Special Needs Pet Gets a Second Chance

Molly“Am I ready to get a dog yet?” That’s the question 6-year-old Justin kept asking his parents. When the Nicole and Angel Romero were ready for their next dog, the family came to SPCA Florida and immediately fell in love with Molly, a special needs Rottweiler, Golden Retriever, and Chow Mix. Believed to be 7 years old, Molly wasn’t considered highly adoptable due to arthritis cause by hip dysplasia and a potentially cancerous mass on her shoulder, but when SPCA Florida staff members saw the gentle giant at partner agency Polk County Animal Control, they knew she deserved a chance.

20140911_121020“We only came to look,” said Nicole, “but she was the first one in the kennel and acted almost like a cat. There’s this 80 plus pound dog just sitting so quiet and polite.” She said the family had always had either Rottweilers or Retrievers. With her speckled fur and mellow disposition, Molly was a combination of every dog they’ve had. The family was not intimidated by the medical release needed for adoption.

“She’s an old lady like me,” Nicole joked. “We are about the same age, but I’m a little younger.” On their third consecutive visit Nicole and Angel adopted Molly, excited to finally give little Justin his long-awaited dog.

Knowing the financial burden and time commitment a pet like Molly would require, SPCA Florida was hopeful this special family would give Molly a wonderful home for the rest of her life, however long it happened to be. Staff members never imagined just how committed the Romeros would be to their special needs pet.

Molly with Justin RomeroFollowing Molly’s adoption, Nicole sent an email with incredible news: after a four-hour surgery and complete removal of the mass, Molly would live cancer free. Another revelation—based on veterinarian’s examination of her teeth structure and pulmonary function, Molly was estimated at five years old rather than seven. Nicole also said Molly is on medication for her hips, which an x-ray showed were not as bad as originally thought, and they do therapy with her to keep her legs and hips healthy.

Molly, who is now 127 pounds of “sheer love” is running and playing with her new friend. Nicole said she has brought a great deal of love and companionship to the Romero’s little boy.

“She loves every moment of life. She’s got her best friend Justin and a whole lot of hugs and love. We are a blessed to have found her and we thank your staff so very much for the care and the love she was given while she was there. She literally is the best dog I personally have owned,” said Nicole.

SPCA Florida is fortunate not only to partner with agencies like Polk County Animal Control, but also have the community’s support to give pets like Molly a second chance. Most of all, we too are incredibly grateful for the compassionate families who like us, take a chance on pets regardless of their condition.