Dog Ready for Euthanasia Defies Odds, Now With Loving Family

Life With Dogs is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page.

Ava is not supposed to be alive. When she arrived at Saving Paws Animal Rescue, in Wisconsin, she was already branded on both sides of her body with the number 55 and had barely escaped euthanasia.

Ava was also not supposed to be on the transport that she arrived on, but by some fluke, she ended up being taken from her shelter in Kentucky to the rescue in Wisconsin. It is very lucky for her that she did end up making that trip, though, as she was at the top of the list to be euthanized, due to space needs and because she was deemed ‘not very adoptable’.

Once in Wisconsin, Ava went immediately to a foster family. Though they were not expecting to adopt her, the family immediately fell in love with her. In the end, they chose to adopt her.

Ava had arrived in terrible condition, though her beauty would soon come out after only a little bit of loving care. She has shown herself to be a gentle, sweet dog who loves her family. She is extremely lucky to have found a wonderful foster family that saw her potential.

According to Saving Paws, it is only due to dedicated foster families, like Ava’s, that they can continue to rescue dogs. Too often, people only consider adopting. However, foster families enable rescues to have more space to save dogs like Ava. Since she was not even scheduled to be one of the rescues, it was even more critical that there would be foster families available in order to prevent overcrowding.

Now, instead of the sad alternative, Ava is in her forever home, as happy as can be!


Saving Paws Animal Rescue is a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing homeless, abandoned and special needs animals and finding adoptive homes or lifelong sanctuary for them. They also seek to decrease the amount of animal cruelty in the community through outreach and education.

They provide care and intake of stray, abandoned and unwanted animals; Adoption placement services for unclaimed or unwanted pets; and low cost spay/neuter programs (in the near future).

0 thoughts on “Dog Ready for Euthanasia Defies Odds, Now With Loving Family”

  1. Who determined the brand was for euthanasia? Some dogs are marked with numbers for field trails. That is identification for the owner to keep tabs on his dog when out in the field with other dogs who may all of the same breed. I know of no shelter that brands dogs.

    • Life with Dogs should get their story straight before they make it look like people are doing such horrid things…and especially by a shelter in my state of Kentucky! We’re not perfect but in all my lines of work with animal rescue, I have never heard or seen such a thing as branding for euthanasia.

      Dogs are NOT branded for euthanasia. You often find hounds such as this in shelters where they have become separated and lost from their hunting pack. Hunters sometimes brand their dogs in this way to identify them as their property. A good hunting dog is a serious financial investment and they are valued as much as cattle. Some are valued pets as well.

  2. Who ever wrote this article should be reprimanded. Even I being an animal advocate, who is thrilled that she found a loving home…. Cannot read this article without disgust. This dog was not branded nor was she even numbered for euthanasia. Please do research and investigate before you write a damaging article like this!! This is a hunting dog or a field trial dog who was numbered by her owner. in over 20 years working in animal advocacy that has me often in a shelter setting have I EVER seen a shelter number dogs. Who ever wrote this makes it obvious they lied when they wrote she was deemed “not very adoptable” because if they had been told this by the shelter, they would also know that the shelter had not “branded” this dog to die. All you have done is cause harm to the shelter and it’s employees by writing these false statements. These people who already have a tough job just because of what they have to do, do not need false articles written about them making their lives any harder than they already are. People are so quick to blame shelters and their staff for the deaths of so many animals yet they turn a blind eye to the real cause of these animals dying. Blame the hunters who abandon their dogs. Blame people who don’t spay or neuter their pets or the breeders who keep bringing more animals into this world when their are millions dying every year here in the US. Do you think these people WANT to see these animals dying? Yet because of your FALSE article I see people saying shelter staff needs to be fired and up in arms over what the shelter did to this dog, which was nothing. They took her in off the streets where she was abandoned. They fed her, gave her a bed and gave her the chance at having a life worth living. Even if someone had deemed a dog not very adoptable, don’t blame them for what society chooses to adopt. Why would it be a shelter employees fault for the fact that hunting dogs flows steadily through their doors and the sad reality is, hardly any of them do get adopted. It is not the employee who determines that, it is the people who don’t run through the door to adopt these dogs! Check statistics, that is who determines a dogs adaptability. Hunting dogs, black dogs, Pits…. all low adoption rates. So check FACTS and stop harming the wrong people. Hold society accountable for what happened to her! And praise the family hat saved her life.

  3. We get LOTS of dogs with numbers coming thru our NC Animal Control facility with numbers on them. We are HAPPY she was saved, but use REAL facts, not creative imagination. NONE of the Animal Control facilities BRAND the dogs. For one thing, that would be a waste of time. For another thing, it is putting the wrong message out there. Please correct. The first Lemon Walker Foxhound I rescued was just like that. It had the numbers on it BEFORE it arrived. I know, since I was there taking photos when it arrived!

    • actually it indeed is a brand.. it was burned into her fur scarring her skin. The numbers are still there and always will be unfortunately. The article is incorrect in stating that she was branded for euthanasia, there is no info as to what the numbers were for.

      • Umm, did you not see Ava’s new mom who herself said that she is not BRANDED. She said herself that it is fading. She also stated that in fact the shelter did NOT brand the dog. She asked for the author to please get their facts straight and also said that she actually had Ava placed on the transport to Wisconsin, which was also incorrectly reported. The dye will fade and in time the numbers will be gone. Ava’s new family will not love her any less. Anyone who has spent considerable time in a shelter would know how dogs are numbered and how the numbers do go away.

        • Hi, Sara, Ava’s mom here. So I can’t say for sure that she’s not branded, but my husband and I are thinking it’s not. The vet thought it was branded because the pigment of her skin is changed, but that could be wrong. We don’t see this type of thing really in Wisconsin so it’s new to many of us. Let’s hope it’s not, but either way I don’t care. It makes her who she is. Ava did come on the transport knowingly but very last minute. The writer here isn’t wrong on this part because she wasn’t supposed to be on the transport. But because we were told the day before she was the mamma of the three puppies we were bringing up, we took her. We knew it wasn’t true as she looked nothing like them, but we wanted to save her anyway. So yes ‘by a fluke’ I suppose, she did come up here. It wasn’t planned and I think people wanted to save her, so she came. I don’t at all believe the shelter branded her. Not any other dog there was. It was a horrible pound, but not that horrible. I’ve spent a considerable about of time in shelters and rescue, and did NOT know the numbers do go away. I don’t think you can really say that. I think that’s all a matter on what your exposure is to types of dog situations, and we don’t have that kind of thing normally in Wisconsin.

        • I just posted one additional piece of information that the Ava’s rescue posted (which was actually me as an admin of their Facebook page and website), which is where I think the majority of this story came from. Words were very twisted.

  4. Rescue stories touch my heart and it’s just wonderful to give a dog a chance to be happy with someone. They are so forgiving and surely man’s BEST friend!

  5. This concept that a number brand indicates euthanasia is ridiculous. She was obviously a hunting dog who belonged to a pack and got away. Is that intentional or a fact checking error? Why must we constantly paint these “death row” scenarios in rescue situations? I think it’s also appalling that shelters post those awful “adopt by 6pm or she’s DEAD! announcements. If a shelter CHOOSES to kill a dog, that is THEIR problem. THEY need to develop effective programs and solutions, not hold these homeless pets’ lives over people’s heads.


Leave a Comment