You can’t imagine someone wanting to give up on a puppy just because it didn’t want to play, but that’s exactly what happened to Simba, a depressed puppy who was dying in a shelter in South Africa. The shelter keeping Simba noticed his lack of energy and misunderstood this as him not being a playful or happy puppy. Figuring that no one would want to adopt a puppy like that, they planned to abandon Simba and have him put down.
But then, a miracle happened. When veterinarians picked up Simba to be euthanized, they noticed something strange in his side. They realized that he had a tick and had been suffering from a severe form of tick fever, in addition to malnutrition. Tick fever in dogs, clinically referred to as Canine Anaplasmosis, is similar to Lyme disease and is acquired by a black-legged tick, or deer tick, that spreads the disease from an infected host animal, such as a rodent or a deer. Canine Anaplasmosis causes a multitude of symptoms including fever, loss of appetite, stiff joints, and lethargy, which is primarily what Simba was probably displaying that the high-kill shelter failed to recognize.
Instead of euthanizing him, Vet Point, a veterinarian based in Cape Town, South Africa, decided to save Simba, who was just a few months old by the time he was on the brink of death with only a 50/50 chance of survival. After intensive care and being given the love that he deserved, Simba was nursed back to health and was soon on the road to recovery. At seven months old, he was starting to act like a new puppy should.
After he was healthy enough, Sidewalk Specials, a dog rescue agency also in Cape Town, put Simba in a foster home. He stayed there for a few months and was even taken care of by a foster brother, an older dog who lovingly laid with and protected Simba from any further harm. After various outreach efforts and having his story shared with many around the world, Simba was soon adopted by a loving family! He is the most playful pup around now that he has finally found his forever home. His new family updated Sidewalk Specials, noting that Simba is now so active that he cannot stay still.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who will abandon dogs just because they don’t fit the bill of how a dog should act and there are a lot of shelters who deem sick dogs to be useless. Thankfully, there are a lot of people who actually care about animals enough to recognize that there are underlying reasons as to why they aren’t acting as playful as they should be. A lot of animal rescue agencies are working hard to help sick and abused animals get the care and forever homes that they so desperately deserve. Simba was just one of many pups who was lucky enough to be saved.