Contributed by Keely Biggs
Amy had a hard time believing the ad on Craigslist was real. It read, “Small male brown dog for sale or free to be used as bait. We hate this dog.” The horrifying ad was not a joke. It led to the amazing rescue of a tiny Chihuahua and his rehabilitation with Heaven Can Wait.
Here is Sammy’s story:
Amy immediately called the number on the ad, but once she mentioned she was going to rescue the dog the owners told her they would not sell Sammy to her. The person on the other end of the phone admitted they had sold puppies to dog fighting rings in the past for use as bait dogs and explained they “hated” the Chihuahua because he had gotten their female dog pregnant.
Amy was frustrated, but not deterred from saving Sammy. She recruited a friend and together they went to face Sammy’s family. While Amy watched in the background her friend bought the little dog for a mere $20.00. His owner gave Sammy one final kick in the side and booted him out the door.
Once Amy brought Sammy home she saw he was extremely thin and his body was tender when he was touched. She reported Sammy’s injuries and story to Animal Control and for three days the Chihuahua cowered in her house in fear. Ultimately Amy came to the conclusion that she needed help if Sammy was ever going to become a “normal” little dog. Heaven Can Wait was called into the picture.
The dog coordinators at HCWS thought foster care was the best solution to let Sammy begin to heal both physically and emotionally. He was sent to live with Mila who is a foster parent and a dog trainer. Mila volunteers her time to train dogs whose owners are on the verge of getting rid of them because of behavioral problems. She warns pet owners not to list their animals on Craigslist if they can’t keep them. Her experience has shown that dog fighters scan the website looking for animals of all kind that can be used as bait to train dogs to fight. She urges pet owners to find a reputable shelter or rescue group instead.
Mila’s home was the perfect fit for Sammy.
Mila said, “The first day he arrived Sammy was very timid and scared, but my own dogs seemed to bring him out of his shell.” Her boxer, Rocco, helped Sammy relax and gain some confidence and even start a normal routine.
“The day Sammy got to my house, he took shelter under Rocco,” said Mila. “By the second day he was running around playing with Rocco and seemed like a completely different dog.”
Finally Sammy was confident enough to enter Heaven Can Wait’s Pups on Parole program. For three weeks his inmate handler taught him basic commands, gave him lots of love and helped him learn what it would take to live with a family of his own.
During that time, Christina dropped by the HCWS Adoption Center in search of a small dog to add to her family. When the dog coordinator told her about Sammy, she knew she wanted to adopt him. The next hurdle was to see how Sammy would react to Christina and her Chihuahua, Nick.
The two of them returned to the Adoption Center the following week to meet Sammy and the introduction was a complete success. Nick and Sammy have become great friends and each has taught the other something new. Nick never played with his toys before Sammy came along and Sammy was introduced to sleeping in a bed by Nick. Sammy’s days are now filled with going to the park, playing with the kids and taking walks with his family.
“When I met Sammy he seemed like a slightly timid dog, yet playful and polite. How someone could hate him, I will never know,” said Chrstina.
In honor of his new status the HCWS dog coordinator bought Sammy a sweater so he can show everyone how he went from a dog called “hated” to a dog who is “loved.”
You can find your own dog to love every Saturday at Heaven Can Wait dog adoptions. Visit us at our NEW location inside Bone Appetit at 4985 S. Ft. Apache and Tropicana. See all the cats and dogs available for adoption at: www.hcws.org Please consider supporting our programs by Clicking Here.
Filed under: Happy endings Tagged: | animal rescue, animal welfare, animals, happy ending adoptions, happy ending pet adoptions, HCWS, Heaven Can Wait, Heaven Can Wait Adoptables, Heaven Can Wait Animal Society, homeless pets, pets