A new beginning for Bowie

Puppy seized from neglectful and abusive conditions gets a new life and new family through the Nevada Humane Society
Published: Mar. 29, 2022 at 11:57 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - It’s hard to get a good look at Bowie when he’s with his family. The high energy pup barely stops moving, but if you’re able to get close you’ll see his scars which reveal he hasn’t always been this happy or this free.

It was about five months ago, Washoe County Regional Animal Services Field Supervisor, Robert Wooster, responded to a report of a puppy trapped in a kennel in a Reno backyard -- with his mouth wrapped closed by a shoelace.

“Once I got to him, he was terrified,” says Wooster. “He was covered in urine. He was very sensitive to the touch. You couldn’t touch his face. It swelled up immediately once the tether was taken off of him.”

The puppy was seized and taken to an emergency vet right away.

“He was in a lot of pain being tied up like that,” recalls Wooster. “Imagine tying your finger with a shoelace and tying it as tight as you can and leaving it that way for hours. Heavy nerve damage. I don’t know if he would have survived many more hours, let alone weeks. He was in bad shape.”

Bowie spent five days at Washoe County Regional Animal Services, where he received around the clock intensive care before he was eventually transferred to the Nevada Humane Society.

That’s where he met Nicole Theodoulou.

“I fell in love with him a little bit,” she confesses.

Theodoulou isn’t just the Marketing and Communications Director for the Nevada Humane Society. She’s also a foster volunteer. She took Bowie into her home for ten days since he wasn’t ready to be in a shelter environment.

“When we first got him, he was very very scared and it took him quite a while to come out of his shell and to trust people and you could just tell our house was the first time he’d ever been safe and been in a happy healthy home,” says Theodoulou.

She knew that when it was his time to be adopted, Bowie would need a special family. One that could work with him to help him overcome his past and help him understand what it’s like to be cared for and loved. And that’s what he found in the Jollys-- a family that already had a 12-year-old dog.

“I saw a Facebook post of this beautiful, very badly neglected and abused dog and it pulled at my heartstrings,” remembers Celeste Jolly. “I don’t know what it was. I’ve seen a lot of those posts before, but this dog spoke to me. I immediately contacted my friend and said, ‘I want him.’”

And it was love at first sight for everyone else in the family-- with Bowie quickly becoming best friends with Celeste’s 9-year-old daughter, Monroe.

“I hold back tears constantly when I see their relationship,” says Celeste. “Or the relationship between him and our other dog. He’s just really brought a breath of fresh air. He really is. He’s lifted the mood in the home overall.”

“I can’t believe a human being would treat an animal the way he was treated and I’m really glad that he lives with us now,” says Rich Jolly. “Because I know that he’s happy and having the greatest life ever.”

And even the field supervisor who rescued him still sees him from time to time.

“To get to see a dog that easily could have not made it and now having a full life, that’s what we do,” says Wooster. “That’s why we’re here.”

Rescue dogs like Bowie will be highlighted at the Heels & Hounds champagne brunch and fashion show, which will also showcase the life-saving work the Nevada Humane Society has been up to over the last few years. In addition, it will feature adoptable shelter pets you can take home. It takes place Sunday, April 10, 2022 at 10 a.m. at the Silver Legacy Grand Exhibition Hall. While tickets are sold out, there are still ways you can help support the nonprofit which relies on grants and community donations to provide critical care and find homes for thousands of animals every year. Donations can be made on the Nevada Humane Society’s website. NHS will also open up a silent auction online a few days before the Heels & Hounds event.

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