By Meaghan Menzel
Also known as the “Pocket Pit,” or as Kennel Technician JP Hooker calls her, one of the “Itty Bitty Pitty Committee,” Angel is a two-and-a-half-year-old Staffordshire and Bull terrier mix who arrived at the Humane Society of Kent County Dec. 31.
According to Hooker, “She was seized, meaning we went to her house and took her because” it was a “neglect case.” She, along with a Dachshund and a Jack Russell terrier mix named Chance, “were chained in the backyard. [Chance’s] collar got embedded in him, and he had to have surgery. He almost didn’t make it.”
Their owner “was actually just prosecuted, and he went to jail for 30 days for what he did to them,” Hooker said. “He’s not allowed to have any dogs or animals, I believe, for three years. It should be forever.”
When Angel first arrived at the shelter, “she was definitely a mess,” Hooker said. She was scared and “wasn’t eating… so I took it upon myself to go into her kennel and hand feed her, and she ate it. Then eventually she started eating on her own.” The transformation since then has been remarkable.
Angel is about 50 pounds. “She’s so little, but she’s all muscle and very strong,” Hooker said. “She has beautiful markings and some gorgeous eyes.”
Angel loves eating all kinds of treats, playing with a tennis ball, and running in the backyard. “She lets you take the ball from her,” Hooker said.
“She’s such a lover. We have a volunteer who comes in and actually just sits with her in a chair and just spends like an hour with her almost every other day,” Hooker said. “He’ll sit here, and she’ll sit next to him, and he’ll just pet her. She loves the attention. She’s just a gentle dog.”
Angel loves cuddles, belly rubs, and car rides. Hooker said, “She’s an outdoor dog, but I think she would be very good in the house if given the opportunity.” She’s also very good in her kennel and does not bark when people walk through.
“She wants affection. She never knew affection before, so now she’s enjoying it,” Hooker said. “She was neglected. Who knows how much she was fed. Now she has her space. People come in, they walk her, love on her, and give her treats. She’s spoiled. She has two meals a day, water—all the basic essentials she probably never had. She has toys to play with now. She probably didn’t have anything… Things are a lot better than they were before for her.”
Of the dogs at the shelter, Angel is one of the best when it comes to housetraining. Hooker said, “Our Kennel Tech Eric… came up with the idea of putting little carpets to cover up the whole front [of a dog’s kennel]. We actually took [Angel’s] out because it’s been in there for so long. She needs a new one, [but] she’s one of the privileged dogs who gets it because we know she’s not going to mess it up.”
Angel has recently been spayed and has no real health concerns other than allergies and small rashes on her stomach. According to Hooker, “That’s probably just from being in the kennel and stress and maybe even the leashes because she pulls.”
“Her only… concern would be other dogs, mainly females. She gets along with Oliver all right and some of the males, but she’s not that dog-friendly. She would need work,” Hooker said. “Think about it. She lived in a [small yard]. She was chained. Her and Chance were probably very fearful [and] aggressive… but I think in a home environment she could thrive… You just need to take it slow, give her space, and give her time to adjust.” As with any animal, Hooker said, “Don’t feed them together, and don’t have toys around them together because they need to slowly transition into their new environment and new family.”
Hooker does not think cats or other animals would be out of the question, but again, Angel would need time to adjust. He has seen her play well with kids and an owner needs to train her not to jump around small children.
According to Hooker, Chance has already been adopted, “and we want to get [Angel] out of here because, if you think about it, at one point they were the only ones who had each other, and I think she knows that he’s gone… I think she misses him.” The Humane Society had received potential owner applications for Angel, but unfortunately they all have fallen through.
Overall, Hooker said, Angel is “an awesome dog. She would be an awesome pet—there’s no doubt about it… She’s a gorgeous dog, and people love her. She warms up to them… She’s very trainable and adoptable.”
If any member of the Chestertown community, the Washington College faculty and staff, or even students with family looking to adopt an Itty Bitty Pitty with a playful and gentle personality who loves and appreciates all the newfound joys in her life, Angel may be the one for you. You can contact the Humane Society at 410-778-3648 or firstname.lastname@example.org.