In July of 2022, an eight-year-old American Pit Bull Terrier named Hank arrived at Rescue Village from a nearby shelter struggling with overpopulation. After he arrived, it was easy for staff and volunteers to pay special attention to this handsome guy because of his distinguished grey muzzle, black fur, and enthusiastic nature. The shelter staff quickly noticed he was limping and seemed to be in pain. After a thorough examination, the clinic staff found that Hank had a torn ligament in his back left leg, and additional testing found that he needed a costly but common ACL surgery. The veterinarians were unsure how long Hank had been suffering from a torn ACL, but they knew that the longer Hank went without the surgery, the greater the chance that chronic degenerative joint disease would take root. Hank was soon scheduled for surgery with a veterinary orthopedic specialist, and preparations were made for Hank’s recovery and rehabilitation, which could last as long as six months. Hank’s surgery went well, and he was then sent to a foster home to recover from surgery under the dedicated care of a Rescue Village volunteer.
As Hank recovered, he got stronger and stronger and was no longer in pain like before the surgery. The successful surgery gave Hank a new lease on life and he went back to the shelter to be placed up for adoption. Soon, a not-so-charming behavior emerged. Hank used his newfound strength to hump people when he was nervous or excited. His personality far outweighed this random tendency, and Hank didn’t display this behavior with everyone. However, two times in a row, he was adopted and returned because of this behavior. The staff had a good idea that this behavior would eventually disappear once he had enough time to decompress in a home and got proper training, but Hank wasn’t getting any younger. The longer a dog is in an animal shelter, the more likely it will suffer emotionally from the stress of shelter life. Having lived in animal shelters for more than a year and as a senior dog, Hank needed a new family, and soon! Staff worked with Hank, training him not to hump, and it was working well. He was promoted on social media, taken to events, and on field trips, all in an effort to find the right person to adopt him, but time seemed to be passing slowly for Hank and those caring for him. Little did everyone know that a man who loves to adopt senior dogs had been watching Hank’s journey through Rescue Village’s website and social media posts for quite some time. He had recently lost one of his old pups, and Hank’s story convinced him he was ready to open his home again to help another senior dog find peace and comfort for the rest of their days.
On a busy Saturday in March, this man adopted Hank for what everyone hopes is the final time. Hank’s new family has not had any issues with his unfortunate behavioral problems, and Hank is now living his best life, enjoying treats, pain-free walks, and lots of back scratches and belly rubs!
Hank’s story is important because he represents just one of Rescue Village’s many success stories. These long journeys with happy endings would not be possible without the caring support of Rescue Village’s dedicated staff, volunteers, and donors who make it possible to provide medical and behavioral care for special animal cases like Hank’s.