A Winning Chance

March 8, 2011  

Left for dead on a desert highway, Jojo gets the opportunity to give back and win big

StubbyDog Staff Report

She’s gone from the roadside to the bedside to being the winner of a national contest.

Jojo had been hit by a passing car and left for dead at the side of the road in the west Texas desert. JoJo is a pit bull, and that’s probably why hours passed and cars raced by with no one stopping to help her.

Finally, someone stopped and took her to a shelter in nearby Alpine, Texas. She had severely broken leg that was urgently in need of specialized surgical repair. An orthopedic vet 225 miles away in El Paso, Texas, agreed to do the surgery, and From the Heart Rescue agreed to step in as her rescue for foster and rehab care.

After surgery, and when JoJo was able to stand up and walk a bit, her foster mom, occupational therapist Ann Marie Giron, began to take JoJo to work at the El Paso Orthopedic Surgery Group and Center for Sports Medicine — for people recovering from orthopedic injuries. With a shaved hind leg, large rows of staples on her incisions and an external fixator sticking out of the top of her hip, JoJo went into service as a therapy dog. And that became part of her own therapy.

“It took a village to mend JoJo back to health,” said Brandy Gardes, founder of From the Heart Rescue, also based in El Paso. “After countless hours in rehabilitation and therapy, JoJo healed extremely well restoring her body and growing her spirit.”

JoJo has had her fixator removed and is progressing well with her own therapy. She continues to help the patients at the orthopedic hospital, demonstrating the loyalty and intelligence of her breed. But even more, JoJo enjoys offering inspiration and love to people who are in pain.

The rescue group decided to enter Jojo in the national Rally to Rescue Doing More for Pets Rescue Stories Contest, which is put together each year by the Purina Pro Plan pet food division. Nearly 100 rescue stories were submitted and a judging panel selected 10 that stood above the rest. These stories demonstrated that by doing more and going the extra mile, these dedicated pet rescue workers changed the lives of 10 exceptional animals. From July through October, more than 44,000 votes were cast by pet lovers across the country for the story that most touched their hearts to help select the grand-prize winner.

And the winner was … Jojo.

“We are very proud to recognize JoJo’s tremendous strength and the committed team of From the Heart Rescue,” said Robert Tochterman, brand manager for Purina Pro Plan. “It is with their remarkable compassion, together with JoJo’s foster family, who have welcomed JoJo into their home permanently, that has allowed JoJo’s journey of love to continue for her lifetime.”

Brandy Gardes will be accompanying JoJo to the National Dog Show presented by Purina at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pa., on Nov. 20.

As part of the grand prize, From the Heart Rescue will receive $5,000 worth of Pro Plan® brand pet food coupons for the organization.

« « Athena Wows Them on the National Mall | Working Miracles on a Shoestring » »


2 Responses to “A Winning Chance”
  1. Thanks for spreading the word on our wonderful JoJo. As a quick update, besides doing regular educational and community appearances to spread the word on how great pitties can be, she has now certified as a Service Dog for her owner and is on the way to full certification as a Therapy Dog.

    • StubbyDog says:

      Thanks for the update, we are so happy to hear how well Jojo is thriving! Way to go Jojo! I see another article on her updates in the future! Please contact laurap@stubbydog.org when you are ready to tell the rest of the story. Thanks for your support.