The new homeowner was no doubt pretty pleased with their Midwest property purchase in spring 2018, but there was still lots to explore. The man opened the door down to the basement, only for something to stir in the darkness below. As the homeowner froze in shock, two eyes locked on to him from the bottom of the cellar stairs.
There can be plenty of issues when you buy a house, but being presented with a problem tenant should never be one of them. However, that was exactly what happened to one new homeowner in early March 2018 after they had purchased a property in Missouri. The unidentified buyer was surprised to say the least when they looked around their lot.
Sometimes a departing occupant can leave a few fixtures and fittings behind for the new owners. It can be most welcome to find carpets and drapes already in place, providing they are tasteful. But in this instance, what the previous inhabitant had left behind was highly questionable. And the new owner only found out what it was when he decided to see what was in the basement.
Indeed, it must have come as a shock to the house buyer to find that someone had turned the cellar in to a dungeon for a dog. Closer inspection revealed that they had chained up the pit bull terrier, but there was no sign of who had done such a cruel thing. In fact, with no I.D. collar, there were no clues as to whom the unfortunate prisoner might belong to.
It was an easy assumption to make that the dog must have belonged to the previous householder, but that was not necessarily the case. Reportedly, the property had been host to a squatter while it was up for sale, so the poor animal could easily have belonged to the interloper.
Regardless of who the dog belonged to, the new owner of the house guessed that they had most probably abandoned it. With that in mind, they wasted little time in contacting local animal-aid group Stray Rescue of St. Louis. In addition to conducting animal rescues and rehabilitations, the Missouri-based charity also functions as an adoption center.
Indeed, Stray Rescue outlines its game plan on its official Facebook page. “Virtually all of the pets we save have been abused and neglected,” it reads. “They’ve been dumped on highways, or remote country roads. Abandoned in public parks, empty houses and dark alleys.” And one of these scenarios must have sounded familiar to the property owner.
The mission statement on Facebook continues, “We’ve even saved dogs left chained behind buildings after their owners had moved away.” So it is fair to say that Stray Rescue staff were most receptive when they received the distress call in March 2018. Later that month, the organization uploaded a short clip of the mercy dash to its YouTube channel.
In addition, Stray Rescue put up captions at the start of the video, quoting the original telephone conversation. In white on black the first introductory text reads, “I just bought a house, and there is a pit bull chained up in the basement.” The words dissolve back to black before the next sentence appears, saying, “I’m not sure how long it’s been down there. I’ll send a friend over to let you in.”
After this, the footage starts proper with the basement door being popped open. At our first sighting of the abandoned dog, the furry female looks delighted to see humans at the top of the cellar steps. The pit bull gazes up at the rescue team with wide, hopeful eyes. And when the neglected animal sees and hears friendly people, her little tail starts wagging away.
As the video continues, the pup’s enthusiasm levels only rise further. Natalie Thomson, Stray Rescue’s group communications director, described the scene to animal interest website The Dodo in late March 2018. The not-for-profit’s spokeswoman recalled, “She was nearly choking herself as she was so excited to see us.”
Sadly, this was because whoever had left the dog at the bottom of the cellar steps had chained her to the handrail. After we see the first responder make a fuss over the highly affectionate animal, the Stray Rescue operative puts her own leash on the pit bull. Nevertheless, as soon as the pupper is free of her chain, she bounds up the basement stairs to greet the camera person.
Notwithstanding her recent ordeal, she appears such a happy and loving dog in the video. But that just makes the sorry situation all the more heart breaking. In the video, the camera then descends to take a closer look at the dog’s dismal living conditions. Despite a small window, the basement still manages to look dingy. All manner of clothing and furniture are strewn about the cellar, and in this context even a child’s toy rocking chair looks sinister. It appears that the basement may have been used as a living space by someone at some point, but in the chaos it is difficult to tell.
Nevertheless, it was clear that the four-legged inmate had been incarcerated for some time. A caption in the Stray Rescue video explains the evidence, telling us, “There was a lot of poop, showing she had been down here for a while.” In addition, whoever had abandoned the dog had left her without any food or water down there.
Happily, the Stray Rescue clip does not dwell too long in the dark cellar. The next we see of the pit bull, she is in bright sunshine and bouncing around exuberantly. The animal sanctuary took her in and gave her a chance at a new life. Not only that, but staff also gave her a new name in recognition of her energetic and excitable nature – Jumping Bean.
And, by all accounts, she has sure lived up to that name subsequently. Jumping Bean has been full of boundless energy ever since her rescue from the basement dungeon. As Stray Rescue’s Thompson told The Dodo, “Her personality is completely adorable. She loves everyone she meets, and craves attention. She makes sure she is not ignored!”
Furthermore, the animal charity revealed that Jumping Bean’s joy has never wavered. Thompson continued, “She’s an energetic and very affectionate pup; she is so happy all the time.” But it was not just Jumping Bean’s carers who adored her – thanks to her freedom walk film being shared all over the internet, she had won hearts worldwide.
One viewer commented on Facebook, “This story made me cry but I know she will be adopted.” Another well-wisher wrote, “Oh my goodness, I loved that video, she is absolutely precious.” And many more people were struck equally hard by the impact of Jelly Bean’s emotional story.
In fact, it fast became Stray Rescue’s most shared clip ever, with the Facebook video receiving almost a million views. “What a sweet baby,” another Jumping Bean fan said underneath the update. “She knew she was rescued and she was so thankful. Bless her heart, she deserves a good forever home.” Indeed, the Missouri charity’s next step was to find adoptive human parents for the three-year-old pit bull.
In late April 2018, Stray Rescue released an update on the pupper’s progress. It said the rescued dog is doing well but – to much bewilderment – she is yet to find that forever home. However, judging by the love she has so far received on social media, it is only a matter of time. It surely won’t be long before someone jumps for Jumping Bean.