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Puppy rescued from alleged drug dealer’s pocket now happy, thriving

Zoey (photo courtesy of Melissa Burnham)

Zoey (photo courtesy of Melissa Burnham)

WALTHAM, Mass.  –She may have had a difficult start in life, but a puppy found by police in the pocket of an alleged drug dealer in October is today healthy and living with her adopted family outside Boston.

The puppy, who was dubbed Pocket by the volunteers who rescued her, is now called Zoey. Her pet parent, Melissa Burnham, said that while Zoey is still small – about 40 pounds – she’s a loving, energetic dog who hasn’t had any health-related issues.

That wasn’t the case back in October, when the 3-week-old puppy was rushed to BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital because she was vomiting and had diarrhea.  Separated too early from her mother, the American pit bull terrier puppy was seized by police after she was found in the accused drug dealer’s pocket during his arrest, according to members of PittieLove Rescue, the non-profit organization who assumed care for her.

Zoey and Brandy (photo courtesy of Melissa Burnham)

Zoey and Brandy (photo courtesy of Melissa Burnham)

The puppy recovered, and the story of her rescue made national news. Noreen Ford, president of PittieLove Rescue, said she was flooded with hundreds of applications to adopt her – some from as far away as California.

Among those applications was one from Burnham and her family.

“We saw her on the news and we said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to get that dog?’” said Burnham. “We didn’t think it would happen. We knew lots of people wanted her. But the story still made us want to give a home to a dog who needed help.”

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First family portrait (photo courtesy of Melissa Burnham)

So when the adoption counselor told Burnham she had a puppy with an unusual history for them to consider, Burnham and her family were astonished.

“We couldn’t believe our luck,” said Burnham, who adopted the puppy the day after Thanksgiving. “Our family just fell in love with her so quickly. And she wouldn’t stop following us around.”

Zoey is especially close to Brandy, Burnham’s 7-year-old daughter. The pair are constant companions and even sleep together.  Burnham said the family loves buying toys and clothes for Zoey and got her a stocking for Christmas and a stuffed animal for Valentine’s Day.

Dr. Kristina DePaula, the board-certified emergency and critical care veterinarian who treated Zoey, said she was pleased to hear the puppy was flourishing in her new home.

Zoey snuggling with her human, Brandy. (photo courtesy of Melissa Burnham)

Zoey snuggling with her human, Brandy. (photo courtesy of Melissa Burnham) home.

Dr. Kristina DePaula with Zoey, then called Pocket, at BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital in October.

Dr. Kristina DePaula with Zoey, then called Pocket, at BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital in October.

“It’s always rewarding when we hear that our patients are doing well,” said DePaula. “Zoey is a special little dog and we’re happy she’s enjoying life with her family.”