Abandoned Puppy Rescued From Criminal’s House Gets A New Chance With An Unlikely Family

The ultimate goal for rescued dogs is to find a loving forever home. While their health and safety always comes first, they should ultimately have a pleasant—and permanent—place to live. Being the domesticated animals they are, most dogs want nothing more than to be a loyal member of a loving family.

Yet some of these dogs find companionship in very unusual situations. This was certainly the case with a pit bull puppy named Ashley. She had to be rescued from a rough place, but where she ended up was even more surprising!

Erica Mahnken (far left), along with her fiancé, Michael Favor (far right), are the co-founders of the No More Pain Rescue in Staten Island, New York. Together, they’re committed to helping the animals in their community.

No More Pain Rescue / Facebook

When Erica heard about a dog who’d been found in a local crack house in January 2017, she instinctively felt that the responsibility fell on her and her team to find a way to help the poor animal.

Erica and Michael were used to re-homing pups in desperate need of love—like Benji, pictured here—but this new dog was clearly going to require some special assistance.

No More Pain Rescue / Instagram

The pit bull puppy was in especially awful shape. She’d suffered injuries from several cigarette burns; she was also seriously malnourished and she was living in horrible conditions…

Probyash / Instagram

Erica and Michael weren’t fully aware of this ailing pit bull’s full history at the time. All that mattered was that she needed help—and they were ready to provide it as soon as possible!

Ashley, as the sweet pup became known, had spent at least two days in a frightening setting—an alleged crack house—without power, food, or water. There’s no telling what could have happened if Erica and Michael waited any longer…

Mario Kains / Wikimedia Commons

Not only that, but it was the middle of winter, and Ashley was all alone in a building that was absolutely freezing in the harsh January weather. It wouldn’t have been a stretch to say that her days were numbered.

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Fortunately, Erica and Michael were able to drive to the alleged crack house right away to rescue Ashley. There was no time to waste, and the pit bull herself must have felt incredibly relieved to come across kind humans.

The couple ran into a roadblock, however, when they realized they didn’t have a foster home lined up that could take in Ashley. They weren’t sure what they would do, but what happened next was something no one saw coming…

probyash / Instagram

Erica and Michael thought long and hard about what they should do with little Ashley, and they came up with a brilliant solution. They called their friends at the fire department and hoped they could work something out…

New York Post

The firefighters at “Fort Pitt,” an FDNY station on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, were happy to welcome the puppy, at least temporarily. After all, who could say “no” to spending some time with such a sweet dog?

Probyash / Instagram

What no one had anticipated was that everyone who worked at that fire station would absolutely fall in love with the sweet dog… and quite quickly, at that! She seemed to fit right in.

Probyash / Instagram

Just three days after the stray pit bull puppy initially arrived at Fort Pitt, the firefighters called Michael and Erica to ask an important question: could they adopt Ashley permanently?

New York Post

Naturally, the couple was thrilled that this once-stray dog, who’d suffered so much abuse, had finally found a loving home… even if it probably wasn’t the kind of home they originally had in mind!

probyash / Instagram

Now, Ashley was officially a happy and proud firehouse dog. Where she was once living in a frigid, abandoned building and suffering heartless abuse, she was now a valued and beloved part of the firefighting team!

New York Post

Not only did Ashley enjoy spending time at the station with all of the firefighters she befriended, but she was even allowed to come on ride-alongs when they responded to emergencies around the community.

New York Post

Employing dogs at a fire department in order to help perform special tasks and offer companionship is not unprecedented, but this job was usually associated with Dalmatians. Ashley didn’t seem to mind, though!

Anchorage, Office of the City Mayor / Wikimedia Commons

It also helped that the firefighters helped Ashley heal physically, not just emotionally. She weighed just 25 pounds when they adopted her, but now, at 50 pounds, she was doing better than ever. And it was all thanks to their love and support!

New York Post

Perhaps the most remarkable part of this story, however, was the fact that after she received a second chance at life, Ashley was now enthusiastically saving others’ lives!

New York Post

“She’s such a happy girl,” said Erica in an interview with the New York Post. “I couldn’t have picked a better home for our sweet girl and I can’t thank the FDNY enough for allowing Ash to join New York’s Bravest.” Bravo, Ashley!

Talk about a heartwarming tale. Ashley surely appreciated her wonderful new life at the firehouse, and her fellow firefighters seemed to feel the same way about her!

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