How Lily Came to Me from ‘Animal Cops’

May 2, 2011  

By Alexandra Golaszewska

My brother does sound for TV and movies, and was working on Animal Cops: Philadelphia.

One day, he e-mailed me after a dead dog had been found, starved to death, in a backyard. Two other dogs had been rescued there. One of them was Lily, a pit bull, and my brother wanted to know if I could take her in as a foster.

At the time I had no plans to adopt a dog. My last one was a dog-aggressive black lab, so I was used to the hassles that go with that and not ready to deal with it again. But I agreed to be a foster mom, and as soon as I brought Lily into my house she made friends with my cat. She was nice to everyone, friendly, and easy to have in the house. When other dogs behaved aggressively she backed off immediately.

I started to think about keeping her.

I had to wait, because the cruelty case hadn’t been settled yet. Four months later, I couldn’t even have her spayed, because she legally still belonged to the woman who had yet to face trial. I don’t know the exact outcome of the legal proceedings, but Lily was eventually taken from her previous owner, and I was able to adopt her permanently.

Lily becomes a therapy dog

Around the same time, some friends found a sweet stray dog whom they were considering training as a therapy dog. I didn’t know a lot about therapy dogs, but I did some research and thought it sounded like something Lily could do, too. I talked with Nicole LaRocco, the PSPCA behaviorist, and she told me that the PSPCA would be a testing site for the Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog tests.

We were supposed to attend several preparation classes, but between finding out about it late and a lot of icy weather, we only made it to one. Nonetheless, Lily took both tests, and she passed both on the first try.

Lily becomes a spokesperson

Around the time I brought Lily home for foster care, there was an incident in my neighborhood involving pit bulls. It got a lot of publicity. But I’ve never met a mean pit bull, and on any given day, if I see five dogs on the street, three of them are pit bulls. So I figured that if they were as dangerous as they’re portrayed, we’d have a serious incident in the news every day.

After I saw this negative media coverage, I figured I could use Lily to showcase some positive media coverage on pit bulls. Today, I’m a social media consultant and I use my skills to show the positive side of dogs like mine.

So I started a Facebook page for Lily, and today it has more than 4,300 followers.

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Comments

One Response to “How Lily Came to Me from ‘Animal Cops’”
  1. ChesterMcPuggle says:

    Heartwarming!