For most people, Polo is just an ordinary pit bull. But for Laura Miller, he is special. He’s the dog that escaped an unnecessary euthanasia and found a home.
“He is this happy-go-lucky, cuddly dog who loves everybody,” said Miller, director for Sarama Animal Rescue. “He is so personable with people, and he kind of looks like a baby hippo, which is adorable.”
It was last March when the 4-year-old pit bull Polo was found as a stray and brought to the Animal Care and Control Team of Philadelphia (ACCT Philly). He got adopted rather quickly, but things didn’t work out with his new family. He and his new family’s cat didn’t get along and he climbed the fence to their neighbors’ yard once. He even had a quarrel with their dog there. Needless to say, he was not only returned to the shelter but lost all practical chances to get adopted again.
“They time-stamped him, which means that they give him a date for euthanasia,” Miller said. “They usually do this because the shelter is full, and a dog with that kind of history isn’t likely to be adopted by the public. Even though he’s had these really great qualities … they still have to disclose his history with the other dogs, and when you’re looking at a hundred pit bulls, you’re probably not going to take one with that history.”
Miller was devastated about Polo’s situation.
“His life was one on the line because of one incident,” Miller said. “While I’m not dismissing it, this incident doesn’t represent who he is.”
Miller looked everywhere and tried everyone for help. She worked with volunteers from ACCT Philly, but nothing was coming up. Until the day of Polo’s euthanasia came and a miracle happened. A dog trainer sent Miller a message and said she’d like to foster Polo. Miller didn’t waste a minute before calling her back.
“I talked to her and she sounded amazing,” Miller said. “So we decided to go for it.”
Miller drove Polo to his new foster home, about a half hour away. This time, Polo adjusted to his new home perfectly.
“He’s great in the house, he’s great with people,” Miller said.
Of course, Polo will eventually need a forever home, but his chances are now drastically increased, which is the most important thing.
“He just needs someone who wants to be his best friend,” Miller said. “That’s what he really needs.”