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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What a wonderful, heartwarming story. Pit Bulls get such bad publicity .... true animal lovers know that any of their "bad" behavior is learned beavior from an owner and nothing more. I'm not sure who is the luckier one in this story, you or 17. Bless you both

yolanda nel

I am a firm believer in giving these beautiful souls a second chance in life, wow this makes my day

christy lipowski

What a loving picture of trust !!! That is what it is all about love & trust!! I adopted a shihtzu 8 yrs ago she was a puppy mill victim. She recently passed BUT what she brought to my life & heart will never be forgotten. I miss her dearly every day!!

Christine Drinkwine

Awesome work!!!! God Bless you all and what you do!!


We need more loving and humane people like you to educate and influence society. I too rescued a G. Shepherd and socialized her with my S. Husky....with lots of TLC and patience. The rewards are immeasureable! More power to you.


What a wonderful inspiring story and the picture speaks volumes. This is such a misunderstood breed and you are a wonderful ambassador for them. Thank you.

Laura B.

My heart melts seeing this picture. 17 looks so cozy; he has a family! God Bless You for saving these beautiful creatures and giving them a safe loving secure home. We have cared for my son's pitbulls over the years and I truly love these dogs.


adorable photo, great story and love the happy ending.

Patrick Oliver

Congratulations 17!


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