Scooter the pit bull was used as a weapon of terror by a homeless man as he robbed a father and his teenage son walking with their bikes along a trail by the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. Knowing how the general public has a phobia of pit bulls, he tugged on Scooter’s leash, making it look as though she was eager to break her bonds and attack the pair. Convinced they would be mauled, the two victims turned over their bags to the robber.
Officers captured the robber and his accomplice and Scooter was turned over to animal services. Shelter workers determined in short order that Scooter was not aggressive in the least. After a beleaguering journey, Scooter is now a therapy dog living a happy life on 5 acres in rural Oregon.
At the shelter, Scooter displayed a loving and playful demeanor. Because pit bulls are often passed over for adoption at shelters, her demeanor began to fade. She grew frustrated and depressed. After seven months, the only time workers saw her sunny disposition was when they took her out for daily walks. Her deteriorating demeanor prolonged her stay at the shelter.
Angela Adams, 31, founded Born Again Pit Bull Rescue in 2007, where Scooter had been staying, and in late January, a spot opened up for Scooter. Merissa Micochero, 27, who owns Paw n Hand K9 and trains dogs there, took Scooter into her own home to rehabilitate her, hoping it would help Scooter find a permanent home.
Though it was evident that Scooter hadn’t lived in a home before or spent much time around kids, she adapted quickly. Her spunk and loving nature were restored almost immediately, much to Michochero’s surprise. Scooter was extremely loyal and followed her new owner around everywhere. It wasn’t long before she was welcoming belly rubs from the kids. In little more than a week, Scooter was behaving as though she had been in the family for months.
Scooter gives hope to animal service and shelter workers for other dogs of dubious breeding. All she needed was a chance to be a dog and be loved. If Scooter can bridge that gap, then so can many others.
In March, a family adopted Scooter and she went to live on 5 acres in the home of Kris Beattie, 70, a retired nurse. The 4 year-old pit bull helps Beattie cheer up nursing home patients. She also enjoys the company of Beattie’s two grandchildren and their parents who also live with her. Beattie’s 5 year old granddaughter loves to walk Scooter and put her through her paces with commands like ‘walk’ and ‘sit.’
When asked if Scooter could return to a life of crime, Beattie says sure, if I tugged on her leash but really the biggest danger you have with her is from drowning if she starts licking you.