Stray Dog Who Swallowed Basketball Makes Amazing Recovery

Pets, especially dogs, have the unfortunate habit of swallowing all sorts of crazy non-edible objects from legos and beer bottles to wallets full of cash, but I think Hannah, the pit bull mix currently in ASPCA care takes the cake with her consumption of a basketball. Yes, a basketball.

Amazingly, no one knew she had swallowed a basketball until she started expelling big chunks of the ball. Worried about how much of the ball might still be in her stomach, she was taken to the Rockaway Animal Hospital in New Jersey where the remains of the ball were surgically removed and her intestines repaired.

At this point her story starts to improve. Especially, when you consider what she had already been through.

Hannah was a stray until December 2013 when finally someone alerted the ASPCA that a very emaciated dog with a big dent in her head was roaming despondently around the city of Fairport. When the ASPCA finally found her, Hannah was extremely fearful, trembling when anyone came near, and almost hysterical around loud noises, even long after being in good care. From the streets, she was taken to Rochester Animal Services who transferred her to the Humane Society’s Lollypop Farm. But, the Lollypop Farm worked with her for a month with little success. Not willing to give up on her, she was sent to the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center (St. Hurbert’s Animal Welfare Center) in Madison, New Jersey on that day after Christmas.

St. Hurbert’s Animal Welfare Center is a pioneering facility dedicated to providing behavioral rehab for undersocialized canine victims of cruelty, such as those confiscated from puppy mills and hoarding situations.

It was during her time at St. Hubert’s that it was discovered she had eaten a basketball – or at least part of one.

Following surgery, she was given time to heal physically before the center attempted the bigger task of healing her emotional wounds.

But once emotional therapy began Hannah made wonderful progress in just a few weeks.  At the ASPCA’s groundbreaking facility, experts worked day and night to ameliorate her fears and calm her crippling anxiety. She began to acclimate to unfamiliar sounds, objects and people. She learned to love walks and began to wag her tail, bounce around and approach new people. In fact, according to the ASPCA website, Hannah was “such a good walker that she became one of our best helper dogs, encouraging other fearful dogs to enjoy walks as well.”

Nowadays, this once dejected street dog is now known for her goofy personality. “We even found her sweet spot,” reported the ASPCA website,  ”a deep ear rub.” This month she officially graduated from the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center and is now ready for adoption.

For those who worked with Hannah from the beginning are overjoyed with her transformation: ”Hannah’s experience has been quite a journey, and we are so inspired by how far this sweet girl has come.”

She is now finally ready to find her forever home, so if you have a place in your home and heart for a dog like Hannah, please contact St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center at (973) 377-2295 or visit

Image credit: ASPCA

Next page: Video describing the wonderful and pioneering work of the ASPCAs St. Huberts Animal Welfare Center.


Christine Jones
Christine J.1 years ago

There are some great people in the world and these organizations have lots of them.

Erin H.
Erin H.2 years ago

Interesting article, thank you!

Mary Donnelly
Mary Donnelly2 years ago

Good outcome.

tin leng lim
tin leng lim2 years ago

Hopefully Hannah will be able to find her forever home soon.

Lisa Zarafonetis
Lisa Zarafonetis2 years ago

So glad the dog survived. :)

Lisa Zarafonetis
Lisa Zarafonetis2 years ago

So glad the dog survived. :)

holly masih
h masih2 years ago


Jonathan Harper
Jonathan Harper2 years ago

Poor dog

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Jonathan Harper
Jonathan Harper2 years ago