On Monday of last week, Pitty Love Rescue, a no-kill pit bull rescue organization in Rochester, NY, received an urgent call from one of their volunteers. According to the volunteer, a neighbor had been at the emergency veterinarian when a man came in claiming to have found a stray pit bull. The vet instructed the man to call animal control, since the veterinary office is not a shelter and could not take the dog in.
What the man did next is unthinkable! Rather than heeding the vet’s advice or taking the pit bull to a rescue, he just shoved the dog out of the car in the middle of a business parking lot on a VERY busy road, during temperatures that were already freezing and continuing to plummet! He then just drove off as if it was nothing.
Volunteers from Pitty Love Rescue joined forces with many people from other rescue organization, as well as concerned individuals, to find this pit bull. They spent the following two days and nights trying to catch the dog despite record cold. They worked tirelessly in the midst of the recent weather that gripped many states in its icy fist, often with -36 degree wind chills.
Volunteers coordinated by having some people travel on foot in heavy cold weather gear, while others sat in strategic spots to vigilantly watch for him or drove around using maps. The area he was abandoned and frequently spotted was next to a local community college.
There was a lot of cat and mouse the following day, with regular sightings. The updates on Facebook were riveting! Many people unable to physically take part in the search were glued to their computers, anxious for any news.
By Tuesday night, with sightings dwindling and temperatures continuing to be horrendous, volunteers were scared for this boy. Many people went home disappointed and sad, while others carried the torch late into the night. Another group of was up before dawn to continue the search.
At mid-morning on Wednesday and after close to 17 hours with no sightings, everyone was worried and feeling pretty defeated. How could he have survived the cold? It seemed nearly impossible for a short coated dog to survive subzero temperatures for so long.
With multiple groups of volunteers walking all over the areas he had been spotted, a few people decided to walk the canal looking for him. Miraculously, he FINALLY showed himself! The collective sigh of relief could probably be heard in the next state, it was so palpable. He was ALIVE!
Luck was on their side and after tracking him for a while, he found his way into a fenced in dog park, to the amusement and relief of everyone. An awesome guy named Joel, who was closest to him at that point, thought quickly and shut the gate. The local animal control officer allowed rescue workers to take the time to gain the dog’s trust and leash him up safely and humanely.
Once they had the slip on him, he was rushed to the vet. It turned out that, other than a paw pad in bad shape, he was surprisingly healthy. In the end, after nearly 48 hours in the midst of the season’s coldest and most brutal weather, HE WAS CAUGHT, and very fittingly named Vortex. He will be available for adoption in the coming weeks. In the meanwhile, everyone is giving him a chance to recover from his ordeal and get to know him. Once they have a better idea of who he is, they can know his needs and place him in his ideal forever home!
Pitty Love Rescue is a 501c3 non-profit pit bull specific rescue organization located in Rochester, NY. They mainly serve the Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse areas. Pitty Love is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and responsible placement of abandoned, abused, and neglected pit bull and pit bull mix dogs.