A Second Chance

Bared teeth and snarls accompany whimpers and tucked tails. For many dogs, this will be their last day of life. They’ll be sent out into the fighting ring and torn apart while humans clank their glasses together and laugh. After the fight is over, the casualties will be dumped or thrown away. This is the tragic story of a fighting dog.

This is not Hudson’s story.

A pit bull mix is not worth as much in the dog-fighting world. So, Hudson was not used for fighting. He was used as bait. The earliest part of his life was spent in small cages and kennels or in the arena.

Bait dogs are used for “practice.” Fighting dogs are placed in the ring with pups like Hudson to test their abilities or to rile them up before a fight. According to Dogtime, bait dogs may have their mouths taped shut to prevent them from protecting themselves. Once they have served their purpose, the animal’s life is ended by its captors.

Hudson was lucky.

He and one other dog were rescued from a fighting ring in Oklahoma and brought into the Memorial Road Pet Hospital. On the day they were brought in, they were barely recognizable. Their bodies were covered in gashes. Their captors had also cut down both dogs’ canine teeth so neither of them would have a way to fight back.

For his companion, it was too late. The other dog brought in with Hudson passed away three days after being rescued.

Hudson had lost his only friend. He was alone in the world and enduring intensive medical treatment. In addition to antibiotics and stitches, Hudson needed surgery. The dog fighters had done a “homemade neuter,” which required correction by veterinarians.

Getting healthy enough to leave the hospital was a journey. One of the employees at the veterinary office wouldn’t give up. Jesse Anderson was with Hudson every step of his recovery.

She was told to contact the local Humane Society so he could be adopted by a new family. Unfortunately, the staff informed her that his background meant he most likely wouldn’t be adopted.

Jesse stepped in immediately and agreed to foster Hudson until her office could find another option. A month later, she received a phone call. Hudson wouldn’t be getting a second chance.

“They called to tell me he was deemed un-adoptable since it had been so long.”

Jesse believed Hudson deserved better, so she agreed to adopt him. For the first time in his life, Hudson had a loving, safe place to call home.

That environment has brought out a different dog that couldn’t exist in the fighting ring. Hudson has been rehabilitated into both a therapy and emotional support dog. Jesse refers to him as her best friend.

“He’s not an ordinary dog. His background makes him unique. He loves to snuggle and just hang out with me, and he knows when something is wrong to give you a little extra love.”

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Perhaps it was the absence of love in his life as a young pup that created such a big heart in Hudson. Whatever it was, his kindness toward everyone he meets shows that he will not let his past define his story.

“After all he was put through, he is a very loving dog toward all humans, kids, and even other dogs. He loves his friends, including a Husky-Malamute Mix named Bandit; a Collie-Husky puppy named Sandy; and a Chihuahua mix named Rocky.”

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Hudson could teach us all something about life. Jesse has learned more from him than she could have ever imagined.

“He has taught me that all rescue animals deserve a second chance. He has also taught me that a bad reputation is not who you are.”

Adopting is a big decision, especially in the case of dogs like Hudson. However, Jesse’s advice is to do your research so you can understand your pet’s background. No matter their past, these animals can make a loving companion if you’ll just give them the chance.

Hudson finally got that second chance with Jesse. The days of fighting are long behind him. Instead, he loves sleeping, playing with his friends, and a good slice of pizza every now and then. His story had a happy ending, and Hudson hopes it can help other animals just like him to find the same.

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