Ziggy wearing a shirt
Despite two major surgeries, Ziggy projects a positive personality. Photo courtesy of Northeast Animal Shelter

When Ziggy arrived at Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, Massachusetts, staff knew they had to help him, no matter the cost. Found as a stray by a good Samaritan, the senior Yorkie was in rough shape.

“There was definitely something wrong with him, outside of the fact that he was matted so bad, but you couldn’t really see his hind leg. … It was kind of all up into this big ball of just matted hair,” says executive director Bob Citrullo. Cutting through the little dog’s matted fur revealed a severe infection that required amputation of the leg.

“It’s sad, but it is a good thing that he did come here, because we were able to save him,” says Citrullo, who estimates Ziggy is around 10 years old.

Ziggy having his badly matted hair shorn
Ziggy was a matted mess when he arrived at the shelter. Photo courtesy of Northeast Animal Shelter

His age was a concern, says Citrullo, especially when he had to undergo another surgery to remove all but one of his teeth. But Ziggy bounced back quickly and made it clear that he wasn’t going to let his age, his past or his missing leg slow him down.

“He just perked up, and his personality was great,” Citrullo says. “Wanted to be held, wanted to be with you, loved the other animals. He’s just super.”

Between his two surgeries, Ziggy was placed in a foster home with another small dog. But his foster status didn’t last long, as he was quickly adopted by the same family. “His whole sparkling personality came out,” Citrullo says. “He is just living large, like he should have been all along.”

Ziggy with two men
Photo courtesy of Northeast Animal Shelter

About the Author

Marissa Russo is a former editorial intern with Animal Sheltering and All Animals magazines at the Humane Society of the United States.


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