Zoey at dog beach

We get a lot of emails asking about the fate of the doleful-looking dog featured at the top of our website and on all of our t-shirts and coffee mugs. Since she is the official mascot of Pet-Abuse.Com, we wanted to tell you her story as well.

Zoey is an Alaskan Malamute/Siberian Husky mix, adopted from the Rancho Coastal Humane Society. The photograph of her that we use on our website and store items was taken during a trip to Rancho Coastal where Alison Gianotto, the Founder and Director of Pet-Abuse.Com, was taking photos for their website.

It was love at first sight. Every time Alison passed Zoey's enclosure, Zoey would howl and cry so loudly that Alison simply had to sit down and spend another half-hour with her. As soon as Alison sat down next to her cage, Zoey became still and quiet, leaning against the gate where Alison sat.

The very next day, Alison and her husband called Rancho Coastal, asking if Zoey was still there. Upon learning that she was, they raced down to the shelter to adopt her.

While Zoey's history was not quite clear, they did know that a woman had turned her in after rescuing her from a group of boys. The woman could not keep Zoey because she was incredibly destructive to her property, tearing apart her home and backyard, and even chewing through the seatbelts in her car when she had run into the store for a moment. The woman worked 10 hour days at an office, and was at her wits end after she repeatedly came home to thousands of dollars worth of furniture in pieces.

Zoey was certainly quirky when she arrived at Alison's home. She suffered from severe separation anxiety (we presume from whatever happened to her before the previous woman had her). She would begin tearing the place apart if left alone for even a few moments (and we won't even talk about her visits to the "cat-box buffet"). She would also stand on the dining room table and computer desks for several minutes before bolting around the house, as if possessed. (Explaining to guests about your cat being on the dining room table is one thing - explaining a 65lb dog on your dining room table is something else entirely.)

Alison and her husband began trying to gain Zoey's trust and show her that she would not be abandoned again, leaving her alone for 5 minutes, and then 10, and then 15, and so on. Over time, Zoey began to see that she was in a safe, loving forever home and the behaviors ceased.

Zoey still lives with Alison and her husband, where she is spoiled rotten every day. She occasionally tries to pick a fight with the 9-pound calico cat, Meineke, but Meineke is from New York City and simply won't put up with any of that.