This Dog Was Abandoned And Only Had Hours To Live, Until Something Saved Him

Due to overpopulation and abandonment, many dogs have to be put down in shelters if they are not adopted soon after they arrive. And when we’re talking about Pitbulls, getting them a home is extremely difficult because of the stigma surrounding the breed. For one pooch in particular, the clock was ticking, and only had a few hours to live unless someone came to his rescue, and today, we’ll learn his story.

#20. Freshy’s Story

Shelters tend to get crowded, and when that happens, some unlucky residents are scheduled to be put down, giving them days if not hours to live unless someone comes to their rescue. For Freshy the Pitbull, his time is up and has only a few minutes to live.

Photo: Courtesy of Scribol

Freshy was spending his last moments at a shelter in Brooklyn, New York, and was going to be put down at 5:00 pm. Only minutes before the deadline, a kind soul raced against all odds in order to save him. As soon as she learned about his situation, she jumped in her car and drove to New York. But how did she know about Freshy?

#19. The Shelter Crisis

Whether it be because people don’t want to take care of their pets anymore or don’t have the time or money to do so, or maybe because pets are lost and never found again, shelters are extremely packed. Every year, around 4.3 million animals are handled at shelters, so you can imagine there’s not enough room for all of them.

Photo: Courtesy of Scribol

And of course, there aren’t enough people willing to adopt them. That is why most shelters resort to euthanasia. They give animals a deadline during which they must be adopted, and if they don’t find a family by then, they are put down. Last year, approximately 3.7 million animals were euthanized in shelters. So you can guess that things weren’t looking good for Freshy…

#18. Bad Reputation

After learning about how shelters work, you can imagine an animal has very small chances of making it out of there. The younger and cuter you are, the better it looks for you. People like to adopt small puppies, so older dogs are usually ignored and get euthanized much quicker than the young ones.

Photo: Courtesy of Dog Appy

But Freshy’s problem wasn’t just his age and his size, but his breed. Pitbulls have a terrible reputation and are the least likely dog breed to get adopted by a family, statistically. People think that they’re dangerous, aggressive, and can’t be around children, but that is far from true.

#17. Why the Stereotype?

Pitbulls have such bad reputations that they are banned in many places, such as housing complexes and even cities. For example, Montreal, Canada, doesn’t allow people to have Pitbulls. Also, many insurance companies don’t cover families who have them, so you can imagine how hard it must be for them to find a family.

Photo: Courtesy of Youtube

The breed has been mischaracterized over the years and has become feared by many. But while it is true that some breeds carry certain behaviors in their DNA, Pitbulls just aren’t born mean. In fact, they’re among the sweetest dogs you could ever find. So why do people think such things about them?

#16. Bred for Fighting

Although it is illegal everywhere, dogfighting is very much a thing. It is a profitable business for many, and its biggest victims are Pitbulls. The poor pooches have been bred for the sole purpose of fighting other dogs for decades, because of their physical abilities, and that is precisely the problem: they are raised like that, not born for it.

Photo: Courtesy of Happy Dog Heaven

The key to turning a dog into a fighter is to isolate it and keep it from socializing with other dogs and humans. If the dog doesn’t know what love feels like, it will only feel anger and fear. These dogs spend most of their lives chained and out of reach of other dogs, and just don’t know how to interact with them.

#15. The Sad Truth

But fighting dogs aren’t created out of thin air. Most of their indoctrination also involves a variety of drugs, such as anabolic steroids, in order to increase their muscle mass and their aggressiveness. What’s more, narcotics are also used to make the dogs even more aggressive and feel less fear when it’s time to fight.

Photo: Courtesy of High Definition Wallpapers

When you see the final result, what you see is no dog, but a monster born out of people’s horrible actions. And this awful practice has not only ruined thousands of dog lives but has also damaged the reputation of Pitbulls. There are many myths that deter people from adopting them, which we’ll prove wrong in the next slide.

#14. Pitbulls Bite Harder

A common misconception about Pitbulls is that they have locking jaws, which basically trap their victim in the dog’s mouth and make the bite more effective. But studies have shown that Pitbull’s bites are much less tough than other breeds’. For example, Rottweilers have bites with 328 pounds of force.

Photo: Courtesy of Scribol

Not only that, but most dogs can inflict the same amount of damage when biting. In fact, the American Veterinarian Animal Association ran a study about fatal dog bites, and could only identify the breed of the biter in merely 45 cases, meaning that it could’ve been any dog breed in most cases.

#13. The Most Aggressive?

You’ve probably heard this one before: Pitbulls are the most aggressive dogs out there – but are they, really? Researchers have found that aggression can appear in any dog regardless of its breed, and it’s not a genetic trait that is passed from parent to parent. And, when comparing breeds, Pitbulls came out as some of the nicest.

Photo: Courtesy of Kindred Kitchen

A study from the University of Pennsylvania actually found that the most aggressive breeds were Chihuahuas and Dachshunds, which are some of the most common family pets out there, and are incredibly small in size. What researchers found, however, was that Pitbulls didn’t get along well with other dogs.

#12. The Real Deal

The truth is, that just like many humans, Pitbulls are victims of some serious stereotyping. Even in the media, Pitbulls are usually portrayed as scary, aggressive creatures, but that’s far from who they really are. They are mostly sweet, caring, compassionate dogs who love nothing more than spending time with their humans.

Photo: Courtesy of High Definition Wallpapers

And that was the case of Freshy. He’s never ever bit anyone, and he’s spent most of his time playing with humans and cuddling with them and other dogs. But when he hit the shelter, his fate was sealed. As a Pitbull, finding a home would be almost impossible. But before he ended up there, Freshy had a very different life…

#11. A Happy Past

Freshy’s life was very happy before he ended up in the shelter.  He lived with a family that had four children, two other dogs, and a cat. It was the best life a dog could hope for: a loving family and other animals to play with. And Freshy loved the family life.

Photo: Courtesy of Pixelstalk

Although Pitbulls are known to be aggressive, he was the complete opposite. He enjoyed playing with the other animals and always protected his human family. Gentle, playful and affectionate are the best ways to describe him. And apparently, his family loved him as well. So how did he end up in a shelter if his life was so good?

#10. When Things Changed

Freshy loved his family more than anything, but it wasn’t the same for his humans. When his human mom got pregnant with her fifth child, things became more stressful at home, and the family decided to get rid of one of their pets. Sadly, it was Freshy who got the boot.

Photo: Courtesy of Scribol

He was kind, friendly, and loveable, but to his family, he was baggage. When things got too crazy at home for the humans to handle, Freshy was dropped off at the shelter in Brooklyn, and his family never looked back. It was then that his fate was sealed: if no one adopted him within a few days, he’d be put down.

#9. A Dangerous Place

To make matters worse for Freshy, the Brooklyn shelter was a high-kill place, which means that as the shelter becomes crowded, they kill the animals that have been there the longest in order to make room for the newcomers. Lucky for him, not all hope was lost, as one woman took it upon herself to try to find him a home.

Photo: Courtesy of Scribol

Julie Carner met a scared but still friendly Freshy at the shelter and took pictures of the pooch to share on Facebook in the hopes of finding a new family for him before it was too late. She hoped that one of her social media contacts would be interested in saving Freshy, and that’s when she received a message that changed everything.

#8. His Savior

Alana Guerrini, a New Jersey native, saw the pictures and instantly felt a connection, as she explained in an interview: ” I looked at that face, and it absolutely crushed me.” She knew she had to do something to save him, but the clock was running against them. After all, she lived in New Jersey, and Freshy was all the way in New York City.

Photo: Courtesy of Scribol

There was no time to hesitate, so she jumped in her car and drove as fast as she could to get to Freshy on time. If she didn’t get there before 5:00 pm, it would be too late for the poor dog. But Guerrini was already an experienced rescuer, and she knew exactly what she needed to do to make it happen.

#7. Just in Time

Alana made it barely seconds before Freshy was put down, and he was given a new chance at life. In an interview, she spoke about the moment she arrived:

“It was 4:58 or 4:59 when we got the word that, ‘We’ll let you take him, and he’s officially yours and off ofdeath row,’”

Photo: Courtesy of Scribol

Despite not fully understanding his own situation, Freshy knew he was in danger, and he knew it was Alana who saved him. Not only her but her 16-year-old son, who had also tagged along. They became a family right then and there. And they decided to give Freshy a fresh start with a new name.

#6. A New Beginning

Freshy became Stormy, a name chosen to symbolize how he survived the storm and got a new chance at life. Stormy was extremely grateful and just couldn’t contain his excitement as he stepped into his new family’s car. About their first meeting, Alana recalled:

Photo: Courtesy of Scribol

“He jumped into my car with no problems. “My son had gotten into the passenger seat, and [Stormy] just climbed onto my son’s lap. And you could see with every little wiggle and face kiss that [Stormy] was thanking him because he knew that he was going to live.”

#5. An Instant Connection

It took literally no time for Stormy to feel at home. He just wanted to be on his new family’s lap at all times, playing and cuddling. He wasn’t aware of how big he actually was, and acted like a young puppy who just came into the world. He was especially close to Alana’s son and would sit on his lap for hours on end.

Photo: Courtesy of Scribol

The only time he would get up was to eat, or ask Alana for kisses. How is it possible that his old family got rid of such a loving, happy pup? Stormy was always eager to please and ready to protect his family when he needed to. For example, he would be so gentle when playing so as not to even scratch his humans – and this is coming from a Pitbull!

#4. In Sickness and in Health

Stormy wasn’t in it just for the good times. When Alana’s son got sick, for example, he stayed with him the whole time and just nuzzled up with him until he got better. And whenever he got up, Stormy would follow. His huge heart and bubbly personality just shone through.

Photo: Courtesy of Scribol

Whoever got to meet Stormy would instantly fall in love with him, because he just wants to be around people, and to love them and be loved. This is why Alana couldn’t help but wonder how his old family had abandoned him. How could such a happy, loving dog end up in a shelter? And what’s more, his life would change yet another time.

#3. Finding a New Home

Although Alana and her son had a strong connection with Stormy, they were only going to have him at home temporarily. The truth is that Guerini rescued animals for a living, and therefore could only foster animals for a period of time while searching for a permanent home for them and welcoming new ones into her home.

Photo: Courtesy of Paper Mag

Guerini needed to find a family that would see Stormy as the treasure he really was. A family that would give him the same unconditional love he would give them, and that wouldn’t get rid of him if things got ruff. But the hardest part would be to let Stormy go and hand him to a new family.

#2. Saying Goodbye

Finding a home for one of the nicest, sweetest, and most playful dogs she ever encountered wouldn’t be hard for Guerini. What was going to hurt was to let him go. Only a couple weeks after looking for an adopting family, they found the ideal candidates, and Stormy was sent off to live with his new parents.

Photo: Courtesy of American Bully Daily

At first, Stormy didn’t really understand what was going on. Alana was afraid he would feel unwanted and abandoned once more, so she tried to make the transition as smooth as possible.

“He was adopted and his family sends me pictures and videos a lot. He’s all smiles all the time, and I couldn’t be happier for him,” she wrote on Facebook.

#1. Wishing Him the Best

Stormy left his mark – or should we say paw print? – on Alana’s home and heart, and that is particularly why she loves doing what she does. Although saying goodbye is extremely difficult, seeing the animals with their new families is the most rewarding part of the rescue experience, and she wouldn’t change a single thing.

Photo: Courtesy of Qemistry

After sharing her and Stormy’s story, Alana got nothing but support from her social media contacts, which said things like:

“It is a true blessing to be a part of rescue, as well as fostering. Thank you for sharing this with me. My heart smiles for him and his new loving family. You are an awesome foster parent. So do pat [yourself]on the back.”

We couldn’t agree more!

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    24 - Argentina.

    She's a journalist and a website developer based in New York.

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