ASPCA Happy Tails: A Dog Worth Waiting For

Thursday, January 9, 2014 - 11:00am
Happy brindle pit bull

In 2011, Spike (also known as Spice) was living in a squalid basement. Tied to a wall with a short leash, he had no access to food or water. He was severely emaciated, weighing only 32 pounds when the ASPCA rescued him. Over the next two years, staff at the ASPCA nursed him to health and brought his weight up to 54 pounds. But despite his sweet, loving temperament, Spike just couldn’t find a home. We worried he might never get adopted. Then, on Christmas Eve, we got the greatest gift of all.

Joe and Lou, two brothers from New Jersey, first learned about Spike on Facebook. They had been looking for a dog for a while when someone shared Spike’s photo on their timeline. “I figured the right dog would come along eventually, and he did,” said Lou. The very next day, December 24, they went to the ASPCA Adoption Center and adopted Spike.

Emaciated pit bull

Many ASPCA staff said goodbye to the precious pit bull with tears of joy—no one more so than Animal Care Technician Trevor Simms. Trevor worked with Spike daily during his time at the ASPCA. Despite the bittersweet goodbye, Trevor couldn’t have asked for a better holiday miracle.

“Finally,” was all he could manage to say.

Spike now spends his days with Joe and Lou at their racing shop in New Jersey. He spends his nights in their warm, loving home.

Ready to help more animals like Spike in 2014? Join us! Become an ASPCA Guardian, and for just a few cents a day, you can make a huge impact on countless lives.

ASPCA staffer hanging out with dog

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Maybe it's just me, but if you look the dog's eyes in the photos. You can see the eyes display the distrust and say "I don't care what happens". In the other photos you can see the intense curiosity and interest in everything.

Lorraine Ortiz

Does the ASPCA do follow-up visits on the dogs they adopt out? Just curious.

Sue Johnson

I am so glad that Spike's story has a happy ending. God entrusted the animals to our care and we so many times let the animals and Him down. I do personal rescue in a small MO community and see so many abandoned and neglected animals. I have 10 dogs and 23 kittys that will always be with me for one reason or the other and many that go through my hands to wonderful rescues. Please speak up anytime you can for spay and neutering. It is the biggest and best answer to this situation. All animals are precious and deserve a chance at a good long life.
Sue in Dixon


just look at that face, how could anyone have harmed him? great the ending!!!!


This year I am trying to find the money to donate each month. My heart literally breaks at the cruelty that is out there. I feel so strongly against this and want to do my part in helping. Thank GOD there are still people who have hearts!


Bless you Joe and Lou, especially waiting until (even though I am sure it was hard) you had that special feeling and found the right dog for you. Spike is sooo lucky to have you both in his life. I am sure that is was very hard on Mr. Simms because he has a huge heart full of love for these unfortunate animals. What a fantastic job the ASPCA does and for all the supporter that give. My eyes are full of tears of joy as I write this.

Carolyn Balakas

Dear Joe & Lou,

Thank you so much Joe and Lou for adopting Spike. Spike is so lucky but so are you and Lou. I rescued a Pit Bull at six months that was abused and she turned out to be the sweetest dog you would ever want, she was loving and loyal and gave unconditional love, kisses and hugs. I named her Reva and I had her for 12 1/2 years before her second bout with cancer took her away from me last Christmas. What a rotten Christmas that was and I am still heart broken. Pits are so misunderstood and mistreated, they are loving dogs and deserve as much love in return. Reva used to sleep with me in bed and she would have to get right up against me which I absolutely loved. You and Lou are both very nice people for adopting Spike please be good to him and treat him well he has been through enough pain and deserves better. Thank you both again and God Bless you both and Spike too. Give Spike a big hug for me, I love Pit Bulls.


I agree. Please Joe and Lou, only give Spike lots of love. Never punish him or have a harsh word for him. He should never have to worry about being in a secure, loving home again. He should know that all he will ever have for the rest of his life is love. I ask the same question, "Does the ASPCA do follow-up visits after adopting out these mistreated animals? It would be a shame for one to have to go through pain again, because someone did not take the time to make sure the home was working. Love to all of you.


What a loving story; makes my heart smile. THANK YOU (Joe & Lou). Spike is among the lucky ones. Far too many never get "the angels".


When volunteering at local shelter walking dogs, I found this Brindle Pit was among the most loving dogs of all. He is a "treasure" and both Spike, Joe and Lou are meant to be together. Blessings and THANK YOU.