Lucky Number 17

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 11:30am
Tan and white pit bull running on grass

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.

Pit bull napping with cat

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I did volunteer work time in a cat room at a local cat shelter a couple years ago. The 3rd day I was there I was told the vet was coming that day. At first I thought it was to vet the animals. I was naïve! I heard the director going through saying "this one" and "that one" and I freaked out. I got on my cell phone and sent pictures and strong passionate desperate pleas to different people and rescues to save these lovely animals. I even sent pictures of me petting and holding assumed feral cats to prove they weren't feral. I managed to get 2 cat rescues to split the cats and saved 14 cats with 5 having kittens that were going down too if not taken by someone and 3 pregnant ones. Sadly I couldn't save the 2 very sick dogs and 1 true feral. But I did manage to get 2 dog rescues to step up including 1 that took pits. I take no credit for the rescues. I got lucky is all. It was all due to the rescues stepping up. Sadly this happens far more rarely than it needs to. Rescues do what they can. But usually shelters have limited space and so the less adoptable ones are killed to make room for new arrivals. Often pregnant mamas are not even given a chance. And very young don't get a chance to get old enough to leave Mama as the time it takes to get them old enough means that cage isn't available for a new arrival. This needs to change. Just how it can be changed I have no clue. And right now over 700 animals in Bakersfield, CA are just waiting to die when the shelter closes the end of September!

M'ecoute Benjamin

Andrea, you'll surely receive many blessings from above.


So happy to read this success story and love the pic of 17 and friend. Stories like this reinforce my choice to be an ASPCA Guardian. Thank you for the good work you and all fosters are doing!


You just made my day! Thanks for sharing your beaUtiful story!


Andrea bless you for loving 17 and giving him a opportunity to enjoy life in the manner he should. Your story touched my heart.


I was there and worked this. This makes my heart feel so good. Thank you, Andrea!

sally hood Bjorkman

I am so proud to be a part of this wonderful organization. I give 19.00 dollars a month to them. Wish I could give more. I love this story about a dogfighting ring being busted and these dogs finding good homes.


I just wish that some day we could stop animal cruelty.

Andrea K

Thank you for your comments! We love this dog and are continually amazed at how resilient he is! Thanks to everyone who works on cases like these, and for those that support the ASPCA so they can continue to save lives.

Donna Chiordi

Andrea you are a wonderful person. Many blessings to you and your wonderful family.