Dog Igor, the little devil who eventually turned out to be an angel

A cute dog that immediately wins your heart, that’s what Igor looks like. But in his passport there was a warning: ‘Very aggressive’. The Jack Russell was so traumatized by his life at the controversial dog breeder in Eersel that almost no one had confidence that things would turn out well. Finally, with a lot of patience, he let go of his fear and began his new life. How the little ‘devil’ transformed into an angel.

Igor was seized last May during an NVWA raid on the grounds of the Kwispel Enzo breeding farm, together with hundreds of other dogs. The animals were not properly cared for, the cages and drinking water were contaminated and many dogs had health problems.

Igor ended up at a so-called warehouse in Zaandam, where it is checked whether the animals have enough resilience to go to a new owner. There they saw a very aggressive dog in him, of which they could not even estimate how old he was, because he resisted a lot when they tried to look at his teeth.

Els Adams from the Animal and Project Foundation took care of the dog last summer. This so-called ‘last chance’ shelter in the green countryside in Nispen provides for animals that are difficult to place or abused and that have nowhere else to go.

“I had to promise not to let him suffer psychologically from life itself.”

“In Zaandam they had a gloomy outlook,” says Els. “I had to promise not to let Igor suffer psychologically from life itself. And it’s true, he was in bad shape. But I was determined to give him a chance.”

At first he acted ugly, out of pure fear. At the shelter they decided to leave the Jack Russell alone for a while. “We only gave him nice things and left him feeling a little better.”

Because Igor had not been neutered, his hormones increased considerably. “He did things he actually didn’t dare to do. Everything was terrifying, but he still had to show a little bravado. And that created a kind of conflict,” says Els.

“In his head he thought he was paralyzed when he was on a leash”

Slowly but surely, the team managed to win Igor’s trust. “After a while we were able to pick him up and he was happy to have a pat on the head.”

Yet the trauma had not disappeared. “You could see that he was starting to enjoy life more and more, but when you put a leash on him, he would freeze completely. He couldn’t walk a meter. We tried everything, but he just blocked. The front legs walked, but with the He just let himself be carried away at the back. In his head he thought he was paralyzed when he was on the leash. This way he could sit in the same spot for hours without moving.”

While other ‘dogs from Eersel’ dared to be dogs again and found a new owner, Igor was still roaming around Nispen. Yet Els did not give up. “This little one is very sweet, but he managed to disguise that well. We hoped that the penny would drop, but it took a lot.”

“He picked Grandpa as a special friend.”

Unexpectedly the penny dropped and the switch turned. Igor’s legs started moving again. He just walked along on a leash, well-behaved and without stress.

And then, at the beginning of 2024, six months after he came to the shelter, triumph prevails. Igor has been rehomed with a new owner. “I admit, he got the most out of us in terms of inventiveness, but we succeeded,” says an overjoyed Els.

He now lives in a semi-detached house, where a couple lives on one side and the parents-in-law on the other. “Igor quickly looked at it and chose grandpa as a special friend. He lies contentedly on his lap and every now and then he gets a piece of sandwich. You can see that he has found his place. Just fantastic.”

Photo: Els Adams/Stichting Dier en Project.
Photo: Els Adams/Stichting Dier en Project.

We followed a total of five ‘dogs from Eersel’ at the Animal and Project Foundation, here you can read how they arrived last August as piles of misery.