Survivor of Illegal Dog-Fighting is Wagging Her Tail at New, Safe Home

Athena’s story was originally shared in the Clear the Shelters Adoption Story Challenge on ShelterChallenge.com. Athena won the Runner-up Prize of $1,500 in cash and pet supplies for South Bend Animal Care and Control! Create your own free Shelter Challenge account and vote for your favorite shelter or rescue group to win cash and prizes. Every time you vote we’ll give an extra donation to shelters!

In Greece, Athena was the goddess of war. A fierce and ruthless warrior, and such a name fits a survivor of backyard breeding and illegal dog-fighting.

Athena came to the South Bend Animal Resource Center after her owner was arrested for animal cruelty. She and several other dogs were tossed in a small Kennel to “fight it out”, while being drenched in gasoline. She was in the worst condition, with punctures everywhere and swelling in her front legs and snout.

PHOTO: SUZANNE DURSKI

But through all the pain, her tail kept wagging. She was happy. She was safe. She was free. Athena went to a foster while she recovered. She showed good signs that she could be around other dogs but was selective. She did best around dogs that respected her space. Calmer dogs that did not bring back the horrible memories of her past.

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After her wounds healed, Athena came back to the shelter and spent time with our officers and volunteers. She even went on a weekend out with Andy, which caught the eye of a rescue.

PHOTO: SUZANNE DURSKI

The rescue saw Athena’s story and asked to pull her, so this sweetheart went off to rescue into a foster home that officially became her last. At first, she wasn’t eating as she was stressed, but with love and patience, she regained her appetite and gained a forever home.

And with even greater news, there will be justice for Athena and her friends. Her previous owner has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.

Story submitted by Suzanne Durski.

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