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Boy and Dog Each Get Second Chance at Life - Together

By Caroline Golon

Photo courtesy of S.A.V.E. Rescue Coalition

click image to enlarge

In a heartwarming twist of fate, a boy recovering from a heart transplant and a dog with an uncertain future are beginning new lives – together.


Angela McGhee, president of S.A.V.E. Rescue Coalition in Houston, Texas, knew Scotch, a gentle pit bull-lab mix she had in her care, would be a perfect family dog. She also knew that finding homes for pit bulls in Texas was not an easy thing to do. However, as she always does, she worked hard to find Scotch his forever home through a variety of channels, including Facebook.


She was surprised to receive a query from a woman in Bono, Arkansas. Melanie Leon was looking for a wonderful dog for her 11-year-old son, Gabe, who had undergone a heart transplant a year ago.


McGhee was apprehensive about adopting a dog to a family out of state but, coincidentally, a local veterinarian, Dr. Susan Pickle also contacted her about finding a dog for Gabe. Dr. Pickle knew the family and would vouch for them.


Photo courtesy of S.A.V.E. Rescue Coalition

click image to enlarge


Dr. Pickle had met the Leons in Oklahoma City where Gabe had his transplant surgery. Dr. Pickle’s one-year-old grandnephew Liam, was also there for a transplant and she remembered the kind and loving Leon family well.


McGhee says it was amazing how everything just fell into place. “There were powers at work that were way ahead of us,” she says.


McGhee arranged for Scotch to fly to Arkansas via K9 Airlift, which volunteered their services so Scotch wouldn’t have to endure the long drive and…so he would make it there in time for Gabe’s 12th birthday.


McGhee receives frequent updates on how Scotch is adjusting to life with his new family and is happy to report, “Scotch is doing great up there!”


As for Gabe, he understands how special their circumstances are. “I got a second chance because of my new heart,” he told Life+Dog. “I think it’s cool that we can give Scotch a second chance, too.” is so moved by Scotch and Gabe’s story that they will be donating 5,000 meals to S.A.V.E. Rescue!


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