Help for Homeless Animals: Abandonment doesn’t dampen Shiver’s spirit

Help for Homeless Animals: Abandonment doesn’t dampen Shiver’s spirit

It has been almost three months since Shiver found her way to the Animal Welfare Association in Voorhees after being abandoned in a box behind a local hardware store. Riddled with mammary tumors, underweight and dehydrated, the 13-year-old miniature pinscher mix was far from the picture of health.

Thanks to the AWA, things look a little different for Shiver today.

“It’s amazing what can happen in a few short months,” AWA shelter manager Nanci Keklak said.

Shiver recovered from her first in a series of surgeries to remove her tumors, the majority of which have been malignant. Her chronic dry eye condition is being managed daily, and she’s back to a healthy weight.

“She looks fantastic,” Keklak said. “Any time she comes in with her foster mom, she’s all snuggled in with her blankie. Her foster mom says, ‘She can walk on a leash, but she prefers to be carried.’”

It’s safe to say life has turned around for Shiver and, according to foster mom Alicia Redfern, the little dog is paying it forward.

Redfern, a Voorhees resident, works in the rehabilitation department of a local long-term care facility, where Shiver has become a favorite among staff and residents.

“Shiver comes to work with me every day. She’s been able to get through to residents in ways that we can’t,” Redfern said. “She is really affectionate but not in a demanding kind of way. She’s just very, very gentle. I’ve had residents do things with Shiver that I couldn’t get them to do in therapy.”

Redfern said the connection Shiver has with her residents brings tears to her eyes. Residents become more focused and motivated when Shiver is around. One woman with no short-term memory even remembered giving Shiver a bath the next day.

“She has so many medical issues, and she’s older. I don’t know if there’s a kindred spirit there,” Redfern said. “I don’t know what it is, but I’ve been around a lot of animals and I’ve never seen an animal have so much impact on so many people before.”

And, according to Shiver’s foster mom, there’s no doubt the little dog was loved at some point in her life.

“She just loves everybody,” Redfern said. “For an old girl that was abandoned, the things she’s doing for so many people now … it’s so empowering.”