It was back in July of 2014 that a scared and disoriented pit bull wandered onto the Jackie Robinson Expressway during morning rush hour. The news was all over the scene as the puppy roamed back and forth through passing cars. The dog, who was later named Jackie for the obvious reasons, was eventually rescued and taken in by Animal Care Centers of NYC and her story was covered all over the New York news.
“She is a little scared and a little nervous but once she warms up to you she definitely wants a little cuddle,” an ACC worker told PIX11, describing the then-sheltered pit. Not only did Jackie get a little bit of a cuddle, she got a whole lot more. Thanks to Brooklyn couple Kathleen Vogelsang and Daniel Orr, the once frail puppy is now happy and more importantly healthy.
“We saw her both online thanks to you guys and on Facebook from other sources and we just decided let’s go see her,” Orr said. For Vogelsang the connection was immediate. “For me I was like ok – that’s my dog,” she said. With the help from Pibbles and More Animal Rescue, the couple was able to take in Jackie who became Lily. “We wanted to change it,” she said. “It was cute but we wanted her to get a little bit of a fresh start.”
The new and improved Lily is now training to be a therapy dog with the Good Dog Foundation that helps those with disabilities or ailments heal. “Its providing relief for people going through certain stresses and [we wanted] to find something for her to do and be productive and help us give back a little bit as well,” Vogelsang said.
And for anyone on the fence about taking in a shelter animal, the couple offers up this message
“There are so many dogs that they just need you to take a chance on them and once you give them stability they’ll be confident and flourish like Lily has.” Pit bulls just like Lily, currently make up half of the breeds in New York City animal shelters. Their one common thread is they need a home.