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Erica Mahnken, co-founder of No More Pain Rescue, and her fiance Michael Favor, rescued 1-year-old Pit Bull, Ashley, after she was abandoned by her owners. Her owners lived in an abandoned house and had little resources to take care of themselves, let alone Ashley. They had no heat and no electricity. When a bad snowstorm hit, the couple simply left, leaving Ashley behind.
“I guess they went to find somewhere warm to stay, and they had left the dog behind,” Mahnken told The Dodo. “So as soon as we got the phone call, we ran and got her.”
When the couple got there, Favor insisted Mahnken wait inside the car while he ventured inside. “There was no electricity in the house – it was freezing,” Mahnken said. “No food, no water for her. The house was a disaster. The windows were broken, and there was feces all over the place.”
Thankfully Ashley was completely unharmed and THRILLED to see her saviors! “She came running down, super happy,” Mahnken said. “She jumped straight into my car.”
The poor pup was severely malnourished. A whopping 25 pounds underweight! She also had cigarette burns on the top of her head.
No More Pain Rescue doesn’t have a physical shelter. They use foster families to help the animals they rescue transition from homeless to forever homes. The couple remembered that Fort Pitt, an FDNY firehouse, used to have a dog so they decided to ask them if they could foster Ashley until they found her a proper home. And they agreed!
Ashley seemed to approve of the arrangement instantly! “As soon as she walked into the firehouse, her tail was wagging, and she was licking and greeting everybody,” Mahnken said. “She was super happy. From where she came from, you wouldn’t really expect that. You would think that she’d be a little skittish, but she wasn’t at all.”
It didn’t surprise Mahnken when the firehouse called her, asking if they could officially adopt Ashley. “They said, ‘We’re going to adopt her. We just love her so much. She is at home here,’” Mahnken said. “So I was thrilled. And as soon as I walked her in there, I knew that that’s where she belonged.”
Ashley now lives with her firefighter humans full-time and is one happy, spoiled pup! She loves to do everything with them. “She’s constantly on the go – she goes on smaller runs with them, she goes on the fire truck with them,” Mahnken said. “They walk her about 30 times a day. They bring her on the roof to play. She’s constantly in the kitchen watching them eat. She has endless supplies of treats. She has the life over there.”
Ashley even has her own special seat on the truck. An abandoned dog that didn’t mean much to her original owners now means the world to her new family. Now that’s what I call a happy ending!