Photographed by Haim Schwarczenberg
Poncho, a four-year-old, mixed-breed poodle, was the victim of human irresponsibility, abandonment and neglect. Good fortune did not shed its light in his direction until the happy and exciting moment when he was adopted this week and given a new home. Two months ago a person came to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel, Tel-Aviv with the aim of handing over a poodle named Poncho. According to him, he had received the dog from its previous owners eight months earlier, without formally registering the change in ownership or registering him in the micro-chip center. He had then reached the conclusion that he could no longer take care of the dog.
The Society's staff managed to locate the legal owners who undertook to take the dog back that same day from the present owner.
Two days later, the same person returned to the Society, claiming that the legal owners hadn't come to pick up the dog and threatening to throw the dog into the streets unless the Society took him in. The staff put pressure on the legal owners who, in the long run, waived their rights of ownership, thus allowing the Society to find an adoptive home for him.
During the routine medical check-up, which every animal taken in by the Society undergoes, the Society's veterinarian, Dr. Lena Algerbeli, discovered that he had been the victim of abuse, that his long coat hid a wounded throat and perforated right ear.
The serious injuries had been caused by an infected rubber cord that had been threaded through a hole in his ear and then tied tightly around his neck. Apart from this horrible abuse, Poncho was in a serious condition of neglect with a thick mass of knots and tangles in his hair.
Poncho was treated and rehabilitated in the Society's clinic over a period of many weeks, under the strict medical supervision of the veterinary staff. The trauma that he underwent did not affect his disposition and he turned out to be a charming and social dog, who greatly enjoyed the attention heaped upon him by the staff and volunteers in the Society. At the same time the Society filed a complaint with the police against Poncho's owners.
This week the story came to a happy ending, when a long-time friend, Estergia Bitran from Kfar Saba, came to the Society. Estergia has already adopted two dogs from the Society, both of whom died of old age. Since she has had good adoption experiences and formed strong ties with the dogs, she insisted upon coming to the Society in Tel Aviv, even though she does not have her own transport or live close by. When she saw Poncho, she fell in love with him at first sight and the Society staff parted from them both with great emotion and joy.