Ned’s New Home: An update on an old friend

If you've been around Lakeland Animal Shelter for the past few years, the name Ned probably rings a bell. For those who don't know him, Ned is best described as the "ultimate underdog."

He's been featured in a few of our past videos, including this one on membership:

Ned is a 6-year-old, male Pitbull mix with a troubling backstory. He arrived at Lakeland Animal Shelter after having been sold on Craigslist and later abandoned by whoever bought him.

It was truly heartbreaking because Ned is one of the gentlest and sweetest dogs we've ever had. He has a rare skin condition, which causes his diet to be highly restricted. This condition put him in the special needs category, which is difficult for many families.

However, after being one of our longest tenured canine companions, Ned has finally found his forever home with Larry Kizewski and Charlotte Hense! We had the chance to catch up with Ned's new family, and they shared more on Ned's encouraging new life.

Ned's Forever Family

Larry and Charlotte moved into the area about four years ago, and they had recently lost two dogs around that same time.

Both Larry and Charlotte had been actively engaged with animals in the past, through dog walking and similar things, and were looking for new ways to donate and become involved in their new community.

This desire to help care for homeless animals is what drew them to Lakeland Animal Shelter. Larry and Charlotte were looking mostly to donate but stumbled upon an article in our "Dear Santa" letter about a dog named Ned.

"We noticed that he had already been in two homes and a foster home," Charlotte said. "He was the oldest resident animal at the shelter. Had he not been at Lakeland, he likely would've been put down. They cared enough to keep him going."

Larry and Charlotte had always had a soft spot for special needs animals and older pets. Ned's medical bills, between his allergy issues and skin condition, would've been too much for most people.

"We just knew that we had the finances to cover Ned's medical bills. He was going to need a lot of help, and we felt we could dedicate the resources to provide him with a home," Larry said.

What's Ned Been Up to?

Ned has found a true forever home with Larry and Charlotte…and he's doing great! It’s been a transition for him, having lived at the shelter for so long, but Ned is adjusting.

"You can tell he's adjusted very well because he sometimes decides to act naughty,” laughed Charlotte. “Which for him is a good sign.”

Ned now has plenty of time to lounge and play around the house and go for walks but still requires extra care. He doesn’t do very well when left alone and tends to chew on door knobs. Larry and Charlotte make sure to stay close by and never leave him without a babysitter.

“He’s not really much of an outside dog,” Larry mentioned. “He enjoys walks, but when we let him out in the yard, the first thing he does is head for the door to go back inside.”

We're glad to hear that Ned is finally happy in his loving forever home.

Ned’s Bench

Ned with his family beside his bench
Larry and Charlotte chose to sponsor a bench for Ned. They also sponsored two other benches for their previous dogs in the past.

The message on Ned’s bench is: When this you see, remember me…Ned. Larry and Charlotte wanted to make sure all the staff members and volunteers who spent time and effort taking care of Ned over the years were honored by it.

“We want to thank everyone who had a hand in loving Ned at Lakeland,” Charlotte said. “Ned’s bench is a visual reminder that all of their hard work was well worth it.”

How Can You Help Others Like Ned?

Through adoption and donations, you too can make a difference in a homeless animal’s life. You can also click the following links for more information on bench sponsorship or volunteer opportunities.

As always, thanks for supporting Lakeland Animal Shelter. We couldn’t do any of this without caring people like you!