Happy Tail: The deaf Pit Bull was returned to the shelter three times

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Read Otis the Pit Bull’s adoption story in his “mom” Katy’s own words.

Otis’s days were numbered. He had been at the shelter for quite some time and, in fact, had been adopted three times and returned each time. He was good-looking and well-mannered, so just what was it that caused him to be on the short list for euthanasia?

Katy Riecks of Philadelphia believes it was because no one had the patience to deal with his special needs: Otis is deaf.

She and her boyfriend had both grown up with dogs, but neither of them had had one since they’d been adults. Now the time seemed right, so they began searching Petfinder for one to adopt.


“I looked through hundreds of listings,” Katy says. “Then I clicked on a
link for a Pit Bull mix named Otis. As soon as I saw his picture, my
heart stopped. I knew I had found my dog.” They contacted PAWS (Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society) and learned that Otis was scheduled to be euthanized the next day.

“The shelter put him ‘on hold’ until we could meet him three days later,”
Katy says. “As soon as we saw him, there was no question that we would
take him home. We bonded with him immediately.”

The couple has had Otis for about four years now. “During that time, he
has taught us things we could have never imagined,” Katy says. “We are
more patient, kind and compassionate people.”

Otis, she says, brings them joy, laughter and unconditional love — and
that has come at a time when she has needed it most. Three years ago, she
became ill with Crohn’s disease and has had 11 major surgeries.
“Without Otis’ companionship and care, I don’t know where I’d be. His
love, warm cuddles and kisses make life worth living.”

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