Tucker is a big, adorable, happy-go-lucky dork.
The Boxer-cross sleeps with his owner Peter every night, taking up approximately 90% of the mattress space.
He loves flying around off lead at the park twice a day, tongue lolling with joy, a seemingly unstoppable force of energy.
Yet, back on the lead, he walks quietly and calmly by Peter’s side. It’s as if Tucker knows he needs to be extra gentle with his owner – Peter suffered spinal injuries in a bad car accident nine years ago, and relies on a walking aide to get around.
“He’s so well behaved,” Peter says. “I’ve heard stories of dogs that have been badly mistreated and then getting a new loving home, they have this whole different attitude. I definitely sense that kind of special connection with Tucker.”
Because that’s the awful truth behind Tucker’s story.
This poor dog survived the worst.
When our inspectors first laid eyes on Tucker at a North Moonta property, he was so thin we could see every rib bone, every vertebra.
His teeth were fractured. He was infested with fleas. And worse yet, he had skin cancer, the result of too much sun exposure for his sensitive white skin.
Our inspectors immediately seized Tucker and began criminal court proceedings against his former owner.
Months later, that painstaking investigation eventually secured justice for Tucker – his former owner received an eight-week suspended jail sentence, was banned from owning animals and was ordered to pay $3,402 in veterinary and legal costs.
A whole new life was beginning for Tucker.
He’d weighed just 21kg when he arrived at our Lonsdale shelter for treatment.
With proper nutrition and loads of specialist veterinary care to repair his broken teeth, Tucker soon began to look like a completely different dog. He put on a whopping 11kg in just over five weeks!
Best of all, that dull and defeated look in his eye began to fade, replaced by hope and a glimmer of happiness.
“When I saw him, I thought: ‘Well, he’s had a sad life and I can give him another chance, and also kind of help to heal myself,’” Peter recalls.
The plan seems to be working. Peter says Tucker simply “makes me happy”.
We’re sharing this story because we need your help to save more dogs like Tucker.
Your donation keeps our inspectors on the road, seeking out animal cruelty and neglect, picking up leads and investigating reports.
And don’t forget, we’re the only charity in SA with powers to do this difficult and life-saving work.
We’d like to offer you the chance to become a Guardian Angel today and help protect vulnerable animals. In the coming months, we’re expecting 2,000 animals to come through our doors. Your help will ensure each one of these animals receives the care, treatment and love they so sorely need.
We know this love and care is life-changing – Tucker is proof of that.
Not so long ago, two of our inspectors popped into Tucker’s new home to check on the big goofball.
The recognition was instant.
Tucker promptly sat down on Inspector Gary’s foot, leaning his whole body lovingly against Inspector Gary’s leg.
“The Inspector showed me the photos of how Tucker was and my stomach turned. It’s so hard to imagine what he went through,” Peter says.
“Absolutely, he knows he’s getting a second chance at life. The love that I get back from him is phenomenal – we’re such a good team.”
Truly, it’s only thanks to supporters like you that Tucker was freed from long-term neglect and given the chance to be happy with Peter. Our charity is 91% funded by community donations – without you, there’s no us.