Yesterday, I wrote about the roll-out of our new PSAs for the Shelter Pet Project. The campaign is all about connecting people with homeless animals and creating the bond of a lifetime.
None of us is immune from the charms of these creatures—not least the HSUS personnel who respond to crises involving animals.
As part of an occasional series about our staff members who’ve adopted pets from our rescue deployments, I wanted to share a story from our own Michelle Cascio, manager of our Emergency Placement Partners program:
Pink came from a Missouri puppy mill that closed in January 2011. When the owner decided to close the facility, he called representatives of a local rescue group, Happy Dogs Rescue, and asked if they would take his dogs. With financial support from The HSUS, the organization was able to respond and picked up dozens of dogs in poor condition. In that group was a litter of 8-week-old American bulldog puppies. They had many medical issues such as mange, which contributed to hair loss; ear and eye infections; and internal parasites.
Our Puppy Mill Task Force agreed to transport some of these dogs to our Emergency Placement Partners for adoption. When I traveled to Missouri to pick up the dogs for the transport, I fell head over heels in love with the tiny, unsocialized bulldog puppy who was wearing a pink collar.
In the three days while we were preparing for the transport, Pink (nicknamed after her collar) bonded with me but remained very timid and shy around everyone else. It was clear what I needed to do. After we completed the transport to Chicago, I flew home with this tiny puppy tucked in a carrier under my seat. Pink received treatment for her mange, infections, and hook worm infestation.
Pink was the runt of the litter, and combined with the lack of proper care early in her life, she did not reach her full size. She will be 1 year old this Thanksgiving and only weighs 40 pounds—half the size of the average adult American bulldog. But she has blossomed into a wonderful companion who adores my other pets—two dogs, two cats, and a house rabbit.