Abandoned dog that captured Knoxville’s heart succumbs to illness

Young-Williams Animal Center announced today that Bridget, the female dog recently found on Jenkins Road by Knoxville Police Department Animal Control officers, passed away on March 15.

Despite the two-week effort by a team of veterinarians, specialists and staff to save her life, Bridget’s health took a turn for the worse Tuesday, and she succumbed to her illness.

“We’re deeply saddened to announce that Bridget has crossed the rainbow bridge,” says Janet Testerman, CEO of Young-Williams Animal Center. “We hope you will find comfort, as we do, in knowing that during her time here Bridget knew she was cared for and loved. Her tail wagged often, and we gave her all of the affection we could in such a short time.”

Bridget’s condition and medical needs were severe upon arrival at the shelter on March 5. She then was diagnosed by a veterinary oncologist with squamous cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer, earlier in the week. Young-Williams Animal Center was planning treatment for the cancer when she passed.

Shelter staff are heartbroken by the loss of Bridget and expressed a plea to pet owners to reach out early if they need help caring for an animal. Services, including free food and supplies, financial assistance for medical care and more, are provided without judgment. Contact [email protected] or call 865-363-6702 or visit the Pet Resource Center page for additional information.

“We have been overwhelmed by the kind, supportive and loving messages, calls and emails from the community asking how to help,” Testerman says. “Thank you to everyone who reached out. Your support has gotten our team through a tough two weeks, and your shared love of Bridget makes all the difference.”

Bridget’s care was provided by the Animal Compassion Fund, a program at Young-Williams Animal Center that provides care for stray pets with medical or behavioral needs that prevent them from getting adopted. Donate to the Animal Compassion Fund at young-williams.org/compassion-fund.

“Bridget’s loss has hit us hard,” Testerman says. “You can spend a lifetime in animal welfare, but you still give each pet a little piece of your heart, and every loss feels as if it were a family member.”