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From Animal Sheltering magazine January/February 2012

Pablo the pit bull came into my life while I was working as a veterinary assistant. His owners had left him chained up in their yard with another pit bull, and the other dog’s chain had wrapped around Pablo’s leg and gotten embedded into his flesh. We had to use bolt cutters to get it off.

Despite being in horrendous pain, Pablo sat peacefully in our laps while we tried to save his leg, giving us kisses. When it became clear the leg had to be amputated and that it was going to cost a lot of money, his owners basically abandoned him at the vet clinic.

It was an expensive surgery (close to $2,000), and to raise funds I created a website, uploaded photos I had taken of Pabs, and wrote up his story. I reposted it on Facebook, emailed everyone I knew, and had funds pouring in from as far away as Washington state (I’m in Georgia). Pablo has friends and fans all over! More than 60 people contributed—most of whom I had never met.

Afterward, I fostered him for about six months. He got along great with my two other dogs—a rescued pug and a rescued pit mix—but I just couldn’t afford to have three dogs at the time.

Giving him up was especially difficult because we had such a bond, and I wanted to make sure I had found him a great adopter. Then I met Ryan Cleary, Pablo’s new dad, at my current rescue group’s 4th Annual Bully Education Rally. Ryan had rescued two pits from a fighting bust and fostered and volunteered with pit bulls. He genuinely loves Pablo almost as much as me.

Readers are invited to submit their own photos and stories for publication. Please make your submission via our online form.

About the Author

Jillian Udelson, Atlanta Underdog Initiative, Atlanta, Ga.