Betsy, Tucker, GA

My name is Betsy and this is my story.

I was discarded and dumped at animal control in January 2012. I was scared and very pregnant. Someone posted a picture of me on Facebook and marked it urgent. A woman named Beth saw the picture and thought I was beautiful. She’s a very active foster for the Atlanta-based Animal Action Rescue but knew she would be crazy to even think about fostering a pregnant dog.

The very next day Beth heard that an animal hoarder/backyard breeder had passed away and that over 40 dogs were being brought to the same shelter that I was at. She knew right then that she had to go get me out. Before my time ran out, the rescue got me and Beth became my FosterMa.

FosterMa took a good look at me and it was clear from my body’s condition that I had been used as a backyard breeding dog and forced to deliver many litters of puppies. The fly bite scars on my ears revealed the cruel life of a dog kept outdoors in the Georgia heat.

I settled into my foster home and discovered the comforts of bedding, warmth and loving human contact. I was taken to the vet for medical care and I was healthy. An examination revealed I would likely give birth to five pups.

After about seven days in my foster home, my labor began. Twenty-seven hours later, I gave birth to 11 puppies! My births were aired live over the Internet where me and my puppies became famous overnight! Here’s my last litter: Walter, Louie, Wilbur, Earl, Howard, Waylon, Ina, Mary Alice, Fraser, James and Calvin. Fans continue to tune in daily for their puppy fix and to check on me, super “Mama Betsy”. Everyone said I was the best mom. And I love each and every one of my puppies.

The puppies kept growing. When they were old enough, they were placed in foster homes. (Of course, all 11 of my puppies were spayed and neutered before they got adopted to loving homes.)

And I rested and started my new life! My days are filled with naps, new experiences and LOVE. I have lots of friends I can do fun things with. I also got to see some of my puppies and have a great time. I love my new life. If my old “owners” could see me now, they’d see the perfect dog they didn’t want.

I’m now adopted into a loving home and I got to visit FosterMa often. I have reminders of my old life: My ears scarred from fly bites, my neck scarred from an embedded collar, and I also have Heartworm Disease. And I continue to spread my message far and wide: To stop backyard breeding and promote spaying and neutering!

Then in late August 2013, I started to not feel well. I was drinking excessively, drooling, sometimes refusing food… A few visits to the vet and blood work revealed nothing out of the ordinary. Then in the first week of September, I started vomiting.

I had to be admitted to the emergency vet with acute kidney failure. An ultrasound revealed enlarged kidneys and after further tests, my family heard the one diagnose they didn’t want to hear. I’ve been diagnosed with Cancer. Lymphoma.

Everyone who knows me know I’m a tough girl. After my kidney levels were stabilized, I started chemo and I will continue to fight! My mom and FosterMa told me they are going to give it their best shot and get me the best treatment, if it just buys them some time to spoil me rotten!

I’m an advocate and voice for pit bulls everywhere. I’m also here to remind you that shelter dogs are special.

You can come visit the page my FosterMa made for me: Betsy & Pups. I look forward to see you there!

Love, Betsy

Parent: Betty

Editor’s note: On Tuesday, September 24th, 2013, Mama Betsy’s journey ended. From her family: “She may have only been with us for a year and a half, but it felt like forever. Very few dogs touch as many people as Betsy did, but very few dogs are as special as she was. Betsy saved countless dog’s lives in her short time here, inspiring so many families to adopt/foster and spay & neuter their pets. We are so thankful for the time we had with her — we will cherish her last litter that we’ve watched grow into amazing dogs. Thank you all for loving Betsy & Pups and a HUGE thank you to her final home, that allowed her to stay in our lives. RIP Mama Betsy.”