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ASPCA Happy Tails: Domingo the King

Thursday, June 5, 2014 - 10:30am
Two women holding young red and white pit bull

How do you know when an animal is “the one?” Through modern technology, it’s now easier than ever to find a perfect pet—you can visit doggie “dating” sites, take personality quizzes, and peruse images of available animals online. And though we love these tools, sometimes it’s nice to fall for an animal the old-fashioned way: through kisses and tail wags. That’s exactly what happened when Alaina H. met Domingo, a timid pit bull who won her heart. Here is their Happy Tail.

Alaina is a Vet Tech at the ASPCA Animal Hospital in New York City. She met Domingo last July when he, his siblings, and their mother were brought in after being rescued from a life of neglect. “Upon intake, all of the dogs were very frightened,” Alaina recalls, “but Domingo was the most skittish of the bunch.” Sensing the two-year-old pit bull’s extreme fear, she made it a point to spend extra time socializing with him to help bring him out of his shell. “We developed an amazing bond during the time that I cared for him in the Animal Hospital.”

While Domingo’s mother and siblings were adopted quickly, he was having a tough time overcoming his issues. For months, Alaina worked patiently with the pooch, until slowly but surely, the sweet pittie began to recover. “He became the most cuddly, adorable lovebug with me. I felt so honored and lucky to know that he felt comfortable enough with me to show his true bubbly personality.”

Happy pit bull out on a walk

By October, Domingo had made great progress and was moved into the Adoption Center. He was ready for a forever home, but Alaina couldn’t get him out of her head. “Even though he was just a few floors away, I missed caring for him every day in the hospital,” she says. “I would come home from work and miss him dearly.”

Finally, on one of her days off, Alaina figured out what she had known, deep down, all along: “I realized that I couldn’t imagine my life without him.” She rushed back to the ASPCA and adopted Domingo.

After years of neglect and months of rehabilitation, this precious pit bull finally found the life he deserves. “The first thing he did when he came home was jump on the couch and snuggle up in the pillows,” says Alaina. “He absolutely loves his home. He is a king here. This is truly the happiest I have ever seen Domingo.”

If you have a Happy Tail you’d like to share, email your story to happytails@aspca.org and we might feature it on the blog! 

Young woman outside holding pit bull

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Noreen

What a great happy ending for Domingo and Alaina!

Dorothy

I agree Noreen such happy wonderful story! You know here in Iowa the pit bulls get a bum rap saying they are dangerous but I have know many pit bulls and they have always been so loving and sweet. I hope you both have a wonderful life together and God Bless you for taking such good care of him. I truly wish all dogs have a happy ending but unfortunately they don't but that is why I also contribute to me it is so worth it!!

Mary-Frances

Hi Dorothy. Just wanted you to know it's not just in Iowa breed specific discrimmination occurs. Here in Miami FL, Pitties are banned, which doesn't work anyway since it's not the breed that creates this stupidity, it's the ignorant violent trash humans that create this "bum wrap" attitude. It's the policiticians who pass the discriminatory laws that are also swayed by the idea of blaming the breed, not the people or the deed. People like Michael Vick, who thankfully was exposed punished, not severely enough, are the bad breeds. It's good to see nice stories like the one about Domingo and stories about the former fighting dogs of Michael Vick, who have become therapy dogs. It's these positive pictures that are needed to change the stupid attitudes and it's also more severe laws that are needed to punish these people.

Sue

Hi Mary Frances, I also live in Miami, and it is so sad that people who love the pit breed have to move to another county in order to be able to adopt the dogs they want to have. You are right, it is the people who make the dogs bad, not the dogs. Pitts are the sweetest, most gentle and intelligent dogs if they are treated and bred correctly. We need to continue to tighten the laws on dog fighting so that this noble breed can return to Miami-Dade County, and some people can also come back here to live with their dogs. For Animal Control to automatically put these dogs on the list to euthanize is so wrong, so wrong. Fortunately, Pit Bull Rescue in Broward does come and get as many as they are able to. God bless all Pit Bull owners.

Corina

I love this story. I just saw it today. I don't know how old the story is but I love the happy ending for Domingo. I am an extremely proud mix Pit bull owner. He is the most adorable, gentle, lovable, patient dog I've ever seen. I am also trying to tell people pit buls are not born vicious. I don't know of any breed to be born vicious. It's humans who are training the dogs to fight and attack. I think you can take pretty much any breed starve them, feed them raw bloody meat, train them to fight and than put tem in the situation where they will be attacked and any breed will fight back. The instinct to defend themselves will kick in. Do that to a human and the defens instinct will kick in. I'm hooked on pit bulls for life.

Claudia

Mary Francis, yes Michael Vick did a horrible thing. But, what you do not know is that he has dedicated himself to protecting dogs now. He has come a long way. So, give him some credit. The land that he had those fights on he even donated to an animal organization. Some people do change. I love my little furry babies and could not imagine someone hurting one of them. But, Mr. Vick has truly changed his life around, he now works with animals a whole lot. So, give him some credit.

Bailey

Claudia, Michael Vick obviously needed to change his image for professional reasons, but I doubt he actually had a change of heart...

Marcy

I agree that Vick changed because his career depended on it. He is a sociopath and they don't change. Remember, he killed dogs himself. He was not just involved with the gambling part. Anyone that can do that is unlikely to change. Donating that land was nothing to him - he earns millions of dollars in the almighty football industry.

Emma

You're buying into a lot of Public Relations hype. Michael Vick's high-priced lawyers and PR guys wrote his "I'm sorry" speeches for him. He was in desperate need of a better image. He needed to rejuvenate his career. He was a very hated person -- even in football stadiums. There is nothing changed about that guy -- who has never shed a tear for those animals he sadistically brutalized and killed--except for his store-bought image.

Mary-Frances

Hi Dorothy. Just wanted you to know it's not just in Iowa breed specific discrimmination occurs. Here in Miami FL, Pitties are banned and that doesn't work anyway. All dog lovers know it's not the breed that creates this stupid attitude and fear, it's the ignorant, violent, trash humans that create this attitude. It's the politicians who pass the discriminatory laws because of their fear, not their knowledge or undertanding of the real problem. They all want to blame the breed, but we all know it's the people who brutalize and torture the dogs that make them mean. If you do the same thing to a human being, that person will also be mean. People like Michael Vick, who thankfully was exposed, not punished severely enough, are the bad breeds. It's good to see nice stories like the one about Domingo sweet personality even though he was neglected and scarred. Stories about the former fighting dogs of Michael Vick who have become therapy dogs. It's these positive pictures that are needed to change the stupid attitudes in people. More severe laws are needed to punish these people and to stop this irrational discrimination of a breed. Thank you for your comment.

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