Freshy the pit bull has only minutes to live. The unfortunate canine has wound up in a crowded animal shelter in Brooklyn, New York, and he’s set to be put down at 5:00 p.m. But with the clock ticking down, animal rescuer Alana Guerrini races from her home in New Jersey in a desperate bid to save the poor pooch.
It had once been very different for Freshy. Indeed, before he ended up in the shelter, the pit bull had lived a very happy life. The two-year-old dog had “spent all of his life with a family with four children, two other dogs – one small, one big – and a cat,” Guerrini told The Dodo.
What’s more, Guerrini noted that Freshy had the ideal personality for a family dog; the pooch was great with his human brothers and sisters, and he got along with the other animals too. In fact, the Dodo described him as, “Gentle and affectionate and playful.”
But everything changed for Freshy when his owner became pregnant and gave birth to her fifth child. At that point, “[Freshy’s owner] decided that he was too much,” Guerrini said. And having been deemed surplus to requirement, the friendly pit bull was dumped at a shelter.
Even more unfortunately for Freshy, the Brooklyn-based institute in which he’d been placed was a high-kill shelter. And with the refuge filling up fast, the pit bull found his time quickly running out. By October 11, 2018, the poor pooch’s race seemed all but run; Freshy would be put down if he wasn’t adopted by 5:00 p.m. that day. But eager to see the friendly canine find a loving home, Facebook user Julie Carner shared images of him with a plea for someone to save him.
And the photos posted by Carner really spoke to Guerrini – a volunteer who fosters animals through the New Jersey organization Eleventh Hour Rescue. “You could see the fear and terror in [Freshy’s] eyes in that picture. And you could see how brokenhearted he was,” Guerrini said.
“I looked at that face, and it absolutely crushed me,” Guerrini recalled. Thankfully, though, there was still time for the volunteer to turn her heartache into action. But with Freshy due to be put down at 5:00 p.m., Guerrini faced a race against the clock to get to the shelter in time.
The dedicated animal rescuer hurried across town as quickly as she could, but the minutes were slipping away and fast. Happily, though, with just seconds to spare, Freshy was given a second shot at his happy ever after. “It was 4:58 or 4:59 when we got the word that, ‘We’ll let you take him, and he’s officially yours and off of death row,’” Guerrini recalled.
The pit bull was subsequently renamed Stormy and was taken to his rescuer’s home in New Jersey. What’s more, Guerrini’s 16-year-old son had tagged along for the journey too, and it quickly became clear just how happy Stormy felt to be back with a loving family.
“He jumped into my car with no problems,” Guerrini recalled. “My son had gotten into the passenger seat, and [Stormy] just climbed onto my son’s lap. And you could see with every little wiggle and face kiss that [Stormy] was thanking him because he knew that he was going to live.”
Yes, during the drive back to New Jersey, Stormy proved to be an instant hit. “He wanted to sit in my son’s lap the whole time, so my son had to get into the back seat, and he spent an hour and a half riding home on my son’s lap,” Guerrini said.
In fact, the only time Stormy moved from his perch was one of “the dozen times he wanted to kiss me too!” Guerrini said. And once the mom and son team got Stormy home, the pit bull’s surprisingly big heart continued to impress the animal rescuer.
For example, Guerrini described how Stormy carefully played with her 16-year-old. “[Stormy] was wrestling with my son, and my son’s hand went into the dog’s mouth… and the dog left his mouth open and slowly backed his head away so he wouldn’t even scratch him,” she described.
And Stormy really stepped up to the plate when Guerrini’s son got sick too. “[Stormy] stayed in the room with him all day and nuzzled up with him. And when my son got up, [Stormy] was just following him around,” the animal rescuer said.
Stormy’s glowing personality had clearly warmed Guerrini’s heart. In fact, she went so far as to say that she “was madly in love with this dog… He just wants to interact with people and be loved.” And it was for those reasons that she couldn’t understand how Stormy had ended up in the shelter.
But having grown so attached to the pit bull, the rescuer’s next task was to find the right home for the precious pooch. According to The Dodo, Guerrini sought a family that would “recognize [Stormy] as a treasure.” But seeing the friendly canine go wouldn’t be easy for Guerrini.
“I do have to say because he is one of my favorites that I’m very picky, so I need to find the best home out there,” Guerrini said. Happily, though, just a few weeks after the rescuer had saved Stormy’s life, she reported that the mission had been accomplished.
In a Facebook comment, Guerrini updated the world on Stormy’s status. “He was adopted and his family sends me pictures and videos a lot. He’s all smiles all the time, and I couldn’t be happier for him,” she wrote.
And for Guerrini, to know that Stormy was in a loving home made her role as an animal rescue volunteer and foster mom completely worth it. She wrote, “We all do our best to help these babies. This is one very happy ending [and] new beginning he deserved!!!”
And those following Stormy’s story could only laud Guerrini’s efforts to save and rehome him. Facebook user Mae Marshall wrote, “It is a true blessing to be a part of rescue, as well as fostering. Thank you for sharing this with me. My heart smiles for him and his new loving family. You are an awesome foster parent. So do pat [yourself] on the back.” Indeed, thanks to Guerrini’s actions, Stormy got the happy ending that he deserved.