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From Abandoned Pup to Firedog
A Pit Bull finds her forever home at a New York City firehouse.
Last year New York City animal rescuers Erica Mahnken and Michael Favor got a call about an abandoned Pit Bull in an old crack house. There was no heat or electricity, and the couple who lived there fled after a snowstorm hit. When Erica and Michael found the poor pup, she was malnourished and covered in cigarette burns. A vet later said that the dog was 25 pounds underweight.

Despite being abused, the pup was happy to be found and jumped right into Erica's car.

Unfortunately they didn't have anywhere to keep the dog, so they called some firefighter friends from a Lower East Side FDNY station nicknamed "Fort Pitt." The firefighters agreed to be a temporary foster home.

"As soon as she walked into the firehouse, her tail was wagging, and she was licking and greeting everybody," Erica remembered. "She was super happy. From where she came from, you wouldn't really expect that. You would think that she'd be a little skittish, but she wasn't at all."

After three days the firefighters named the dog Ashley, "Ash" for short, and called Erica to ask if they could adopt her.

“My heart wants to explode,” Erica said. “Everyone’s so quick to judge a dog, especially a dog you don’t know where it came from or what kind of person they are and what kind… It is very satisfying."

Ashley has been enjoying her role as official firehouse dog, hanging out with the crew in the kitchen and riding along with the firefighters on smaller runs. She even has her own spot in the firetruck.

"They walk her about 30 times a day. They bring her on the roof to play. She's constantly in the kitchen watching them eat. She has endless supplies of treats. She has the life over there," describes Erica.

If you're interested in following Ashely's adventures, the firefighters started an Instagram account that has over 19,000 followers.

It sounds like "Fort Pitt" needed some joy in their fire station, which they found in a Pit Bull named Ashley!

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

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