Cindy was one of the cowering puppies rescued by a local welfare organization in Mississippi. Like many rescue dogs, very little was known about how this puppy ended up all by herself.

Cindy became part of the ASPCA’s relocation program where she was taken with other dogs to the Northeast where she would have a much better chance at being adopted. After the move, Cindy was extremely fearful. She wouldn’t even leave her crate when anyone was nearby. Because of her extreme fear of humans, Cindy was relocated again. This time, she was moved to the ASPCA rehabilitation center in North Carolina, the first rehabilitation center permanently dedicated to helping fearful dogs. The rescuers were urgently trying to help Cindy while she was still a puppy as it would be much harder when she was older.

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Monica Body, ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Specialist, and Cindy’s caseworker said, “On her very first behavior evaluation, she scored all Ds, which is our lowest score. Meaning extreme fear in a lot of different situations.”

The center began companion sessions with Cindy, where they did activities like walking her around on a leash, as well as touching and petting her. Because these dedicated sessions were repeated so often, Cindy quickly started to gain confidence and trust. Her whole persona changed, and she took her first steps towards moving past fear and trauma. Finally able to trust humans and act like a happy dog, Cindy graduated from the rehabilitation program. She was again transported to another location where she would wait to be adopted.

Karen P. had been a foster mother to many dogs and fell in love with Cindy after reading about her online. Being warned of Cindy’s fearful past, Karen started introductions with her own dog Mindi. Mindi played an important role in helping Cindy feel comfortable around her new home and family. 

Cindy now lives a very happy and contented life as a part of her new family. Karen P. said, “I have a hard time imagining the household without her. We feel blessed to have had the chance to bring Cindy into our home and family.”

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