New life for dog rescued from dogfighting

Pueblo Animal Services, with Best Friends, All Breed Rescue and Training, and Canine Rehabilitation Center and Sanctuary, helps 20 fighting case dogs.
By Nicole Hamilton

Best Friends in Utah works collaboratively with animal rescue groups, city shelters and passionate individuals who are all dedicated to the mission of making Utah a no-kill state. As part of this mission, Best Friends hosts adoption and fundraising events, runs the Best Friends Pet Adoption Center in Salt Lake City, operates two spay/neuter clinics and leads the No-Kill Utah (NKUT) initiative. Together, we will Save Them All.

On most weekends, you can find Pippin the dog on hiking trails and at climbing spots around Salt Lake City with her adopters, Kaitlyn and Chris. That’s how she likes to roll after a week with Kaitlyn at work in an office where Pippin is a star employee, despite that fact that she naps during meetings.

Pippin also never misses an opportunity to hop in the car. Even when it’s parked, a car is one of her favorite places to be. And if it’s running, that’s a bonus because she loves a good road trip.

“I think the car is her safe place,” says Kaitlyn, “She’s the perfect little travel buddy.”

It’s always good to have a safe place, especially for a dog like Pippin, who used to find safety hard to come by. Pippin had a rough start in life. She was one of about 20 dogs rescued from a cruelty case involving an illegal dog fighting ring in Colorado. When the situation came to light, Pueblo Animal Services stepped in to remove the dogs. That was the beginning of a fresh start for Pippin and the rest of the dogs.

Pippin the dog being adopted

Best Friends Network partners help dogs rescued from fighting

Today the dogs, including Pippin, are either in homes or well on their way there, thanks to the shelter’s hard work and help from the Best Friends Network. Multiple organizations worked together in order to give the dogs the lives they always deserved, but never had.

“Pueblo Animal Services really invested in these dogs and have done so much to help them go on to new lives,” says Melissa Lipani, Best Friends regional specialist.

After the court proceedings, the shelter was able to place about half of the dogs with shelters and rescue groups so they could go on to new homes. When Best Friends stepped in to help, a few of the dogs (including Pippin) still hadn’t been placed. Best Friends provided a stipend for All Breed Rescue and Training, a network partner in Colorado Springs, to evaluate the dogs by taking detailed notes and shooting video that would help the shelter place dogs needing the most help.

Together, they placed nine of the remaining dogs with Canine Rehabilitation Center and Sanctuary in Reno, All Breed Rescue and Training and Best Friends in Utah.

That’s how Pippin went from life in a cruel and abusive situation to life as a constant companion to two outdoor enthusiasts who love showing her how good the world can be.

Why we love our Best Friends Network partners

Pippin the dog next to a stream while on a hike

That’s one sweet dog

When Pippin arrived in Salt Lake City, Best Friends placed her in a foster home where, for the first time in her life, she could learn about life in a real home. As she settled in and eventually learned she could trust people, she began meeting potential adopters, including Kaitlyn and Chris.

Kaitlyn will never forget the moment she first saw Pippin. “She was so sweet and had the temperament we were looking for,” she says. “She doesn’t have an aggressive bone in her body.”

First, Chris and Kaitlyn planned to foster Pippin to make sure their home was the right fit. After a few days, they could see that it was. There was no mistaking how happy Pippin was while running trails in the woods beside Kaitlyn, or when she saw Chris (who is studying to be a physical therapist) walk in the door after a long day of classes.

Pippin the dog enjoying a campfire

The resident canine comedian

Today Pippin is living her best life. In fact, Kaitlyn says that if there is one word that describes Pippin it would be “goofball.”

“She brought a whole new level of entertainment to our home. She can be so silly,” says Kaitlyn who loves it on walks when strangers smile as soon as they realize Pippin isn’t as tough as she may look. “She loves meeting people and other dogs.”

Sometimes Pippin’s ears perk up when she’s ready for some fun. That’s her signature look that says, “What’s next?”

When Kaitlyn sees that look and how much Pippin loves experiencing new things, she is reminded of Pippin’s past and the road she traveled to become the happy, trusting dog she is today.

“She is so full of love and always up for an adventure,” says Kaitlyn. “And it’s all because so many people came together to help her.

Adopt your next best friend

Kaitlyn and Chris with their adopted dog Pippin

Photos by Sarah Ause Kichas and courtesy of Kaitlyn Honnold

Dog Salt Lake City