Pet Blog

Recovery story: Pit bull melts hearts in Durham

Posted May 15

Stella at the Rodgers home.

— 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.


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  • Dale May 15, 7:50 p.m.

    Icdumbpeople, how about we start with you... Smh!

  • Super Hans May 15, 5:50 p.m.

    These things are ticking time bombs, I'm sorry to say.

    — Posted by Super Hans

    So is a certain human (race) I am sorry to say to....

    — Posted by icdumbpeople

    Wow. Just wow.

  • icdumbpeople May 15, 4:58 p.m.

    Of the nearly 770,000 violent crimes committed every year involving (fill in the blank) , they commit 85 percent and (fill in other race blank) commit 15 percent.

    Does that mean we can put those down to?

  • icdumbpeople May 15, 4:54 p.m.

    Of the hundreds of dog breeds, pit bulls alone account for 62% of fatal dog attacks. That is a... View More

    — Posted by censorbait

    And again... you could say that % or even higher about a certain human race........ see the difference is.. humans can take care of themselves... animals can not.

  • icdumbpeople May 15, 4:43 p.m.

    These things are ticking time bombs, I'm sorry to say.

    — Posted by Super Hans

    So is a certain human (race) I am sorry to say to....

  • icdumbpeople May 15, 4:34 p.m.

    Comparing humans to dogs? Really? Humans went to the moon. My cocker spaniel eats her own vomit... View More

    — Posted by BP

    Comparing.. Not really. But I trust ANY dog more than I do humans.

    When I see an animal I walk up to them to see how they are!
    When I see a human - i do not make eye contact and hope it goes away!

  • icdumbpeople May 15, 4:13 p.m.

    Such sweet dogs... View More

    — Posted by BP

    Want me to list you the human race that also does this??? Or worse? Does that mean all of them are that way?

  • kgred52000 May 15, 4:00 p.m.

    Thank you for finding this beautiful baby and making her part of your family.

  • kgred52000 May 15, 3:57 p.m.

    Such sweet dogs... View More

    — Posted by BP

    Really???? Pit bull advocates don't know the facts about pit bulls???? I am sorry, but you are the one that doesn't know the facts. Have you ever been around a dog??? Pits are nanny dogs, they love their families and like every animal out there, they are reflections of their owners. Don't go posting stuff you know nothing about. How about opening your mind and actually look at the dog. Look at all the good dogs out there. There are so many "pit bull" service dogs out there. Do you only pay attention to the bad press? Did you know that there is an award winning "pit bull" in our area named Elle??? She helps kids learn to read. Did you not see the dog that accepted a college degree for his owner that passed away??? Instead of only focusing on the negative, how about looking at the positive. All dogs bite. It doesn't matter what their size is nor their breed. Send your negativity some where else!

  • Pepe Silvia May 15, 3:25 p.m.

    Fact: Hundreds of nationwide injuries per year proves these are unstable ticking time bombs. I... View More

    — Posted by BP

    How can you read this story and think SHE is the villain.
    Humans kill and injure far more pits than the other way around.