Dog Ready for Euthanasia Defies Odds, Now With Loving Family

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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. My wife and I are the people who rescued and adopted Ava, the dog pictured above with the 55 on her side. My wife is very active in animal rescue, and we picked Ava and 3 other dogs up near West Bend, WI about 2 months ago. We drove the final leg of this rescue from West Bend to Appleton; others drove these 4 dogs and several more from Kentucky. In rescue situations you rarely get good information. We were never told how or why Ava was marked with the number 55. She had the number on both sides of her body when we picked her up in West Bend – therefore it had been applied onto her when she was in Kentucky, most likely for a hunting trial type situation, but no one really knows. We were told that these dogs would be put down because the shelter they were coming from was going to shut down – I don’t know if that is true or not, but thats what we were told. We were also told that Ava was the mom of these other dogs and that they did not want to break them up. Ava clearly never gave birth and was not the mother, but this may have been said in an effort to save another animal. In hindsight I am happy it happened regardless. When we decided to adopt Ava, the vet thought the numbers were permenant and would never go away. I believe this is false as it appears that one of the numbers is wearing off. All in all I want to make it perfectly clear that I sincerely doubt any animal shelter put these numbers on Ava. I also want to mention that Ava is doing great in our home. She is very affectionate loves spending her time outside where we play and run around the back yard. We make sure to get to the dog park weekly where she can run even more and socialize with other dogs. She is great when riding in the car, and she is warming up to others. She gets startled by loud noises, and likes to be a bit independent. I am thankful she came into our lives and it was meant to be.

    • I am so happy to see her new family correcting the wrong information. Thank you and thank you for adopting Ava. I can assure you that the numbers in time will fade. I not only grew up my entire life in my mom and Aunts vet clinic bu I have worked in Animal advocacy for over 20 years. I have seen HUNDREDS of hunting dogs numbered. I have lived surrounded by hunting dogs that are numbered. It may take a while but the dye will fade away. The dye does stain the skin but like you said it is fading and in time it will be completely gone.

      • Not one of us involved with Ava (including the vet), ever knew the dye would stain the skin. They thought the pigment changed. Something new they can learn if indeed her numbers do go away! Which it appears they are 🙂

  2. Did you guys really delete all of the Facebook comments?!?!?! I, Ava’s mom, gave full proof Saving Paws never said anything about being branded for euthanasia, or any reason for that matter, AND YOU DELETED IT?!?! You are journalism at its worst. Everyone, this article is not factual at all. They twisted Saving Paws words and didnt check anything. This website makes me sick.

  3. To all concerned, we received a story stating that Ava was about to be euthanized and was branded and, in the words of the writer, “we can only imagine why” lending the impression that she was branded for euthanasia. We have corrected this & I apologize for the confusion. However, the impression was given to us that this was the case.


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