What Adam Householder thought would be a quick visit to his local animal shelter turned into his world being turned upside down by the heartbreaking story of one lonely pitbull that was on death’s door. His first reaction to lonely Tally was simply “I needed to have her – she needed to come home with me”.
Tally, aged five at the time, was subject to years of abuse as a breeding bitch. She was in an animal shelter when Adam found her, left for dead after the years of abuse from her previous owner. Being a backyard breeding bitch consists of being forced into producing more than five litters a year, with no consideration for the dog’s welfare. In the UK breeders are now forced to have a licence, and thorough checks to be carried out by vets to ensure breeding conditions are suitable.
“Weak would be an understatement – she went through a really rough recovery,” said Adam. After an investigation by the shelter into Tally’s history it was found that she had been subject to physical abuse for years, as well as substandard living conditions, spending most of her life tied to a 3ft chain. Tally had broken bones, pneumonia, heart worms and parvovirus, and when she came to the shelter it felt like there was no hope for her.
This was until Adam and his then-pregnant wife Jenni visited the shelter and fell in love with not only Tally but her heartbreaking story – a dog who had not yet been able to live a normal dog’s life. Even with her health worries, and being aware of the serious complications she may face in the future, the couple could not resist Tally and her charm. Although Tally came with large vet’s bills and rigorous training in order to adapt her to normal life, she overcame everything and is now become a beloved pet,
Adam said: “She’d been through a lot of trauma, not only physically but psychologically and mentally, and then there’s a stigma against pitbulls. We didn’t know if she would be appropriate for our home but bond that she has with my youngest daughter is incredible – she’s so gentle and patient. Six years later, we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
There are many other stories like Tally’s out there, many dogs who were in her situation who have not been so lucky to have been adopted by a loving family. Dog shelters around the country are still urging the government to tighten laws surrounding backyard breeding to prevent cases like Tally’s ever happening again in the future.