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Fish the fighter finds forever home after starving near Enderby

Emaciated dog is enjoying his retirement home, and his new cat

One of the biggest animal rescue stories of 2023 has made a big comeback.

Fish, a nine-year-old Labrador retriever mix, wandered out of the woods in July in a remote area of Enderby, close to Kingfisher. He was skin and bones and covered in sores when he was brought into BC SPCA’s animal centre in Shuswap by a Good Samaritan who found him.

With a body score of one out of nine, Fish required a veterinarian-supervised feeding program to help him gain weight and muscle mass he lost after not eating for such a lengthy period. He also had dental surgery to remove the infected and broken teeth in his mouth.

READ MORE: Fish the fighter: Emaciated labrador found near rural Enderby

With a soft bed to sleep on, the sores on his body were able to heal.

And after months of treatment, Fish fully recovered, was available for adoption and found his forever home.

“We couldn’t be happier for Fish,” said Isabell Diederichs, assistant manager of the BC SPCA’s Shuswap animal centre. “He is the most loving dog who deserves the best home and he has that now.”

A retired couple are giving him a life filled with endless amounts of love and attention.

Tony and Darlene lost their rescue dog Abby to illness in July. After grieving their loss, they started to look for another rescue dog they could bring into their home and shower with love.

“We read a story about Fish and we just knew he was our dog,” said Tony.

They sent in an application and got the good news that Fish was coming home with them.

“We walked out of the animal centre and when we opened the door to our truck he jumped right in,” Tony said. “He didn’t hesitate at all.”

The joy continued when they got him home.

Darlene says that they have had a number of rescues over the years, and no dog settled in as fast as Fish.

“Considering everything he has been through, his trust in people is just amazing,” she said. “He is just so loving and big-hearted.”

A furry family member was waiting for Fish at his new home: Ballou, a rescue cat who had been close to Abby.

“They got along right from the get-go,” said Darlene. “Fish was so calm and gentle around him.”

Ballou and Fish now sweetly nap together on the couch.

“Ballou was missing Abby terribly. He loves to spend time with Fish and is excited to see him when he gets back from his walks.”

One thing they are sure of is Fish’s love of walks.

“When he knows it is time for a walk Fish will pick up your boots or shoes for you to help speed up the process or he will carry his leash,” said Tony.

“We have an amazing dog beach right by the lake that he loves. He has been so good with other dogs and just loves meeting new people.”

“We just want to make Fish the happiest dog we can,” said Darlene. “We are retired so there is always someone at home with him. Whatever he needs, he gets.”

Tony adds: “He rescued me.”

- with files from BC SPCA

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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

Vernon has always been my home, and I've been working at The Morning Star since 2004.
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