It was something about her eyes that made Kristen Kuhlman take a second look at the rescue pit bull no one else seemed to want.
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The mom-of-two from South Pasadena, California, has always favored animals that need a little extra love, especially those with physical differences that made them unadoptable to others. When she looked at photos of Strawberry the dog, she didn’t see the “flaw” that almost got the animal euthanized – she saw kind eyes and a tired soul.
Strawberry’s photo first appeared online on an Instagram page that shares photos of dogs due to be euthanized at the Riverside Shelter in Jurupa Valley, California. Volunteers at another Los Angeles-based nonprofit called the La Belle Foundation rescued her from the shelter and had the 2-year-old dog thoroughly checked out by their veterinarian.
“We saw Strawberry’s shelter picture in a state of such neglect, and we knew we needed to save her,” the La Belle Foundation wrote on Instagram. “Her skin was bright pink from infection, covered in mange, and she had 2 large lumps on her head. After several weeks of testing, a bone biopsy, and an MRI, we have discovered the lumps on her head are just scar tissue from an old injury and nothing life threatening.”
Strawberry had surgery to remove rocks from her stomach, but her “unicorn horn” could not be removed because the operation could cause brain damage. The shelter set out to find a family that would overlook Strawberry’s differences and see the sweet, happy animal she truly is.
“Our sweet girl Strawberry is the reason why people say dogs are man’s best friend,” they wrote on Facebook. “She is so full of unconditional love. It’s clear she wasn’t treated well in her past life, but that doesn’t stop her from being the most loving girl.”
After seeing Strawberry’s photo on her social media timeline several times, Kristen knew she was meant to be her dog-mom!
“I just kept seeing her picture pop up on the foundation’s Instagram page and she was still available,” she recalled. “She just had such gentle eyes and, you know, I had never seen a dog like her ever before. She’s very unique and recognizable and one in a million, one of a kind.”
Kristen brought Strawberry home, and after an adjustment period, she finally settled in and let her personality shine. She loves to play with Kristen’s twin sons, but she’s just as comfortable snuggling with her family on the sofa.
“She fits right into our family,” Kristen said. “It’s been great.”
Strawberry has lived up to her name! Her family says she’s incredibly sweet, and they’re so happy to have her in their lives.
Share this story to thank the shelter workers who saved this precious pup from euthanasia and her new family for seeing her sweetness. Every dog deserves a loving family of their own!
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