Friday, May 22, 2009


I recently received an email from Faith's Hope, a rescue group who has taken special needs cases from the Pennsylvania SPCA (PSPCA) over the past few years. Their latest rescue was Ayla (formerly known as Rajah), a deaf female pit bull who was surrendered to the PSPCA in January 2008 by another rescue group. Faith's Hope took Ayla into their care in May 2008.

Here's the update I received from Faith's Hope, which begins with a backstory on the woman who adopted Ayla:

"About 8 years ago, someone left a very dirty white Pit Bull puppy in someone's yard. That kind of thing happens a lot these days, especially in cities. Most people would have just taken that puppy to the shelter or at best, cleaned her up and found her a home. Once they found out the puppy was truly abandoned and no one was looking for her, this family chose a different path. They kept that puppy. They knew nothing about Pit Bull and like most people who listen to the news, they were a little "uncertain" and "leery" of a Pit Bull, but they gave the puppy a chance and that puppy changed their minds and hearts forever about the breed. Just as she changed a few other minds along the way.

That dog's name was Storm, she was a beautiful dog and she became a very loved member of that family. Some time later, that family also adopted a male Dogo Argentino who is deaf, his name is Duke. The family has gone through some changes since. The wife and husband are now divorced. Duke went to live with the husband, Storm stayed with the wife, who has two grown sons, the oldest one is about to graduate from college. Storm had an impact on his choice of dog breeds as well, he now owns two pit bulls, both adopted from a shelter. The other son just started college. The woman and Storm lived alone in Northeast Philadelphia and were best friends. Sadly, Storm passed away of bone cancer.

Although she was understandably heartbroken over losing Storm, she is a dog lover and she loves having a dog around to keep her company and share her life with. So she went to petfinder and started searching. And because she only lives less than a mile from me, one of the first Pit Bulls that came up in her search was Ayla. She fell instantly in love with Ayla and emailed me hoping she hadn't been adopted yet. Both me and Ayla's foster mom spoke with her and we both had a very good feeling about her finally being "the one!" Her references were wonderful, her situation pretty much ideal for Ayla. She owns her own home, she lives alone, no other animals, she has Pit Bull experience, she has experience with deaf dogs, and she works full time but pays her neighbor to come over in the middle of the day to let the doggie out. She is home by 3 pm every day.

I did the home visit, her home is beautiful and you can tell how much she loved Storm. After the home visit, she drove to the Ayla's foster mother's house to meet Ayla. It didn't take hervery long to decide Ayla would be making the trip back to Philadelphia with her. Finally, after so many months in foster care, after spending a few months in a shelter along the way, Ayla has a home of her very own! I am just so VERY happy for her, she is a wonderful dog and she has been incredibly patient."

The Pennsylvania SPCA is very proud of Ayla!

And we're not the only ones!

Ayla was photographed by professional pet photographer Melissa McDaniel, who traveled the country meeting with rescue dogs and deaf dogs for upcoming photo books titled Rescued in America and Deaf Dogs. A large portion of the proceeds will be donated to animal welfare groups, such as the Pennsylvania SPCA.

“This is a series of photo books with educational content, designed to call attention to certain topics, raise awareness on issues, celebrate the beauty that is around us, and give non-profits ameans to raise money for themselves,” said McDaniel.

Deaf Dogs will feature more than 50 deaf dogs from the US and Canada. The purpose of the book is to dispel the myths that surround deaf dogs.

“We could learn so much from these inspirational animals that never let their handicap hold them back," said McDaniel.

For more information on the books and to order, visit You will have the option to donate to the Pennsylvnia SPCA when you order.....and the dogs will thank you for your kindness!


  1. aw Yay for Faith's Hope and Ayla!!

  2. Yay Ayla!! I'm so looking forward to getting my copy of Melissa's upcoming photo book! (My pug will be in there too.)


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