Elsie was having trouble finding her perfect family—for seven months, she’d been waiting at the Western PA Humane Society (WPHS). Smart as a whip, the pit bull had mastered her basic commands and was a perfect lady on the adoption floor, but for some reason she wasn't finding a home. After three different adopters fell through, shelter board member Becky Torbin came along.
“Elsie was the most gentle, engaging, affectionate dog,” says Becky, who was hooked right away. Unfortunately, Becky’s husband, Herb, wasn't quite as enthusiastic.
“His harsh words were, ‘Have you lost your mind? She’s a pit bull!’” remembers Becky. “I looked him straight in the eye and answered, ‘Trust me on this one.’”
Herb’s decision to go with Becky’s hunch was a good one. He was later diagnosed with cancer and, because he had bonded so deeply with Elsie, she was the only one he wanted around after his weekly chemo treatments. “She lay across his chest as he slept on the couch and was the best medicine he could’ve asked for,” says Becky. Herb is now in remission—and Elsie’s biggest fan!
As it turns out, Elsie’s been busy changing lots of minds about pit bulls. “When people pet her, they always comment on what a wonderful soul she is,” says Becky. “Then comes the inevitable question…‘What kind of dog is she?’ I smile and say, ‘Elsie is a pit bull.’ An expression of surprise comes over people’s faces as they utter the magical words I love to hear: ‘Meeting this sweet dog has completely changed my perception of pit bulls.’”
Elsie and her mom are the third-quarter winners of the ASPCA Adopt-A-Bull contest, which celebrates successful adoptions made at shelters using the Meet Your Match™ (MYM) program. Elsie’s win scored WPHS a $4,000 grant, and now she and her mom—and the shelter—are automatically entered to win the grand prize in the “Vote for Your Favorite Match" online contest scheduled for February 2009.
P.S. If you know of a great pit-human pair who met at a shelter that uses MYM, let ‘em know that they can enter the Adopt-A-Bull Contest too. The deadline for fourth quarter entries is December 31, 2008.