Recovery story: Pit bull melts hearts in Durham
Posted May 15, 2014
Durham, N.C. — More than four years ago, Stella was 1 year old. She was skin and bones and weighed just 25 pounds.
Her owners faced cruelty charges after abandoning a trio of pups. Stella was the only one to survive. That was in 2010, and it was how Stella arrived at the Durham Animal Protection Society.
Stella became an instant hit with the staff. She gained weight, her energy levels increased and she began treatment for heartworms. The pit bull mix had a calm and easy-going attitude that rubbed off on the other dogs. She was dependable and a regular helper during training classes at Durham APS.
Despite Stella’s rough start, she has always been a sweet and loving dog, not only melting the hearts of the staff at APS, but also Melanie and Scott Rodgers. After a year with the APS, Melanie first saw Stella’s photo online and arranged a home visit. Stella was a little uncertain of the home's shiny hardwood floors, but she quickly bonded with her new family.
The Rodgers say that Stella is a "true snuggler and flirter," showing her belly for a scratch, and often gathers both parents so that everyone is together in the same room. The Rodgers say Stella has become such a favorite in the neighborhood that one of the children’s first words was "Stella."
The Durham Animal Protection Society says Stella is a shining example of work it does to rehabilitate animals and the love and joy families can find in adopting a pet from a shelter. Stella’s story has also earned her the role of Grand Marshal for this year’s Walk for the Animals on May 17.
As mom Melanie says, "For Stella to have come from an abandoned property at half her weight, and now be a happy, peaceful dog, is a real tribute to the APS staff. I can't say it enough."
Proceeds raised at the event – with a total fundraising goal of $75,000 – will benefit APS and its work caring for nearly 7,000 animals each year. This year's walk is on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Duke University’s East Campus.
I will emcee the first half of the event. Participants can register as individuals or recruit their friends, family, and co-workers to join as part of a team.