In June 2012, the ASPCA rescued dozens of dogs from a Bronx dog fighting ring. Andrea K. adopted one of these special dogs, named 17, and shared the following story with us:
In May 2012, I lost my Pit Bull of 11 years, Mojo Jojo, to osteosarcoma. My heart was broken. I knew I would adopt another Pit Bull but wasn't quite ready yet. I decided to foster a puppy named 17. He fit in really well, and loves his housemates—we have three Staffordshire Bull Terriers named Charlie, Rumble and Page, and two adopted cats named Mush and Viggo. After about three weeks, we decided to officially adopt him.
As a dog trainer, I felt it was important to socialize 17, taking him to new places, introducing him to people and dogs during his foster period. Walking in town was a challenge. If a bus or truck passed by, or if 17 heard a loud noise, he would try to get back to the house. Walking him with our confident, adult dogs Rumble and Charlie, as well as bringing food along, helped 17 learn to walk in town without fear. At first, 17 was also hesitant to use the stairs leading up to our home. After a few weeks of eating breakfast on the steps, he overcame his fear.
17 is an avid swimmer, which we discovered when we took him to the beach—I could hardly hold onto his leash when he saw the water. Wearing a life jacket, 17 will fetch a ball over and over in the ocean. He's also enjoying agility classes. We also do a sport called lure coursing, which he took to right away. He has competed in Coursing Ability Tests and earned his first title in May.
A lot of people ask us why his name is 17. When we first took him home, his paperwork said #17/Arthur, meaning 17 of the 47 dogs in the case. “17” stuck and it is perfect because people always ask about it, which gives us an opportunity to educate people that great dogs really can come from cases of cruelty and neglect. No one forgets his name, either.
We’d like to thank the ASPCA for the great work they do and the opportunity they give animals like 17 every day in their work.