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March 28, 2011

From Underdog to "Wonder" Dog

Rescued from an animal hoarder last year, this sweet and gentle dog is in search of a loving, permanent home

  • Wonder's sweet personality shines, says foster caregiver Valerie Brehm. Valerie Brehm

  • Wonder was among 165 animals rescued by The HSUS from an animal hoarding situation. Valerie Brehm

  • The SPCA Tampa Bay in Florida placed Wonder in foster care after her rescue. Completely blind, Wonder shares her foster home with another dog who is blind as well as deaf. Valerie Brehm

  • Foster caregiver Valerie Brehm especially likes Wonder’s “helicopter” tail wag and her “cute underbite.” Valerie Brehm

by Julie Hauserman

When an HSUS animal rescue team responded to an animal hoarding case in Mississippi last year, they found a blind, severely frightened Australian Shepherd mix dog cowering among the other 165 animals in the fetid residence.

With only her ears and her nose to guide her, the dog now named “Wonder” was clearly traumatized. “We weren’t sure she would ever come around,” says HSUS Eastern Regional Director Laura Bevan, who was among the rescuers.

Now, a year after the Mississippi rescue, Wonder is in a loving foster home and ready to be adopted into a permanent home.

Sent to the SPCA Tampa Bay shelter in Florida after the rescue, Wonder was put in the hands of Valerie Brehm, who fosters needy animals and has a blind and deaf dog at home.

“I work with the shy and scared dogs,” Brehm says.

Brehm agreed to provide foster care for Wonder.

“The first few days, she just cringed and skulked around like something was going to fall on her,” Brehm says. “Now she runs around, her tail is up, she’s smiling, and she plays. There’s so much more personality now that she’s out of her shell.”

Brehm especially likes Wonder’s “helicopter” tail wag, and her “cute underbite.”

When Bevan of The HSUS saw a picture of the smiling Wonder, she did a double-take.

“I couldn’t believe it was the same dog,” Bevan said.

While the Brehms are willing to keep Wonder, they would prefer to see her adopted into a good permanent home so that they can help other dogs make the transition from traumatic circumstances.

Wonder is roughly two years old, has been spayed, and weighs about 35 pounds. Her coat is bright white, except for a few black spots, including the one around her right eye that looks like an eye patch. She is completely blind in her right eye and her left eye is missing.  

To inquire about Wonder, please contact the SPCA of Tampa Bay »

Brehm reports: “She is house-trained and crate-trained. She takes treats very gently and is not food aggressive. She loves toys, antlers and Nylabones. She is not destructive at all. She walks fairly well on leash and enjoys walking in the park. She's a good car rider and knows basic obedience.”

Watch Wonder: What A Good Dog! video and Wonder Comes Out from Under The Table video.

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