Tan and white boxer mix

She was downright boney. She had bald spots. Her ears were a mess.

Brooklyn had been found roaming outside by an animal control officer, and the ACO immediately knew: Brooklyn needed the Connecticut Humane Society.

Veterinary attention (and lots of it) couldn’t wait. Plus, it was going to take a behavior specialist to help Brooklyn move on from her past. The city’s shelter budget surely didn’t have enough for her care. CHS had both of these resources and welcomed the 4-year-old pit bull/boxer mix as part of its partnership with ACOs.

“She looked like a nightmare. She was so skinny. We had to take all kinds of bloodwork and do tests. But she was so good for all of her medical handling,” recalled Bliss Kern, district manager of CHS Westport.

What awful moments had given Brooklyn those sad eyes? Who had given up on her? No one knew, but she was safe now and would get everything she needed—because you care about innocent pets like her and stand up to suffering and cruelty.

The first notes on Brooklyn’s medical chart are heartbreaking: “Ribs/vertebrae/pelvis/all bony prominences evident from a distance, no body fat.” She was overdue for lots of good meals, but had to start slow so she could gain weight in a safe way. And that meant small amounts of puppy food (high in fat and protein).

Next up was keeping Brooklyn warm with a jacket. “She was cold all the time because she was so thin,” Kern recalled. Plus, she needed to grow back her tan fur that was ravaged by fleas and skin infections. Then, there were her stinky, painful ears—also infected.

Spending lots of time in the medical department, Brooklyn started to heal. And trust again. Two months later, she was finally the energetic, outgoing dog she was meant to be and ready for adoption.

A family whose CHS alumnus dog (Eliza, another pit bull mix who’d gotten months of medical care and had come from animal control) had recently passed away, spotted Brooklyn online and came specifically for her. They were drawn to her story and her resilient spirit, and adopted her in honor of Eliza.

That night, Brooklyn was already on her human sister’s bed, snug as a bug and dreaming away.

They say, “We’re so lucky to have her and she’s settling in here perfectly. We love her more and more every day, if that’s even possible.”