Although she was rescued from heartbreaking cruelty, Zaza the pit bull was known around the ASPCA for her sweet, loving nature. In June, she joined former NYPD Police Commissioner William Bratton on the job for “Take Your Dog to Work Day,” and shortly after that she was selected to represent the ASPCA at Discovery Communications’ “Discover Your Impact” volunteer day at our New York City Adoption Center. It was there that this precious pittie met Stacey R., and her long journey from rescue to recovery ended in a warm and loving home. Here is her story.
Zaza was one of two dogs rescued by officers from Brooklyn’s 63rd Precinct in April 2016. She was bone-thin when police discovered her living in filthy conditions with another underweight female pit bull mix. Veterinarians at our Animal Hospital helped Zaza regain her strength and treated her for an infection in both ears that caused severe swelling, as well as a skin infection between her toes.
Despite the horrific cruelty she had endured, Zaza maintained the most gentle disposition. When the call came for a dog to join Mr. Bratton for the NYPD’s “Take Your Dog to Work Day” celebration, we knew Zaza was the perfect fit.
On the job with the NYPD.
Not long after her big day on the job, Zaza was in the spotlight once again during “Discover Your Impact Day.”
In honor of the ASPCA’s partnership with Animal Planet, we invited a group from Discovery Communications, Animal Planet’s parent company, to spend their 6th annual “Discover Your Impact Day” volunteering with animals at our Adoption Center.
Since 2014, Animal Planet has been a valuable Cause Partner of the ASPCA, supporting us via on-air programming, funding, social media engagements, and most importantly, over 30 fee-waived adoption events resulting in more than 3,000 adoptions to date. Next was Zaza’s turn.
Stacey recalls the day vividly: “I first saw her getting a tummy rub in her crate, and then she participated in our behavior class where she calmly took treats from everyone in the room. I was instantly struck by her demeanor, and if my heart could speak in that moment it would say, ‘I need her, you need her’.
“Discover Your Impact Day”
The thought of adopting a dog had been lingering in the back of Stacey’s mind for a while, she tells us, so the timing could not have been better. “While I’ve always had family dogs, I have never been solely responsible for the well-being of anything other than myself. Now that I’m approaching my late twenties, it seems like the right time to put another life before my own.” She decided then and there that she and Zaza were meant to be.
After making the adoption official, Stacey gave Zaza a new name in acknowledgment of her new life: Dani. Stacey admits that the transition was a big adjustment for Dani, who had never before experienced the joy of being a beloved pet. “When she first arrived, she was disinterested in playing with her toys, and had no concept of how to get on my couch,” Stacey recalls. Now, though, she is proud to report that Dani has discovered her toys and mastered getting up on the couch. “She’s also gotten very used to sleeping in my bed with me. She is really such a good girl. Everyone that meets her loves her.”
As for Dani, we can only imagine that the pleasures of her new life are far beyond what she ever could have envisioned while suffering the heartbreak of abuse. Stacey says, “My mother gave me a book, which she said was a gift from Dani, called You Had Me at Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness. There is a great quote that says, ‘A very wise dog woman once told me that dogs find owners, not the other way around.’ I feel like I was meant to meet Dani.”
We’re sure that after all that she’s been through, Dani feels that her new home with Stacey was meant to be as well.