very rewarding post on your blog. Little Snowball/Riley certainly had a horrible life before he was rescued and now he looks so great and happy. Kudos to those who rescued that sweet little guy! How do we ever stop this from happening? Sure wish I knew. Tonight on NBC evening news, Brian Williams will be talking about dogs and how great they are as pets and companions. I hope more and more people will watch that tonight and seriously think about helping abused animals. Have a great day everyone. Jan

  • Hi Dr. Pia, Thank you so much for this post, not only does it show how a community can save animals such as Snowball/Riley, but also of how one person can affect many. I personally know Faye and I can tell you she has changed me in so many ways.One of my dogs, Lola Bean was a rescued by Faye and her Husband Rick. Through their example I am a better Pet owner and animal advocate. I am just one of many people they have affected. Thanks to all of you who continually fight for these wonderful animals and especially Faye who who brought me into her pack.

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