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Posted on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 5:46 a.m.

Pit bull in need of adoption saves fellow dog's life in an unexpected way

By Deb Kern


Last week a severely injured, extremely small Chihuahua came into the Animal Intake Department at the Humane Society of Huron Valley. Weighing only 3 pounds, this 5-month-old puppy had a badly broken front leg and had not received any medical care for that injury for more than a week. She was in excruciating pain, had stopped eating and was barely moving.

Surgery was needed but the veterinarians were concerned that she was not healthy or strong enough for the medical procedure which would most likely result in the amputation of her leg.

The skill and care of our surgical team could not save the Chihuahua’s leg, but she did make it through the two-hour surgery. Still, she had a battle on her hands, and her white blood count was dangerously low. A blood transfusion was the best hope for her.

The veterinarians decided to select one of our most friendly and healthiest dogs to provided the life saving transfusion for the Chihuahua we started calling Tinkerbelle. Ziggy, a amiable pit bull, gladly sauntered into the surgery prep area with his tail wagging and waited for his next set of instructions, just happy to be out of his cage and with the people he has come to know at HSHV.

Some people may laugh when they see the handmade surgical gown that Ziggy was placed in with the words Pet Hero on it, but we all love it. One our veterinary technicians fashioned that with her own hands for just this type of occasion. She wanted the animal donor to feel special and to be recognized for helping another pet in need.

Ziggy’s blood did help. Tinkerbelle is doing remarkable well and should be placed up for adoption in a couple of weeks. The cute, small dogs, even the ones with just three legs like Tinkerbelle, will always get adopted quickly, so her future looks very bright now.

In most stories the hero is the shining star, the one that gets accolades and flowers thrown at his feet but for this dog, it was simply back to his kennel. Now on his 127th day of being in an animal shelter through no fault of his own after being abandoned in Ypsilanti, Ziggy does not feel much like a hero today.

Pit bulls are over-bred, misunderstood and under-valued by many, so a fantastic companion waits again for a day that he will really feel appreciated. The day he leaves HSHV and his heroes take him home forever.

All of the pets at HSHV are spayed or neutered, up to date on all vaccinations and microchipped before leaving the shelter, a cost that is included in the low adoption fee. Please stop by HSHV between the hours of noon and 6 p.m., seven days a week, to visit our adoptable animals.

The Humane Society of Huron Valley, located in Ann Arbor, was awarded the "Best Large Animal Shelter in Michigan" by the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance, for the second time in a row this year, for saving the most lives. HSHV is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies solely on donations from businesses and individuals to support our community programs.

HSHV is not affiliated with the Michigan Humane Society or any other humane organization. The mission of HSHV is to promote responsible and compassionate care of all animals in our community.

Deb Kern is the marketing director at HSHV.



Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 3:39 a.m.

What a grat story, Looking forward to hearing about Ziggys new home!!

Local Lady

Sat, Mar 31, 2012 : 1:33 p.m.

I continue to support the Society because of all the wonderful work they do. I wish I could help Ziggy, but I already have 3 dogs. Please adopt her!


Sat, Mar 31, 2012 : 11:01 a.m.

Once again many thanks to the HVHS....You are a top notch for the outstanding things you do for animals!


Sat, Mar 31, 2012 : 2:47 a.m.

Ziggy is a real sweetheart and is truly a hero. Thanks for posting this story. And thanks to all the staff at HSHV for giving both Ziggy & Tinkerbelle a second chance. If you can't adopt a dog, think about making a donation to this great organization. Any little bit helps.


Sat, Mar 31, 2012 : 2:10 a.m.

Do dogs and cats have different blood types like humans do?


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 6:37 a.m.

@Lorrie- I think grimmk meant to ask if dogs and cats have different blood types within their respective species. My understanding is that they do not, from the link you provided, thanks.

Lorrie Shaw

Sat, Mar 31, 2012 : 11:57 a.m.

Great question, grimmk! Canines and felines do in fact have very different blood types and are not compatible. Here's a post on that topic:

Kara Flora

Sat, Mar 31, 2012 : 12:05 a.m.

Thank you so much for posting a positive piece about a pit bull!!! They are such a misunderstood breed. I rescued my pit bull, Holly, two years ago from a different group (unfortunately)... she was abandoned in downtown Detroit while she was pregnant with puppies. She was rescued and still birthed her entire litter and then proceeded to be in foster care for almost a year. Holly has been a welcome addition to my family and the sweetest companion I could ever ask for. If you have the capacity, please, please, please consider adopting a pet from HSHV!!! Best of luck to Tinkerbell and Ziggy!!!


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 10:38 p.m.

good boy! good luck to both tinkerbelle and ziggy!


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 8:01 p.m.

This was an incredibly touching and beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing some of the amazing things that the Humane Society is doing. I adopted my dog from the shelter last October and it is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. For everyone who is consider getting a pet, please do some research. It makes me cringe when I hear potential pet owners talk about just buying a dog because it is easier! There are plenty of completely healthy, happy and loving dogs waiting at the shelter to be adopted. Make sure that however you are getting a pet it is ethical, and there is nothing better than knowing that you may have saved your pet's life!


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 2:46 p.m.

Thank you for the wonderful article about Ziggy (and the great work HSHV does). I hope it helps in spreading the word about adopting not only adult dogs but sweet pits like Ziggy. What better recommendation could you want!! I have my HSHV cat and puppy near me right now, and we're all rooting for Ziggy to find his heros and his fur-ever home!!!

Lisa Learst

Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 1:16 p.m.

love this!! My pit bull, Maizey, is a blood donor, so this article touches two of my passions! Hope someone scoops up Ziggy soon - he's a hero!!

Susan Karp

Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 1:03 p.m.

Ziggy is a superstar in the weekly obedience class! He obeys commands really well, and even knows a few cute tricks, like "roll over". He is a very nice dog, and oh so handsome!

Sarah Rigg

Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 12:46 p.m.

This story made me cry. I already am full up on adopted pets but I wish I could take Ziggy home. :(