Harnessing Help for a Homeless Dog Named Hope

We're still jumping for joy over the great news- as reported in yesterday's column - that Cleveland is now breed-neutral, so pit bulls are no...

Julia Szabo  |  Jun 10th 2011


We’re still jumping for joy over the great news- as reported in yesterday’s column – that Cleveland is now breed-neutral, so pit bulls are no longer considered vicious by law. Yay! Pit bulls make wonderful family pets.I ought to know; I live with several sweet specimens of the breed.

As the dogs who survived Michael Vick’s cruelty factoryprove,pit bullswant to forget their painfulpast and love again. It’s one of the breed’smost wonderful qualities. So it’s time to reflect on the plight of the many thousands of pit bulls in animal shelters around this country – and remember that they need, and deserve, loving homes.

In Massachusetts, the excellent rescue group Paws New England has a beautiful pit girl up for adoption. Her name is Hope.In April, a good samaritan foundHope chained to a plastic barrel by the side of the roadin rural Tipton County, Tennessee. The dog was forlornly watching the cars drive by,hopingthe one that left hermight return. The samaritan unchained Hope andbrought herto the local animal shelter.

As it turned out, somebodyelse was looking out for that dog – somebody “up there.”

It so happened that a representative of Paws New England, John Gagnon,was touring the shelter that day, pulling dogs to transport North for adoption. Hope was emaciated and covered in mange; her heart was infested with worms. But her spirit wasn’t broken. Her eyes spoke to John, a professional dog trainer who knows a good K9 when he sees one. So he pulled her,made provisions forher veterinary care, and had her transported North.

Today, Hope is in the pink of health. She lives with her foster family in Massachusetts, where she enjoys lots of attention from her foster mom Jen’s two young sons (see photo above).Jen is aschool teacher, and has brought Hope to school with her, to the delight ofthe students. Capably demonstrating the pit bull’speople-pleasing nature,Hope will be participating in a town parade,dressed as … a squirrel on a float!

To inquire about giving Hope the permanent home she so deserves – with or without squirrel costume -go here.