Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

A rescued dog gains a following and a second chance at life

Briahna Cullen
provided photo
Petey, a 7-year-old pitbull, playing in his yard.

Hundreds of thousands of animals are euthanized each year due to not being able to find suitable homes for adoption. That was almost the case for Petey, a 7-year-old pit bull who recently found a new home after getting a big following on social media.

Briahna Cullen describes Petey as a loving dog.

“He's like a princess. Honestly, he doesn't like the rain, doesn't want to be out in the cold. So, he's a very great dog," Cullen said.

She and her husband adopted Petey as a rescue two years ago. Because of his traumatic past, they knew that there would be some challenges.

“He was locked in a crate for about four years, and he was pretty much deprived of any human attention," she said.

They knew the dog would be unable to live in a home with children. When she got pregnant last year, they started the search for Petey's new owners.

Adopting a pet like Petey is difficult because potential owners need to be screened to ensure the animal is going to a good environment. Things like not having enough yard space, or having other pets or children, as in Cullen’s case, are a barrier.

The couple had been searching for months by the time their daughter was born in November, and had been unsuccessful.

“It wasn't until he had jumped at the baby that I had to contact his vet," Cullen said.

Keeping Petey in the home was potentially dangerous for their child. Their veterinarian suggested that Petey needed to be put down. The dog was sent to Against All Oddz Animal Alliance Inc. outside of Buffalo while they waited for someone to take him in.

Owner Matthew Albert said they specialize in rescuing pit bulls with difficult cases.

He said not many people understand what it entails to care for dogs like Petey, which make it hard to find placement.

Desperate and with little time, Cullen turned to Facebook for help. Her posts about Petey were shared hundreds of times. Although Petey had a following there were no prospects for months.

They received a call from Brian Grosse two days before Petey’s scheduled euthanasia, He came across Petey’s story through a friend.

“I'm in a great position to be a pet owner," Grosse said. "And I reached out and I was like, 'let's do this.'”

Cullen canceled the appointment and prepared Petey for training so he can enter his new home.

Support from Facebook also helped raise the money to pay for Petey’s training in Buffalo. This week he was united with Grosse.

Grosse said he’s happy to bring Petey home to Watertown.

“He is adjusting very well," Grosse said. “He is the most lovable, wonderful creature I have ever seen.”

Grosse created a Facebook page for Petey to share updates with his fans.

April Franklin is the local host of WXXI's Weekend Edition and a reporter covering housing and neighborhood issues.