'She's come a long way.' Pit bull dumped outside Freeport animal shelter ready to be adopted

After vets stabilized the dog's physical wounds, dog trainer Tuncay Adems took over to give Athena hours of behavioral training to help heal her emotional scars.

News 12 Staff

Jan 27, 2023, 10:28 PM

Updated 440 days ago

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A pit bull on the brink of death has made a remarkable recovery seven months after being dumped in a crate outside a Freeport animal shelter.
Athena was reduced to skin and bones and covered with wounds after spending months confined in a small crate at the hands of an alleged abuser.
"Everybody had tears, the whole place had tears," said Bobbi Giordano, of Bobbi & the Strays. "Very heartbreaking."
The 5-year-old, red-nosed pit bull has made an amazing comeback, according to her trainer Tuncay Adems of Canine Counsel Dog Training.
"Athena's doing great - she's come a long way from a dog that lived in a crate with nothing," Adems says.
After Athena was abandoned in July 2022, veterinarians spent the next four months treating her injuries.
Dr. Ashley Davis says the amount of muscle mass wasting she had was pretty severe - the worst she has ever seen.
After vets stabilized the dog's physical wounds, Adems took over to give Athena hours of behavioral training to help heal her emotional scars.
"She was very disconnected at first, she didn't understand being or accepting affection," Adems says.
The trainer says Athena also showed signs that she had been trained to fight, and it took months to reverse years of neglect and abuse.
Adems says Athena is now ready to be adopted, preferably by someone experienced with caring for pit bulls.
She says that Athena's future forever family will be the lucky ones.
"When she connects with you, she actually truly, truly love you and that's huge," Adems says. "For a dog like this, that's huge. For everything she's been through, she's tremendous."
Athena's former owner, Damian Douglas of West Hempstead, was eventually arrested and charged with abusing and abandoning the dog.


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