Emaciated Dog Rescued From Basement Cage Embarks On Heartwarming Bucket List Adventure

When Humane CNY Shelter Director Christine McNeely received a call from a Good Samaritan telling her they saw an emaciated dog in a cage in the basement of a home, little did she know that the dog would bring an entire community together.

The tipster said the female dog and her son were both emaciated and did not have food or water. Upon hearing the news, McNeely contacted the Syracuse Police Department, who went to investigate.

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Photo credit: Humane CNY

They found Jada, a Pit Bull, and her son, Sonny, in poor condition and quickly removed the dogs and charged the owners with animal cruelty.

Jada was admitted to the Veterinary Medical Center of CNY in early January and it was immediately clear that she would probably not have survived more than a few more days in her current state.

“Jada was emaciated, weak, filthy, covered in scars and lumps, and was 1000% sweet,” wrote the Veterinary Medical Center.

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Photo credit: Humane CNY

They began to give Jada lots of TLC.




After a few rocky days at the start, she soon to relax and “bonded very quickly with her caregivers” who made sure she got lots of snuggling and attention.”

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Photo credit: Humane CNY

She began to sleep soundly and gained nearly a pound per day. Gifts began to flow in for her and after a week of controlled feeding, the staff felt that Jada was well enough to head to the shelter environment with the Humane CNY.

They continued medical treatment and ran tests on the lumps they found on her and which were been a concern. The news wasn’t good.

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Photo credit: Humane CNY

“Today it was discovered that she has cancer which has unfortunately spread into her lungs,” Humane CNY wrote on January 21st. “Because of this; our plan of action for Jada has switched gears.” Jada most likely has a few more months until she will sadly succumb to the aggressive cancer.

Whereas they had thought Jada could recover with them and then be adopted, they have now decided to seek out a hospice home “where she will know what it is to be in a loving home” and work closely with the whomever cares for her.

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Photo credit: Humane CNY

“Due to her age, her poor condition from being starved and medically neglected there is nothing at this point that can be done for her other than to keep her comfortable in her last days.” They said nothing they could do, but they decided to do more and created “Jada’s Bucket List”.




Once the bucket list was ready, McNeely wrote, “As I watch Jada, our staff and volunteers bond I’m starting to feel like the parent who’s children have found a dog and everyone even the dog are looking at you with the ‘can we keep her eyes’ everyone is working on a bucket list for her and we may need some help squeezing a life time of experiences into a short amount of time!”

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Photo credit: Humane CNY

Well, she needn’t have worried. The community has rallied around Jada in a big way!

She got to ride in a fire truck. “Jada enjoyed her ride in the truck so much tonight she didn’t want to get out!” Humane CNY wrote on Facebook.

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Photo credit: Humane CNY

And wear a firefighter uniform.

The next day she scratched two more things off her list. She got to eat ice cream and be on TV when she met with a reporter from a local TV news station.

Next up was a ride in the police car with Officer Rebecca Thompson, the Syracuse Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Investigator who was involved in Jada’s case. “What a morning we had with Jada helping cross off items on her bucket list! Check Jada out riding in a Syracuse Police car with Officer Rebecca Thompson — Jada figured out how to use the sirens very quickly.”

That’s not all. January 27th was proclaimed “Jada the Dog Day” in Onondaga County.

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Photo credit: Onondaga County

She’s also eaten a chef-prepared steak on live TV. She wolfed down that steak in just a couple of bites!




After a few days of excitement she’s getting some down time. She’s just had a much-needed visit with her son, Sonny and will rest a day or two before she gets to go on a shopping spree and have a birthday party!

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Photo credit: Humane CNY

As heartwarming as it is to see the outpouring of support for Jada, she’s also helping to raise awareness about animal abuse and how important it is to speak out against it.

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Photo credit: Humane CNY

“We are so proud of the Central New York community for turning such a negative situation into such a wonderful experience.”

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Photo credit: Humane CNY

“As sad as Jada’s story is we have seen an entire community come together and take notice that we have an issue with animal cruelty and neglect in Central New York,” writes Humane CNY. “If Jada’s story helps just one animal our journey becomes one of purpose!”

Sonny is on the mend and getting temperament tested. So far, Humane CNY says “He is just as sweet as his momma!” When he’s ready, he will be put up for adoption. You can find out more on the Humane CNY website.

Share Jada’s emotional story with your friends and family!