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V for Victoria2019-06-06T18:23:30+00:00

V For Victoria. A special campaign for an extremely special dog.

Victoria, an 11 year old German Shepherd, was rescued By Finding Shelter in 2017 from a Lancaster County, PA puppy mill. She was born at the farm and lived there for 10 years as a breeding dog. Right after her rescue, she received the terminal diagnosis of Degenerative Myelopathy and was placed on hospice care for the remainder of her life which was expected to be six months to a year. Victoria exceeded all expectations and lived for 16 months as a part of a family in a loving home, the first time she had been in a house for her entire life. Victoria passed away on February 26, 2019 in the arms of her mom and dad who loved her dearly.

The V for Victoria campaign was established so that Victoria could experience the fun activities that life has to offer for dogs. She was able to do the things that she missed out on for 10 years imprisoned on the farm, even after she became paralyzed. She checked off some “bucket list” items just for fun and educated humans about puppy mills while raising funds for Finding Shelter Animal Rescue puppy mill dogs. She had adventures and experiences that enriched her life and touched the lives of so many.

Victoria’s Law

In 2019, Pennsylvania State Senators Tom Killion and Andy Dinniman introduced the Pet Retail Sales Bill and called it “Victoria’s Law.” A mirror bill is being introduced by State Representatives Jason Ortitay and Harry Readshaw.

Victoria’s Law would require that pet stores in Pennsylvania discontinue the sale of commercially bred dogs, cats and rabbits and only offer animals rescued from shelters and rescues. Detailed information about Victoria’s Law can be found via Humane PA PAC.

V for Victoria was not just a campaign to enrich Victoria’s life, but it was also aimed at bringing awareness to the ongoing puppy mill industry issues and atrocities. Victoria was relinquished from a legal, licensed breeding operation. Her very minimal requirements for care were legally met. The best way to stop puppy mills is to discontinue the demand for their product: their puppies. With no demand for their puppies, the puppy mills would not have consumers to keep their supply going. Ending third party sales in pet stores and over the internet would drastically reduce outlets for which the puppies can be sold, also diminishing supply.

Victoria was a brave, wonderful, beautiful and forgiving dog and her legacy will live on through Victoria’s Law. Pennsylvania residents, please contact your state senators and representatives to ask them to support SB 44 Victoria’s Law so she can leave her mark on this world after saying farewell to the happy life she finally found after so many long and difficult years.

MEET VICTORIA

For the ten years that Victoria lived on the farm after being born there, she existed solely to breed puppies for profit and allegedly to patrol the farm (it cannot be confirmed that she was permitted time outside of her cage). After she was no longer productive and was not able to walk well, a Finding Shelter volunteer was called to go pick up a 10-year-old GSD and a 10-year-old cockapoo. The two dogs were picked up by Finding Shelter’s co-founder and President, and actor Peter Egan (“Downton Abbey,” “The Wedding Date,” “Chariots of Fire”). Peter named the GSD Victoria so she would have a regal name and the cockapoo Pippa after his own beloved dog. They were heartbroken to see both dogs and others on the farm so badly “broken.”

The two dogs were filthy, covered in fleas and petrified. Victoria was unable to walk as she was crammed into a tiny crate and it is unknown how long she had been sitting inside of it. She was growling, shaking and avoiding her human rescuers and her future was looking grim based on her physical appearance and immobility. She was blind in her left eye because she was bitten in the eye as a puppy from a litter-mate and never received any care to address it. She had an old injury on her right paw from when she allegedly had been run over by a mower. That injury also not medically treated leaving a deformity on her paw.

The dogs were taken to the veterinarian for exams where world-renowned behaviorist Victoria Stilwell, PupAid founder Marc Abraham (Marc the Vet) and certified dog trainer Kelly Craig of The Distinguished Dog, carefully and kindly helped to get Victoria and Pippa into the hospital without incident as the dogs were petrified and needed experienced and compassionate handling. Victoria and Pippa were medically treated, and Victoria’s neurological symptoms were suspected to be Degenerative Myelopathy, a genetic disease in the spinal cord. A blood test confirmed the diagnosis. Not only did Victoria have DM for which there is no cure, but each one of her puppies sold throughout the years has the very strong likelihood of developing it as they all carry the gene that was passed down from their mother.

A foster or rescue was not able to be found for Victoria as not many people are willing to take on a 90lb hospice case with mobility issues who is shy and shut down. Finding Shelter secured a foster family and after a few weeks of settling in, she bonded beautifully to them and even played with toys for the first time in her life.

Victoria as K9 for a day thanks to the Lower Providence Police Department!
Victoria as K9 for a day thanks to the Lower Providence Police Department!
Victoria as DJ for a day with WMGK’s The John DeBella Show!

V For Victoria

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