A handful of you may have heard the story of the Ontario man who brutally attacked a pit bull last year. However, due to the fact that the story barely made local headlines in her own province, its unlikely that many in BC have heard this dog’s amazing story. Streets was rescued from one of the most horrific cases of abuse that I’d ever heard of – and hope to never hear again. She was found in the middle of the road with a man on top of her, punching her repeatedly, choking her, and literally eating her flesh. Although the dog could easily have fought back against her attacker – who turned out to be her owner, she instead chose to lay there and take his abuse as she wailed in pain. Several passers-by heard her screams and began to encircle the man in an attempt to get him to release the dog (as they were too scared to touch him themselves), and soon the dog managed to break free from his grasp. Onlookers quickly pulled her into a nearby building to shield her from the man, who was attempting to chase her down, and called for help. It was then that Pembroke AC officer Michael Street arrived and took the traumatized dog into his custody.
Her first bath she had turned the water solid brown with the amount of dirt and blood that came off of her, her nails were so long that she couldn’t walk comfortably, and she was quite emaciated. We were told that no pit bull had made it out of Pembroke animal control in over 10 YEARS (one source claimed it had been 17) – until this amazing pup came along that is. Her incredibly gentle and sweet demeanor had changed many minds during her short stay in AC, but perhaps most importantly, it changed Michael’s. Soon enough she was released into a nearby pit bull rescue – Bullies In Need, who nursed her back to health and sent her on a long journey across the country to British Columbia..But not before they gave her the name Streets, in honour of the officer who essentially saved her life.
It was then that I first met Streets. She came into my work (a doggy daycare) as a foster dog with Hugabull, the Vancouver based pit bull rescue where she was sent. While by that time her physical wounds had already healed, it was clear that her psychological ones were still quite raw. To this day I am unable to describe her demeanor – at that point in time, as anything other than ’empty’. In all my years of owning and working with rescues, I had never come across a dog as broken as Streets. She spent her days off in her own little world, wandering the daycare looking lost and worried. She was just…there. Over the next few weeks, with the help of a ball (her favourite toy) and a pocket full of treats, we’d slowly built a tiiiny bit of a bond, and within a few months of our first meeting she came home with me.
Although it took her a while to fully come out of her shell, we couldn’t have asked for a better fit to our family. Its hard to believe that in just two weeks we will have only had her for a year, because its hard to picture our lives before her! In the short year since we brought Streets home she has made some HUGE accomplishments. She’s learned how to play with people, how to swim, she’s passed her obedience and agility classes with flying colours, and she’s even working on her CGN and therapy dog certification! Perhaps her biggest accomplishment of all though, was being able to trust once again. Its been amazing to watch this sweet little girl grow into the confident, spunky, affectionate dog that she’s become – and only a year after experiencing such trauma. Not only is she a fantastic ambassador for bully breeds everywhere, but she is a great reminder that rescue dogs are NOT damaged dogs.