It is with heavy hearts that we share that Ray Ray the dog passed away on Sunday afternoon due to a sudden and unexpected deterioration of his condition and a cardiovascular heart, lung, or circulatory event.
Ray Ray was making good progress on a veterinarian supervised weight loss plan. It is unclear if or how the abuse he suffered might have played a role in his death.
Ray Ray started his journey with the SPCA of Wake County March 14th, 2017.
He was found as a stray in Wake Forest in March and taken to the Wake County Animal Care and Control Center. He weighed 92 pounds, more than twice what a dog his size should weigh. His condition is the result of long-term neglect of his health and disregard for his well-being.
The SPCA of Wake County’s medical team designed a weight loss plan under the direct care of our staff veterinarian that included prescription weight-loss dog food and daily exercise. Due to Ray Ray’s size, his exercise consisted of simply encouraging him to walk. He showed great motivation, and while SPCA team members sometimes had to lift up his back legs to help him walk, he always wanted to move, but just needed a little extra support. In the four weeks, he was in our care, he lost six pounds.
Ray Ray enjoyed time in the sunshine, love, play time and hours of care from a devoted staff. His condition was constantly monitored, and his veterinary check-ins on both Saturday and Sunday showed no symptoms of acute distress.
Sunday afternoon, Ray Ray was resting in his kennel when his breathing became labored. Staff immediately called the veterinarian to return, and animal care staff members sat with Ray Ray in his kennel to comfort him. Within minutes of the first onset of acute symptoms, Ray Ray took his last breath in the arms of our staff. He was loved until the very end.
“I am glad he is not in pain. It is sad because he was making such good progress, but I’m happy we were able to give him a great last few weeks,” says Animal Care & Behavior Supervisor Melanie DeLoach. “To be a part of Ray Ray’s story, to try to make a difference is extremely rewarding. I can’t imagine doing anything else,” added DeLoach.
While Ray Ray did not get the storybook “happy ending” of finishing his weight loss journey and being adopted, the SPCA did make sure he was comfortable and happy at the end of his life.
Furthermore, Ray Ray’s story is a reminder that animal cruelty and abuse comes in many forms. For Ray Ray, the lack of any medical care and extreme neglect ultimately cost him his life.
“Death is all too often the direct result of animal cruelty and neglect,” said Development Director Mondy Lamb. “We just don’t get to tell that story. Most of the time, the animal suffers and dies at the hands of their abuser and never gets help in time, or the SPCA of Wake County is so good at healing these victims that their ending is often upbeat.”
But these sad stories are the most important stories we can tell. They are also the most difficult to hear. What matters most is that we keep fighting the good fight. Like any fight there are times when we will lose, and times when we will lose animals in which we have invested so much love and care.
At the end of the day, what matters is that we are here for the animals who need us and that we continue to fight for them. That we always, always, always, fight for them.
Your support matters now more than ever. Help us save victims of animal cruelty.