Lifestyle & Human Interest

These Four Dog Transformation Stories Will Melt Every Pet Owner's Heart


There is a well-known phrase among animal lovers and advocates: “Adopt, don’t shop.”

According to the Hinsdale Humane Society in Illinois, the phrase was part of a campaign that hoped “to bring public awareness to the plight of homeless animals and to encourage prospective pet owners to adopt from animal shelters and rescue groups as opposed to buying pets from on-line retailers or pet shops.”

Besides not encouraging poorly-run puppy mills and other breeding operations, adopting a puppy from your local shelter gives these animals a second chance.

Seeing a dog transform from a street dog to a loyal companion is one of the most heartwarming things. Sometimes the dog even bounces back with twice as much love to thank their new owners.

Here are four different stories from 2018 that show just how important a second chance can be for abused or abandoned dogs.

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Cops Respond to Reports of Dog Abuse, Colleague Steps Up and Gives the Dog a Home

Two Cleveland, Ohio, officers responded to reports of animal abuse in January 2018. When they arrived on the scene, they learned that the owner had beaten his 1-year-old pit bull with a belt, choked him and threw a brick at the dog’s face.

After moving the dog to a shelter for treatment and arresting the owner, the two responding officers told their colleagues about the horrendous scene. Officer Brandon Melbar was among the group of police officers who heard the story and decided that the poor pup deserved a second chance at a loving home.

Melbar eventually decided to foster him and gave him a new name: Harvard, which is also the name of the street where he was rescued. After some time, a strong bond grew between the two and the officer knew that Harvard was home; he officially adopted him soon after.

Now Harvard is getting the treatment that Melbar says he deserves, “He’s a good dog.”

Couple Finds Stray Dog at Gas Station While on a Road Trip, Brings Her Along for Rest of Trip

Emily Trost and her boyfriend, Nick Mazzone, were on a 10-week cross-country road trip when they decided to stop at a gas station, which lead to a turn of unexpected events.

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After walking out of the Montana gas station, they noticed a dirty, stray dog lying next to their car. They initially thought the dog with matted fur belonged to someone nearby, but after asking around no one claimed ownership.

A good-hearted stranger who feeds stray dogs in the area saw the couple with the poor pup and encouraged them to take her; the woman said that the dog deserved a good home. It only took moments in the car for the couple to know that the dog would be theirs forever.

They named her Montana after the state they found her in.

“The morning after we got her was the best,” Trost told The Dodo. “She woke up in our tent and started crawling up to our heads, whimpering and giving us kisses. We could tell she was truly surprised that we were still there with her and that no human had probably ever stayed with her for that long.”

Montana joined the couple for the rest of the trip and her personality quickly blossomed into the energetic, playful pup that was hidden under her dirty, matted fur on that special day at a gas station in Montana.

Maintenance Worker at an Apartment Complex Finds Starved Dog Covered in Burns

A Georgia maintenance worker’s heart broke once he saw an emaciated pit bull while responding to a call. He contacted local authorities, but they told him that if he removed the dog, it would be considered stealing.

Frustrated, he called animal control hoping to get support and save the starving animal. They only left notices on the owner’s door. One day, however, the man noticed that the neglectful owner had left the dog outside in a kennel.

He quickly rushed the pitiful pup to Grayson Animal Hospital where he was treated until taken in by Out of the Box Boxer Rescue. He only weighed 24.5 pounds. The state of the dog left everyone involved emotional and thankful that his misery could finally end.

According to the rescue’s Facebook page, two months after being rescued Mikey had gained over 26 pounds and began to look healthy. If it hadn’t been for the quick action of the maintenance worker, Mikey may not have ever gotten his second chance.

Mikey, fully recovered, sitting on a chair surrounded by other canine friends.
A recent picture of Mikey, the pit bull who was found by a Georgia maintenance worker, sitting on a chair. (Out of the Box Boxer Rescue)

Ex-Girlfriend Starved Dog After Bad Breakup, Dog Rescued into New Loving Home

After a bad breakup, a vengeful ex-girlfriend in New York intentionally stopped feeding her ex’s 16-month-old mastiff mix dog. In August 2018, the sheriff’s office was notified and she was arrested, according to WRIC-TV.

Rescue Dogs Rock NYC took the poor dog in and was devoted to his rehabilitation. In their care, Champ was able to slowly recover and become his playful self again.

In mid-October, Champ was finally well enough to go home with his new family.

“Today, the rest of my life starts as I head home with my forever family,” a post on the Justice for Champ Facebook page read. “They were very carefully chosen as apparently I’m pretty famous & everyone wants the best for me. I assure you all, I am getting the best!”

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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