• 14 March 2014/ No Comment / by Suzy

    Jeffrey had one last chance at getting out.

    So, Jeffrey came from Animal Care and Control in New York City.  That’s where Michele got him.  He was on what they call “death row”. Something in his picture, his description, got to Michele, and she went and picked him up before they ended his life.  New York City, two years ago.

    The thing about Animal Care and Control, or ACC, is that it’s just about what you imagine.  Imagine you get your car towed in New York City.  Where you would go to get it back, the worst kind of Department of Motor Vehicle-like, uncaring bureaucracy, is sort of exactly like the New York animal pound in Manhattan.  Except instead of cars, there are dogs.  Lots of them. You wouldn’t think a city could hold so many strays, abandonments, old and ill, crippled dogs and cats. 


    A blue pitbull and therapy dog sits on the wet pavement.

    Jeffrey at work in New York City. Part of Jeffrey’s charm, as I see it, is in those eyes. He’ll hold his body perfectly still, but follow you with his eyes. He doesn’t want to upset anyone.

    When you go in there, and walk past their cages, it is impossible to to look at them without thinking of where they have traveled, what they have experienced in the big city that is New York.  It is a wonder that any of them survived in our world.  There are so many things that can go wrong.

    In some ways, Jeffrey is like every other pit bull that comes through the NYC ACC system.  He was (it sounds cruel to say but it’s the truth, at least back then), a dog that the world wouldn’t miss much.  He was anonymous, he was like all the rest.  He was that way, until, of course, a volunteer met him, described him on Facebook, and showed his soul to the world.

    It only takes one person.  Jeffrey’s person was – is – Michele.


    A Vote For Jeffrey is a Vote for Shelter Dogs

    I think of the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards as a small chipping away at all the bad luck that is heaped upon shelter dogs, some from the moment they are born.  The dogs in America’s shelters are really no different from dogs that are bred and bought and sold; they are, however, at the mercy of a kind of bad luck that is brought on by human indifference.  The Hero Dog Awards is a chance for dog lovers to vote for individual favorites, but it’s also an opportunity for shelter dog lovers to say something about homeless pets.

    Looking at all the dogs whose owners have posted them there (they can’t post themselves), it’s hard to see where one dog is better than another.  They’re all of them doing their thing, through therapy, or guiding eyes, or bomb detection or arson-sniffing.

    And there’s Jeffrey.  He’s been doing his thing for a few years now, starting with therapy work.  Jeffrey is an AKC Canine Good Citizen, Registered Delta Pet Partners Therapy Dog, a Registered Reading Education Assistance Dog, a Reiki Attuned Canine.  He enjoys his work, and he’s good at what he does.  

    Jeffrey, the Peaceful Pitbull, is a therapy dog.  A young girl gives him a hug while he smiles, tongue hanging out.

    Yes, his head is that big.

    Not only that, but he has an A-1 handler in Michele, who (I don’t think she would mind if I say this, so here goes) is the embodiment of the corny-but-it-makes-you-think bumper magnet, “Who Rescued Who?”.  No hero animal does it alone, and Michele is indeed the other side of Jeffrey, making sure he is living up to his full potential, and not just growing large on the couch.

    See Jeffrey’s Facebook Page!

    So I’m voting for Jeffrey, because when I think of redemption, I think of Jeffrey.  And when I think of second chances, of valuing what is important in this world, of helping others with a kind word or a simple gesture  — not a grand display of charity or self-importance — I think of this little blue dog, rolling on his belly so a little girl can give him a pat. I think of all the unnamed dogs in shelters who may not get to live the life we hope for them, because their story isn’t told, because they don’t have a name, and how onr Good Boy can help them.  And I think of a dog that makes you want to say “Yes”, before you’ve even been asked a question.

    I hope you’ll vote for Jeffrey and share him, or at least vote for a shelter dog who makes you as proud as I am of Jeffrey.



    A grey and white stuffed animal pit bull based on Jeffrey, the therapy pit bull.  His collar is colorful plaid.

    “Jeffrey” is the plush-toy version of the real-life pitbull Jeffrey, and is a CharlieDog and Friends Pocket Pittie. Four dollars of every stuffed animal purchase is donated to Bruised Not Broken, to help homeless and at-risk pit bulls like Jeffrey make it out of the New York City shelter system.  Order Jeffrey!

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