They believed she wouldn't survive. Now, puppy Matilda is 'healed' and ready for adoption.

EATONTOWN, N.J. − At barely five pounds, Matilda was emaciated and clinging to life when the Monmouth County Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals took her in.

Three weeks later, the pit bull mix, found abandoned May 6 on a public street in Neptune, New Jersey, has doubled her weight and continues to grow.

"She's perfectly healed and going to be an active puppy,'' said Ross Licitra, executive director of the Monmouth County SPCA. 

"I would say she's out of the woods,'' Licitra said.

Hand out image of Matilda, who was found abandoned and starving in Neptune. Photo courtesy of Monmouth County SPCA

Matilda is eating regularly and is about 10 pounds now, he said.

The puppy, who was estimated to be eight to 10 weeks old when she was found abandoned, will soon be put up for adoption, and the SPCA has received a lot of inquiries from people who would like to give her a home, Licitra said. 

Hand out image of Matilda, who was found abandoned and starving in Neptune. Photo courtesy of Monmouth County SPCA

"We definitely have a slew of people who want to adopt her,'' he said.

But investigators so far haven't found the person responsible for the condition the puppy was in when she was rescued, and it's possible they never will, Licitra said. 

"It's a difficult one,'' he said of the investigation. "We got her, and that's all that matters. She's safe.''

Matilda, who was found abandoned and starving in Neptune, and Alvin, a vet technician's rescue dog whose been looking after Matilda.

When a citizen called the SPCA on May 7 to report he found the puppy the night before, Matilda was emaciated, dehydrated, shivering, struggling to breathe and so weak she couldn't lift her head. At that point, staff at the SPCA weren't sure the puppy would survive.

Her condition improved once she was given emergency medical treatment at the SPCA shelter in Eatontown. 

SPCA staff named the puppy Matilda, which means ''warrior princess,'' because of her strong will to live, Licitra said.

Abandoned puppy saved from side of road:Who tossed aside this 'skin and bones' pup?

Matilda and Alvin:Puppy fights back from death's door with help from her canine protector

Matilda is being fostered at the home of the shelter's senior veterinary technician, where the technician's rescue dog, Alvin, an older pit bull mix, has taken on the role of her protector. 

Investigators still hope to find the person responsible for abandoning Matilda in such a dire condition. Anyone with information is asked to call the SPCA's law enforcement division.

More coverage by USA TODAY

Parrot chicks find home after Florida airport busts 'sophisticated trafficking operation'

Exhausted dog requires rescue on a stretcher after climbing England's highest mountain

What turned Venice's Grand Canal green over the weekend? Authorities identify substance

Faithful flock to Missouri convent to see intact remains of exhumed nun: 'The hand of God at work'

Kathleen Hopkins, a reporter in New Jersey since 1985, covers crime, court cases, legal issues and just about every major murder trial to hit Monmouth and Ocean counties. Contact her at

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.