The dog was holding on for dear life when rescuers found her.
Two years ago, Erica Mahnken and her fiancé Michael Favour, from the No More Pain Rescue in New Jersey, received a call from someone reporting an abused pit bull.
The dog had been living with two supposed drug addicts in an abandoned house with no heat or electricity. When a snowstorm hit, the couple apparently left. “I guess they went to find somewhere warm to stay, and they had left the dog behind,” Mahnken told The Dodo. “So as soon as we got the phone call, we ran and got her.”
Mahnken and Favour paid a visit to the home where they found a frightened, rail-thin, pitbull shaking nervously.
The house was freezing cold, had no windows, and there were dog feces everywhere.
Although the dog was in distress, it had no problem jumping in the car with the rescuers. At that point they realized it had cigarette burns on its head.
The rescuers named the dog Ashley.
No More Pain Rescue isn’t a shelter, so the couple had to find someone to foster the dog while they searched for a forever home. The two contacted the Fort Pitt station in New York to see of they could take care of the dog in the interim.
The firefighters agreed.
Rescue dogs with a history of abuse aren’t usually fond of strangers. But once Ashley got to the fire station, she acted like it was her home.
“As soon as she walked into the firehouse, her tail was wagging, and she was licking and greeting everybody,” Mahnken said. “She was super happy. From where she came from, you wouldn’t really expect that. You would think that she’d be a little skittish, but she wasn’t at all.”
After three days, a firefighter called the rescue group and asked if the station could be Ashley’s forever home.
At the fire station, “She’s constantly on the go,” Mahnken said. “She goes on smaller runs with them, she goes on the fire truck with them. They walk her about 30 times a day. They bring her on the roof to play. She’s constantly in the kitchen watching them eat. She has endless supplies of treats. She has the life over there.”
Now, Ashley has all the love, attention, food and purpose that a dog could ask for. She even has her own Instagram account with over 36,000 followers.