Saturday, June 22, 2024

Vancouver Island puppy abandoned in planter on doorstep needs help: BC SPCA


A three-month-old puppy was abandoned in a planter on the doorstep of the BC SPCA in Alberni-Clayoquot in October.

The BC SPCA wants to share this puppy named Poppy’s story in the hopes that she can be sent to her forever home with a loving family.

An employee of the animal care centre was getting ready to walk another dog in the SPCA’s care when they noticed movement in a nearby planter on their stoop. 

“Unfortunately, this is not the first time a dog has been left at our animal centre after hours,” said Sam Sattar, manager of the BC SPCA Alberni-Clayoquot community animal centre.

“We want people to know that if they are no longer able to care for their pet, for whatever reason, they can bring them to a BC SPCA animal centre during regular hours. We would be happy to take them into our care.”

Poppy the puppy was shivering, crying and clearly exhausted when she was found that morning. She is a three-month-old labrador-cross with a heart of gold, but at the time she had nothing but fear in her eyes from the staff member’s account. 


The BC SPCA reviewed security footage that showed someone pull up in the dead of night and leave Poppy at their gate.

BC SPCA employees say the most heartbreaking part was watching Poppy run after the vehicle as it drove away, abandoning her. The vehicle stopped and footage shows someone picking her up and placing her in the planter where she was found the next morning. 

“It’s hard to imagine the fear she must have felt. Waiting in the darkness, not knowing when, or even if, she was going to be rescued,” said Eileen Drever of the BC SPCA. “I’m just grateful that she ended up on the right doorstep.”

Once she was found, she was instantly taken to the vet. The veterinarian clinic determined she was very thin, suffering from mange and had another secondary skin infection. 

“She was also loaded with parasites, had painful ear infections and the lymph nodes in her groin were so swollen she had to be x-rayed to rule out masses and a possible hernia,” said Drever in a statement.

A foster family was found immediately for her and they stepped up to provide Poppy with a loving home environment while she recovers.


Poppy has been prescribed several medications, antibiotics and ointments as well as two medical baths a week to mend her skin conditions and other ailments.

She has her second of three mange treatments next week, but her health has already shown great improvement according to her foster family. 

They say she is building confidence and is slowly blossoming from the sad, apathetic puppy she was upon discovery. 

“Poppy started out very quiet and sad, but like most sick puppies, now that she is feeling better, her demeanour has completely changed. She is super playful and full of energy, hopping and skipping about like a fawn,” said Sattar. 

“She is gentle and sweet and a total people pleaser—her foster family is in love with her.”

The BC SPCA is hoping for her story to touch the hearts of BC’s animal lovers and inspire them to make a donation to Poppy’s cause. 

A regular donor to the BC SPCA and animal lover, Barbara Lockyer, was touched by Poppy’s tear-jerking story and she decided she will match donations up to $5,000 to help care for Poppy and other animals who need urgent care.

Curtis Blandy

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