Name: Scout or Scouty
Age: 1.5 years
Location: Bloomington, IN
Favorite things: Simba the cat, stuffed toys with squeakers, cuddling under the blankets, watching birds and chasing squirrels, food, people
Scout’s story, as told by her wonderful person Ann:
Scout was born in August 2009 in the back woods in rural southern Indiana. Living with her were more than 100 dogs, being bred and trained for fighting and used in dog fights. Dogs did not have adequate shelter, food or water and some had collars and chains imbedded in their necks. The property was raided and Scout was rescued when she was about a week old. She was extremely small and not expected to live. She and her litter mates were small enough to all fit in someone’s t-shirt. Scout was taken to a southern Indiana shelter where she was labeled a “throw away” and not given the chance to develop. When she was 6 weeks old, Anne Sterling, one of the original rescuers from the HSUS, discovered her situation and took her from the shelter. She weighed only 1.75 pounds at 6 weeks old.
Scout was fostered and then adopted but, unfortunately, her plight didn’t change much. Her new owner, thought to have no other dogs, was later found to have 5-6 dogs and Scout was being kept in a crate, rarely getting out to exercise or to interact with humans or dogs. At some point Scout became separated from the adopted owner and spent several days wandering Indianapolis alone. When Scout’s living situation was discovered, she was “repossessed” by the rescue group and went on to split time between 2 or 3 foster homes, waiting for someone to have time for her.
Scout ended up back with her HSUS rescuer again, who agreed to foster her since she had also adopted one of her siblings. I was asked to join in the foster team and take Scout a few days a week so she wouldn’t be alone for long periods when Anne Sterling had big days at work. But when I heard Scout’s story of being passed from home to home, I decided I had to make room for her permanently and that she had to have a forever home. I expected some behavior problems or at least adjustment issues. When I met Scout she was gentle and affectionate. We hit it off instantly. She came home with me and met my two geriatric dogs and two 1-year-old cats. She fit right in. She was respectful of the older dogs, submitting to them. She was curious about the cats.
When she came to me she did not know her name. She was not 100% housebroken and though she could follow the command, sit, she hadn’t had much other training. Within 2 weeks Scout knew and responded to her name. She was completely housebroken and was successfully obeying commands sit, lay down, stay and come. She was learning to walk on a leash without pulling. Further, she was fully cooperative when getting her nails trimmed AND gets her teeth brushed regularly without struggle. She has become best friends with one of the cats and they play constantly, chasing and wrestling. Scout is 42 pounds and Simba is 11 pounds. Scout knocks Simba down and pushes him with her nose or puts her open mouth on him, but does not bite and doesn’t hurt Simba. On the other hand, Scout allows Simba to box her face and bite her ears and nose. They play rough but are controlled and gentle enough not to hurt each other.
Scout has been passed around, neglected, shuffled and abandoned for more than a year. Yet she shows no fear of people, no apprehension, no aggression. She is friendly to everyone she meets and forms bonds quickly. Scout is a poster child for tolerance, for being able to adapt, and for being even-tempered. She wants nothing more than to please me and play.