Blinded Dog Abandoned at Shelter Ready for New Home

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4.6.13 Blind Dog

Of the millions of unwanted animals that enter shelters across the US each year, many are adopted by loving families.  But for dogs with disabilities, the odds of finding that special someone to take them home is greatly reduced.  This is the case for Tessa.

One morning, Tessa woke up nearly blind.  She had developed vertical nystagmus, an involuntary, rapid up-and-down movement of the eyes which left her dizzy and unable to even stand.  This was likely the result of her having acquired hydrocephalus, a condition that causes (cerebrospinal) fluid to build up around her brain.

Not knowing how to care for her, Tessa’s owners took her to a California animal shelter.  Blind dogs have little chance of being adopted, and it was probable that she would be euthanized.  Fortunately, shelter staff felt this Havanese mix deserved better, and put the word out to rescue groups that they had a special case.

The Bill Foundation stepped in and pulled Tessa from the shelter.  She went to a foster home and got the medical treatment needed to save her from lethal injection.

“We didn’t know if we were hospicing, or if she had a chance,” said Annie, her foster mom.  “And day 3, she suddenly responded to light… and, she smiled.  And she can’t see, per se, all the way, but she can see light and shadows.”

Though the frightening ordeal left her with some anxiety, Tessa has made excellent progress, and has remained an upbeat throughout.  Now she is waiting in Beverly Hills, ready for someone to make her a part of their family.

“Tessa is sunshine and butterflies and everything that’s wonderful and pure in the world,” said Annie, who is the Executive Director at the Bill Foundation.  “She’s so happy and so full of life.  She has a forever home waiting for her out there, we just haven’t found it yet.”

If you are interested in adopting Tessa, please visit: