The first, Hammer, a.k.a. Ozzie, originally came from an open-admission shelter in West Virginia. Pennsylvania-based Furry Friends Network transported
him to New Jersey where he met the Zaffiris. Despite his poor condition, they opted to adopt him.
“He had mange and was almost hairless and stunk to high heaven,” Christina Zaffiri recalls. “He scratched constantly due to itching from the mange.”
His condition made it all the more clear to Christina that the dog needed to find a home fast or he might end up being euthanized. They adopted him, mange and all, and after a visit to the vet,
medication and many, many baths, Hammy, as they call him, was like a
A year passed, and the Zaffiris decided to give another dog a
second chance. Once again, they logged onto Petfinder. There they
spotted Stinkerbell. She was listed on the site by Grainger County
Humane Society in Tennessee, and her story was heart-wrenching. She had
been thrown out of a moving car and was missing the skin on
three of her paw pads. More than 200 ticks were feeding on her seven-week-old body when she was brought to the shelter.
She, too, was transported
to New Jersey, and the Zaffiris, including Hammy, welcomed her. The
family also soon welcomed a human baby — and the two dogs watch over him.
“Stinkerbell thinks that she is the momma,” says Christina. “Sometimes
these poor unwanted souls require a bit more work, but in
the end, it’s all worth it. They somehow know you were their savior.
Their unconditional love and loyalty is amazing.”
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