Rhyzik, a 2-year-old shepherd mix adopted from Española Humane, survived something that is usually fatal: distemper. Even if a dog survives the disease, it often suffers severe neurological damage.

Rhyzik spent six months in the care of Española Humane’s veterinary staff while recovering with a foster family, before being adopted six weeks ago by Zach Hively of Abiquiú.

“I’m amazed at the work Ryzhik’s foster parents did with him. He’s so smart and so playful, he was so well loved and so capable that he transitioned right into our lives like it was nothing,” Hively said.

To honor the fosters, who are Russian, Hively kept the name they gave the dog.

“I have to teach everyone I meet how to pronounce Ryzhik’s name [pronounced Ree-zik],” he said. “Heck, I probably don’t pronounce it quite right. But it’s such a unique name, and it’s a way to carry on the love his foster parents gave him. It means ‘little ginger’ in Russian. He knows and responds to it, and I think he loves it.”

Rhyzik also has a new best friend. Hively has another dog, a senior named Hawkeye, who Hively adopted a few years ago. “I’ll only adopt dogs from Española Humane. They do such incredible work with not enough resources. And these dogs, these survivors like Rhyzik, deserve the best homes,” he said.

Rhyzik beat the statistics and continues to show no signs of damage. Hively added, “I was all the more drawn to him knowing he was a survivor, and still a sweetheart.”


Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society: Bruno is a super-sweet Siberian husky mix who is almost 2 years old. Bruno has a lot of energy and enjoys playtime. Bruno has been around kids and walks excellent on leash. He would definitely benefit with some training. Bruno can be adopted for $31 during the shelter’s Wag-O-Ween event.

Bonita is a beautiful 6-pound, 1-year-old domestic shorthair female cat. Bonita has been a lovely cat to be around. She likes long naps and head scratches. She even doesn’t mind dressing up in Halloween costumes.

These and other animals are available for adoption from the animal shelter, 100 Caja del Rio Road. The shelter’s adoption hours are from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, with the last adoption at 5:30 pm. Call 505-983-4309, ext. 1610, or visit SFHumaneSociety.org.

Española Animal Humane: Juji is an 8-year-old shepherd who weighs 89 pounds. He loves to go for walks and spend time with his dog buddies. Nana is missing an eye. She is an 8-month-old, 7-pound orange tabby. Apply at espanolahumane.org or call 505-753-8662.

Felines & Friends: Santa Rosa and Roseann are 15-month-old Oriental shorthair cats. Both girls have striking blue eyes — Santa Rosa with gorgeous mocha fur; Roseann with a beautiful fawn coat. This beautiful bonded pair are shy. They will need a patient adopter to help them gain trust and feel at home.

Rudy is an orange tabby who was 1 day old when he and his mom and littermates Rory, Randy and Racer came to Felines & Friends. When he’s not romping with his energetic 5-month-old siblings, Rudy enjoys being held and cuddled. Apply at fandfnm.org.

Dew Paws Rescue: Lucky is still waiting for that special someone. Lucky is a 2-year-old mixed breed who weighs 75 pounds, is vaccinated and neutered. He is good on a leash and fine with other dogs. Lucky would make a great hiking companion.

Boss is a 10-year-old senior Chihuahua. Boss will be available for adoption in November.

Call 505-412-9096 or email infodewpaws@gmail.com.

The Horse Shelter: Belle was born at The Horse Shelter in 2016. She is a friendly, 14-hands-high sorrel mare that loves attention. Belle is easy to catch and knows her groundwork. She tends to be dominant in her herd and does attach easily to her herdmates. Belle is an easy keeper. Belle’s adoption fee is $250.

Belle and many other horses are available for adoption at The Horse Shelter. Visit TheHorse

Shelter.org or call 505-577-2193.

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