Pit Bull Found Alone And Tied To Pole Has The Best New Dad Now
“His injuries were so profound that it broke the internet’s heart. This dog is so incredible. Every time that he fell down, he got right back up.”
There were times when Elli Frank didn’t think that the puppy was going to survive.
Earlier this year, Frank, co-executive director of Mr. Bones and Co., a New York–based rescue group, ran to the aid of a tiny, 10-month-old pit bull with severe injuries.
The pit bull, who acquired the name Tater Tot, was found tied to a pole in Harlem, presumably abandoned by someone. But that’s not the worst part — two and a half inches of Tater Tot’s insides were hanging out because of a serious condition called rectal prolapse. In other words, he was in pretty bad shape.
He was taken to a local shelter on New Year’s Eve, and not long after that, Frank pulled him out and got him to the vet. They arrived just in time — Tater Tot had gone into septic shock, a condition that often leads to death.
But this was just the start of it. Tater Tot had to go through two major surgeries, and both times, there was a high chance he wouldn’t make it.
“He had a fifty-fifty chance of living,” Frank told The Dodo during a recent live interview. “With that second procedure, I went to the Animal Medical Center where they were saving his life, and waited ... for four hours because we didn’t actually think he was going to survive. There was a really high chance of him not making it because it was his second major surgery in such a short amount of time for the same issue.”
Frank will never forget what happened next.
“When Dr. Rollins, his surgeon, came out ... I couldn’t tell if it was good or bad,” Frank said. “And she came and gave me a hug, and said he was great and that he did really well.”
Frank hoped it would be smooth sailing for Tater Tot from then on. But when a stent collapsed in his colon, Tater Tot returned to the vet hospital for a third surgery — and the vet team ended up removing his entire colon.
“His injuries were so profound that it broke the internet’s heart,” Frank said. “This dog is so incredible. Every time that he fell down, he got right back up.”
Now things are finally looking up for Tater Tot. Not only is he done with surgery for a while, but he’s found a forever home with Chris Ficarra, a dog lover who lives in Brooklyn.
Besides getting copious amounts of love and attention from Ficarra, Tater Tot has his own personal dog walker, more than one dog bed and plenty of toys.
“His energy is good, and he just likes to snuggle and hang out,” Ficarra told The Dodo. “He’s got lots of nice neighbors to hang out with, and he’s gone on a couple of little adventures here and there. He loves the car. He loves sticking his head out of the window.”
And there’s nothing Tater Tot can’t do. Ficarra was initially worried about Tater getting up the steps on his property, especially with Tater’s extra-short legs, but Tater Tot took it in stride.
“He seems to navigate them just fine,” Ficarra said.
“He’s doing really well,” Frank added. “He’s just finally gotten to be a dog. We don’t know much about what his life was like before we got him, but I can guarantee you it’s nothing like the life now.”
While Tater Tot won the hearts of a lot of people, Frank is quick to point out that any shelter dog can be just as special — all they need is someone to believe in them.
“If you see an incredible dog who is going through something, or you see a dog in a shelter who doesn’t look like he’s going to make it, don’t ever give up until you’ve exhausted all your options,” Frank said. “And don’t be afraid to rely on your community for support. Every dog matters.”