Suzi was barely aware as she laid motionless on the pavement in front of a known drug house.
Bystanders told animal control authorities that they suspected the dog had been injected with narcotics, and a drug test verified their allegation.
Cocaine and THC were also discovered in her bloodstream.
Suzi was transported to Faithful Friends Animal Society, where the veterinary staff quickly began administering IV fluids to remove the medicines from her system. They determined she was probably less than a year old.
“When she first came, she couldn’t walk, stand, eat, or drink,” Faithful Friends Animal Society marketing manager Kevin Rentz told The Dodo. “Our vets have never seen such brutality in dealing with opioids.” It was heartbreaking.”
Suzi was given a continuous supply of fluids for the following two days to help flush the medicines out, while doctors kept her comfortable within her box.
“She could hardly keep her head up and was hardly responsive,” Rentz explained. “It was clear she had no idea what was going on.”
Suzi, thankfully, turned the corner of her recovery after just over two days of round-the-clock care — and captured the vet team with her beautiful personality in the process.
“She stole all the vets and techs’ hearts here,” Rentz added. “You could feel her personality brighten up as the drugs started leaving her system.”
Suzi was running around outside and playing with toys after a few days. She was so enthusiastic about it that the staff believes she’s never had them before.
“She wouldn’t let go of her ball,” Rentz added.
Suzi became the hero of nightly news broadcasts across Delaware as a result of the dramatic nature of her rescue, which helped her find a very special family in the process.
Aida Alicea saw the news about Suzi and rushed her family to the shelter to meet the puppy.
“We were saddened to learn that someone, especially a child, would do something so terrible,” Aida’s daughter, Rosa Alicea, told The Dodo. “When we first met her, she was resting in the shelter cage and she just looked up at us. She was so calm, never barked, not fazed by all the barking around her.”
Suzi, for one, was eager to put the frightening events of the previous several days behind her. During their visit, she couldn’t stop smiling as she nestled up on a seat close to Rosa’s son, Jonathan.
Needless to say, the family fell in love with her — and they couldn’t help but notice how fate seemed to play a role in them meeting her.
“Our family dog was also named Suzi while I was growing up, and she was the same color,” Rosa explained. “I had a feeling she was meant to be.”
Suzi was legally adopted on Saint Patrick’s Day, as if surviving the abuse wasn’t enough of a symbol of her good fortune. The only reminder of her terrifying journey is a little shaved patch on her front leg from the IV.
Rosa continued, “She’s adjusting pretty nicely. She is incredibly kind and well-mannered.”
When she isn’t curled up with a ball in her mouth or hanging out with her new dad, she can be seen roaming around the backyard and rolling in the grass, just like any dog should.