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For a little dog named Lucy, the road to a loving home began in the middle of a busy street. When a community member spotted the three-year-old Terrier darting in and out of traffic, she grabbed her and brought her to Santa Barbara Humane’s Santa Maria campus for help. 

It was clear that the small dog, whom staff quickly named Lucy, was in rough shape. She was filthy and her hair was severely matted. Veterinary staff found that she also had a large umbilical hernia. Thanks to donor support, Lucy quickly received the care she needed. 

During Lucy’s spay surgery, the team shaved off the mats and removed the hernia, but they soon found that these were not the only issues causing Lucy pain. X-rays revealed that Lucy had a broken tail and broken pelvis. The injury to Lucy’s tail seemed to be older, but the pelvis injury was fresh. Lucy most likely had been hit by a car while she was out on the street. 

Despite the amount of pain she went through, Lucy never lashed out at those helping her. Santa Barbara Humane Chief Operating Officer Dori Villalon fostered Lucy as she recovered. “Lucy was so stoic 

throughout her ordeal,” said Villalon. “She was clearly frightened upon arrival, but always seeking 

reassurance and grateful for attention.” 

Because Lucy was not microchipped or claimed as a stray, she was made available for adoption once she was on the road to recovery. In a moment of serendipity, it was Villalon who answered the phone when Santa Maria resident Kimberly Reed called to inquire about another dog in Santa Barbara Humane’s care. Reed’s family had recently lost their senior dog, and she was beginning to feel lonely without a canine companion. Though the dog Reed was interested in wouldn’t be a match for her family, Villalon was quick to mention her foster dog Lucy. A few days later, Reed met Lucy and made the decision to adopt. 

The small dog who had such a tough beginning is now thriving in her new home.“She’s my companion,” said Reed, “she has worked out to be the best little girl. I just love her dearly.” 

Santa Barbara Humane is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and one of the first animal welfare agencies in the country. Operating campuses in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria, Santa Barbara Humane serves as a champion for animals and the people who love them by providing low-cost veterinary care, vaccines, and spay/neuter; affordable and humane dog training classes; pet adoption; and animal rehoming services. As a local community organization, not funded by any national agency, Santa Barbara Humane relies on the generous support of our community to ensure cats and dogs receive the care they need.


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