Rescued dog wins award as therapy animal

Seized as part of the “Langley 66,” Emily now comforts others.

A dog seized as part of the “Langley 66” from a suspected puppy mill has now graduated from fearful and flinching to being the BC SPCA’s Animal Hero of the Year.

Emily, a Bernese mountain dog, was taken into SPCA custody from a Glen Valley property on Feb. 4, 2016. Most of the animals were malnourished, with matted fur. Many suffered from health problems and untreated injuries, and others were frightened of everyone.

Lawyer Chris Ness met Emily when he was volunteering as a dog walker for the SPCA’s Vancouver branch.

He decided to adopt the dog, who had come to the shelter emaciated and anaemic, as well as nervous and flinching at everything.

“I fell head over heels in love with Emily. The day I found out the adoption was approved was the happiest day of my adult life,” he says. “She has come so far and we’re all so proud of her.”

Ness had to find pet-friendly housing to take in Emily, and had support from his sister and her family to give the dog the care she needed.

“The first day she didn’t eat or drink anything,” Ness said. “She learned I liked it when she sat down, so she would sit down every 10 seconds even while outside on walks.”

She flinched at sudden movements, and didn’t even know how to play. Over the course of more than a year, Emily has now learned to run and play simply for the joy of it.

Ness noticed that Emily enjoyed meeting strangers, and decided her gentle, friendly personality and excellent behaviour made her a good therapy dog candidate. She was enrolled in a St. John’s Ambulance program and is now a regular visitor to seniors living in care facilities.

“She creates a lot of smiles and brightens many peoples’ days – as is her way,” Ness said. “Once Emily has enough experience and passes the next level of evaluation, we hope to visit the kids at BC Children’s Hospital and cancer treatment facilities.”

Emily and Chris were honoured at the May 5 BC SPCA Awards, held in Richmond.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

History made in draw 1 of 2020 New Holland Canadian Junior Championship in Langley

Champion curler Carly Smith is an amputee competing with other able bodied athletes

Olatoke sets new Spartans record in Edmonton

Langley-based university off to a good start at Golden Bear Open

Critter Care calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

LETTER: Langley man suggests seniors deserve more from taxpayers

Seniors who rely on CPP and Old Age Allowance are stretched

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

VIDEO: Highway 1 left looking like winter war zone with dozens of stranded vehicles

Tow-truck driver says 30 vehicles still dot snowy landscape, including one rolled-over dairy truck

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Canada Post driver in hospital after ice smashes windshield at Massey Tunnel

Incident happened on Richmond side of the Massey Tunnel

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

Most Read