A tough little pit bull puppy in Wisconsin has made a full recovery after a harrowing ordeal last winter.
In response to a call from concerned relatives in February, police officers visited the home of a young woman. She said she had killed her 1-month-old dog before attempting suicide. From the Stevens Point Journal:
Investigating officers found the puppy alive, hiding under a bed on the second floor of the residence. Deputies with assistance were able to get the dog out from under the bed and found it had a 1-inch-long stab wound on its abdomen and a shot from a pellet gun in its ear lobe.
The Humane Society of Portage County took in the pup, who now goes by the name Ollie. Ollie's since been adopted and the woman has been found "not guilty by reason of insanity or mental defect." Despite the trauma, Ollie holds no grudges: "He's a sweet dog."
The ASPCA's Matthew Bershadker writes how abuse can lead to more aggressive dogs, which, in turn, propagates stereotypes: "A dog's behavior is a function of breeding, yes, but also just as strongly affected by socialization, training, environment, and how it's treated by its owners."
Pit bulls are frequent victims of animal cruelty, involved in about a quarter of all dog-abuse cases, according to the Humane Society. But they're also capable of remarkable transformations - like the pup who, thanks to her adopter, overcame malnutrition and disease and grew into a stock photo model. Or the three lost pit bulls who were found in bushes near a highway. Or the pit, burned by fireworks, who is now in training as a therapy dog.