Ocean has experienced more trauma and cruelty in her life than most people can even imagine. But the physical and emotional pain she endured did not make her less deserving of a forever home or the time it took to find it.
Ocean was born in Kuwait. She encountered extreme cruelty at just eight weeks old when children dragged her from the back of a motorcycle, severely injuring her back legs. Ocean was saved by a rescue organization in Kuwait called Mimi. In order to save her back legs from being amputated, she endured multiple reconstructive surgeries. In December 2019, once Ocean had healed enough to make the journey to America, she was brought to the Homeward Trails Adoption Center in Fairfax Station, VA.
While Ocean was healing well from her physical injuries, it took time for her to heal emotionally. Ocean got around well on her scarred and wobbly legs. She got the “zoomies” in the yard, swam in pools, and de-fluffed toys like any other dog. However, Ocean struggled with trusting other dogs for a long time. She would meet them excitedly, but any time a dog would be near her back legs, she would become very defensive. It took months of socialization before Ocean learned how to play with other dogs.
For a long time, Ocean was great when meeting new people. She seemed to trust people much more than other dogs. But eventually, after a couple of failed adoptions, Ocean seemed to lose her trust for humans as well. She would bark and lunge at new people to scare them away before they could abandon her yet again.
Staff at Homeward Trails would not give up on Ocean. They knew she could be successful with the right people; she just needed someone to be determined enough to earn her trust before taking her home.
After 268 days of waiting, Ocean was adopted by a wonderful couple, Melissa and Ethan. They visited Homeward Trails multiple times to earn her trust. They learned her personality and asked all of the right questions. Melissa and Ethan were not discouraged by Ocean’s defensive behaviors. They were determined to build a relationship with her until she was comfortable enough with them to be adopted.
For over two decades, VCA has been committed to helping animal welfare organizations lessen return to shelters, end pet homelessness and encourage pet adoption nationwide.
Pets like Ocean can get a healthy start in their new home thanks a partnership between VCA Animal Hospitals and over 150 outstanding animal shelter and rescue organizations all over the country. The VCA Healthy Start Shelter program gives adopters peace of mind by offering a free initial health exam and treatment of any minor illness up to 14 days after adoption (up to $250) at any VCA Animal Hospital. Additionally, pet adopters are educated by our medical experts and hospital team members on how best to keep their pet healthy and happy in their lifetime.
Thank you to the staff at Homeward Trails for caring for Ocean and advocating for her needs. And the biggest thank you to Melissa and Ethan, for giving Ocean the forever home she waited so long for.
October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. Ready to become a pet parent? Visit our website to find a VCA shelter partner near you.
“The VCA Healthy Start Shelter program gives adopters peace of mind by offering a free initial health exam and treatment of any minor illness up to 14 days after adoption (up to $250) at any VCA Animal Hospital.”