The story of how Bo came to be…📕
Our journey to finding Bo began after I came across a heartbreaking image during my commute of a rescued bait dog covered in wounds with his head hung low in defeat.
I couldn’t shake that photo and began researching pit bull rescues online, stumbling upon the Urgent Part 2 – Urgent Death Row Dogs Facebook page.
Cases of abuse, neglect, and abandonment filled the pages, ranging from those in desperate need to those found stray or the unlucky ones that were just dropped off at the “shelter” by their owners – who no longer wanted them.
What was more shocking was learning that only 1 in 600 pit bulls will find a home and 800,000 are given up and euthanized each year. Locating the “death row” or kill shelter capitals… NYC, TX, CA, FL… I decided I wanted a dog that wasn’t already safe in my home state of Massachusetts.
I told my fiancé when I got home from work one night that I wanted to rescue a pit bull. Eyeballing me, he said, “Ok, when?” “Tomorrow…” I replied, “We leave for New York at 8am.” Ever the good sport, he agreed and we set off for Manhattan.
We had our hopes set on another dog we had seen on the NYC AC&C’s adoption page, a large yellow brindle pit bull with golden eyes. I read his story, and felt the pain of a dog who had been sitting in a cage for months with no one coming for him.
Unable to place a hold per the shelters rules (and for good reason as many people never show up, limiting a dog’s chance for adoption), we held our breath in hopes he would still be there when we arrived.
Four hours later we reached the shelter. A low profile cinder block place in a less than desirable neighborhood. With our Cavalier Spaniel, Emma in tow, we all walked in, not knowing quite what to expect. We hit a wall of sound – an incessant barking that never stopped the entire time we were there.
Rooms housing the available dogs were split into three by size: small, medium, and large. “King” was located in the large size dog room and we were led to his cage, passing dogs jumping at the front of their kennels to get out. My heart sank for all of them. A lot were wound up with anxiety from their confines, some slept, while King sat in the back of his cage, facing the wall. He didn’t respond to our calls to come closer. As people passed by the dogs, looking to adopt, we put our ticket in to meet him and waited in the hallway.
A shelter attendant met us, letting us know that we’d be meeting King out on the sidewalk where dog greetings took place. Down the stairs we went, two flights and out in to the sunshine. Emma, completely bothered by the experience, continued to try and scale my leg and up into the safety of my arms.
As we stood outside, there came a massive dog around the corner. Muscled like a prisoner, I thought, what have I gotten myself into? And then I found out. This poor dog had been at the shelter far too long, fried from his surroundings. He mouthed the handler’s leash, and then proceeded to jump all over Paul once they handed the leash over. I held onto Emma, waiting to help facilitate their meeting.
For a 10lb feisty only dog, she handled his sniffing and inspection very well. However, as time progressed, King became more agitated. All I could think was, “… this isn’t the right fit – I won’t be doing this dog justice.” I told the attendant I’m very sorry, I can’t take him home… as he continued to jump all over Paul.
I could tell the attendant was disappointed – so many dogs are put down there on a weekly basis for lack of space, sickness, etc.
She said WAIT, I have the perfect dog in mind if he’s still available! She said he was a beautiful chocolate brown dog and her favorite… and then she took off RUNNING.
Five minutes later, as Paul still continued to work with King, I spotted out of the corner of my eye a beautiful dog through the glass door, sitting patiently still like a statue. This could be it I thought; maybe there’s hope of helping one after all!
As King was led away back into the shelter… Bo came strolling out and walked right over to Paul. They sat under the shade of a sidewalk tree and Bo placed his head on Paul’s lap. This time they skipped the customary introduction steps with Bo and Emma, and she ended up biting him three times on the nose, but he didn’t flinch (at this point she had just had enough).
The attendant asked if we’d take him – in our less than 3 minutes with him – and we collectively took a leap of faith and said, “Yes!” She replied, “Good! Because he was already downstairs and was next to be put to sleep.”
I could have fallen over. This is what happens every day. Amazing dogs put down with no chance. In this case, Bo had been at the shelter for two weeks and come down with the dreaded kennel cough which landed him quickly on the euth list. Someone had already reserved him online (allowed at the 11th hour), but canceled because they didn’t want to pay his required neuter fee. Our fortune.
We walked back inside with him and as we waited to sign the paper work, he clung to us. Un-neutered, we paid the extra $150 fee (all dogs are neutered or spayed before they leave the shelter, but because Bo was sick, his time was up and they would let him go with us without waiting) and walked out the door. Not even asking us for our mandatory references.
Bo was safe. Not a minute later his nerves finally got the best of him and he proceeded to relieve himself down the entire sidewalk from stress – there was no doubt he knew what he had just escaped by a matter of minutes. As people yelled at us down the sidewalk and out their windows, we did the best we could to move him along and back to the truck, where we lifted him in (all 62lbs).
A day we’ll never forget, Bo was instantly family and the most appreciative dog I’ve ever encountered. They say money can’t buy happiness, but I’ll tell you… paying an adoption fee certainly does! So much has happened in the year since fate gave us our great boy, and today we’re working hard to give back to those still in need behind those cinder block walls.
Photos of Bo and a photo timeline of his adoption day can be found on our website www.Bos-Biscuits.com.
Today, we’re trying to make a difference in the lives of those who can’t save themselves