Cancer-Stricken Shelter Dog Gets To Spend His Final Christmas In A Home

Something good has finally happened to a shelter dog who has had a very, very bad year. When Wiffle Ball, a five-year-old terrier mix, first arrived to Virginia’s Richmond Animal League (RAL), he was suffering with a severe infestation of heartworms. In fact, he was in such poor condition that the shelter staff was unsure if he would survive the treatment. Fortunately, he did.

But Wiffle Ball had more health problems in store…not long after completing his heartworm treatment, he was diagnosed with pneumonia. After being treated for the serious illness, Wiffle Ball still appeared to be feeling under-the-weather, so he visited the veterinarian once again – this time, he was diagnosed with something that could not be treated…terminal cancer (Lymphoma).

Indeed 2016 has been a very, very bad year for this little trooper. On December 14, RAL posted an update about Wiffle Ball to its Facebook followers:

Chemo would give WB 6-18 months. Palliative care in a loving home means six weeks-six months. Right now all he knows is that we love him a lot and are going to take care of him the best we can. Thank you for making every ending at RAL the best it can be–whether in a home for a very, very long time, or at home for even a little while.

Two days later, RAL showed its Facebook fans how they were treating Wiffle Ball to his very own, very good day…a day with a trip to Starbucks for a Puppucino, McDonald’s for some French fries and the pet store for some special treats. RAL wrote, “he has cancer he is not going to overcome. The least we could do is give Wiffle Ball a very good day at the end of a very bad year. That day was today.”

The best was yet to come for the cancer-stricken pup…a family was coming to the shelter to meet Wiffle Ball and possibly, give him a final forever home. Sure enough, when the couple met Wiffle Ball, they fell in love – Wiffle Ball was adopted and he will be spending his final Christmas, in a loving home, with a real family. On December 18, RAL shared the joyous news, “Here’s a Going Home photo we all love! Merry Christmas, Wiffle Ball!”

Indeed, Wiffle Ball had a bad year, but what is left of his life holds great promise for happiness. Undoubtedly, his new family will be doing their utmost to fill the remainder of his days with as much good as they possibly can.

(Photos via Richmond Animal League Facebook page)

RAL website here.

Richmond Animal League on Facebook here.




Penny Eims

Penny is a freelance writer who provided content to her National Dog News column at for 8 years. She is a current contributor to Fido Friendly Magazine, as well as a newly formed website, Pet Rescue Report. Penny is married and she has two rescued German shepherds and two kids.


  1. Joann says:

    I am blessed to have been involved with RAL. They are truly a wonderful organization! So happy for Wiffle Ball!

  2. JERRY EDELMAN says:

    G-d bless them all for caring and opening up their hearts to share their love with WIFFLE BALL. The love and compassion they have shown and shared will warm their hearts forever from the memories they will create. Have a wonderful CHRISTMAS and NEW YEAR to you all.

  3. Heidi Chapman says:

    All the love in the world to you Wiffle Ball.

  4. T.J. says:

    god bless you wiffle ball……. hope you enjoyed your Christmas good boy. God bless the family for giving wiffle ball a warm loving home. rest well angel pup

  5. Patti Mata says:

    God Bless Wiffle Ball’s new owners may all their Christmas wishes come true.

  6. Wendy Sims says:

    Tears of joy! Thank you to the wonderful family who brought him the best gift ever…..Wiffle Ball, you are loved by all.

  7. Linda Dominguez says:

    Many thanks to Wiffle Balls new mom and dad for giving this precious fur-kid a loving home for as long as possible. I hope Wiffle Ball will be able to enjoy many months of love and car trips to enjoy Puppachino’s and fries!

  8. Viv Graves says:

    Thank you to all who helped Wiffle Ball. A huge thanks to the family who have given him a home for however long he has left. You are my kind of people!

  9. Christiane Martel says:

    So happy that Wiffle Ball’s days, weeks and maybe months will be filled with love, tenderness, treats and caresses!! Wish him and the family, a very Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart!!!!

  10. Barb hall says:

    I think it’s wonderful that wiffle ball has a change to feel love and be safe in the arms of caring people. Bless you.

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