Abandoned Dog Adopted by Nursing Home

Stormy Edwards says she was creeped out when she heard barking coming from somewhere in the dark at Springfield’s Stuart Park.

The Illinois woman was walking her pooch in the dog park on Thanksgiving night when she heard the cries of a dog in distress. She crept forward cautiously, walking about a block and nearing the source of the sound. A few steps later, there stood Antoinette, a frightened cockapoo, abandoned in one of the park’s pens.

“I went into the enclosure, and my dog went in with me,” she says. “I had a flashlight. I tried to get a photo of the dog. A person had left a dish of lasagna and a bowl of water. I found the note under the lasagna.”

The heartbreaking note began, “My name is Antoinette, Annie for short.”

The letter went on to mention that Annie’s shots were up to date, and that she was spayed. It also explained that Antoinette’s owner, a woman, had fallen ill and could no longer care for her. She was hoping another dog lover in the park would find her and take her home. The note ended, “Please take me home. I am a loving dog.”

“That’s when I burst into tears,” Edwards said.

Annie was eventually taken to Sangamon County Animal Control, and her former owner could not have wished for a better turn of events.

Animal Protective League volunteer Carol Rodgers, saw Annie, and knew that the owners of  Regency Nursing Care were looking for a live-in dog to provide pet therapy for its residents.  Rodgers told Erin Sabath, one of the owners of Regency Nursing Care, about Annie and her tale of woe. Sabath visited Animal Control to meet Annie, and said it was love at first sight. Annie was given an chance to try some on-the-job training, and was an immediate hit.

Now Annie spends her days walking the hall of  Regency with a handler as she greets everyone. She has already learned that the dining room is off limits, and seems to understand that she needs to be gentle in her approach with elderly residents – who just can’t get enough of her.

“Everybody who sees this dog falls in love with her,” Sabath says. “She’s wonderful.”

Carol Rodgers said Annie is very healthy, and she believes that whoever left her in the dog park took good care of her until they were no longer able to.

“It makes me think that this owner honestly didn’t know what to do,” Rodgers says. “It may have been an older lady who was sick and didn’t know about Animal Control or APL and thought, ‘Well, people who go to dog parks like dogs.’ Wouldn’t it be nice if the owner reads this and knows the dog is safe?”

Anonymous dog owner, if you are reading this, know that Annie is safe and loved. She didn’t just find the loving home you had hoped for – she also found her calling.

10 thoughts on “Abandoned Dog Adopted by Nursing Home

  1. Bless you Stormy — so many would have turned away — there really are angels on earth and thanks to all who got Annie to such a wonderful forever home.

  2. Wow – that’s the happiest thing I’ve heard in a long time! What a lovely dog, and such a blessing for the residents there!

  3. Love this, I work with older people and I sure wish we could have a dog come in to bring joy to our patients, but at this hospital, it is an infection control thing, as if people are free of infections?? YET, Hospitals are different then other patient care places/homes ect.
    Vickie from Bossier City, La.

  4. Love this story!! I’m crying happy tears. SO glad for Annie and also the elderly people who get to love her. Many old people miss the pets they once had when they lived in their own homes.

    Wishing Annie and her new “family” lots of joy and love!

    Linda

  5. This is such a beautiful story of unconditional love on all sides, the lady that found Annie, the people that work at the facility and the residents who love her and Annie who has so many people to love and to be loved by them. Has made me cry. So many sad stories, then to see one with such hope for the future of people with big hearts and the future of poor rescues like Annie. God Bless them all…. a thousand times over.

  6. Annie was lucky, lucky enough to have an owner who loved her enough to put her in a spot where other dog lovers would find her and help her. So many times I have come across abandoned animals; and when I tried to do the right thing by calling the places to come get the animal, I would be told that there was no room, or that it would cost money for shots before they would take them in. To many times I’ve had to take the animals and drop them off at these places; always with food, water and a kennel, after closing, in order to insure that they would be taken care of the next morning when the workers come in to work. There has to be an easier way. I love animals and will try to take care of them until I can find a home for them; but sometimes there is nothing that can be done except to leave them at a facility that you know will make sure they get everything they need and a home eventually.

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