‘Tail’ of faith: Survival story wins national contest

Published 8:46 pm Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A little faith can go a long way. This was true for Faith, a 3-year-old boxer, and her rescuer, Pam Mayes of Jemison.

Mayes and her husband, Larry, operate Alabama Pug Rescue, which relies on people to foster breed-specific dogs. When she received a call from a veterinarian asking if she could help locate a boxer rescue organization, she was unable to find a good fit.

Thus begins the story of Faith.

“She was just an urgent case and needed veterinary care as soon as possible,” Mayes recalled.

Faith had been surrendered to a local shelter with her jaw hanging from one side, a crushed pelvis and a massive infection from open wounds after she had been hit by a car. Left untreated for weeks, she seemed an unlikely candidate for survival. Then Mayes came along.

After hearing Faith’s full story, Mayes decided to bring her home as part of their “pug pal” program. But due to several reconstructive surgeries, Faith remained at the clinic for several months.

“While physical healing went well, emotional healing took a lot of time,” Mayes said. “She needed to learn to trust and to grow in a world where she would no longer be afraid.”

While Faith adjusted to her physical disabilities, Alabama Pug Rescue began to gain her trust, and her transformation has been nothing short of miraculous.

Now, happy and healthy, Faith wags her tail in excitement as she plays with a squeaky chew toy, is able to finish a whole meal, has learned how to sit, and, best of all, goes to sleep without fear.

Mayes felt that Faith’s incredible story was worthy for the Purina Pro Plan “Doing More for Pets” rescue stories contest. But she had no idea it was good enough to win the grand prize.

Mayes and Faith were honored Nov. 14 at the National Dog Show presented by Purina at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pa. As part of the grand prize, Alabama Pug Rescue will receive $5,000 worth of Pro Plan pet food.

Although Mayes had lived and written Faith’s story, she found it incredibly emotional to hear the story told to thousands.

“It was incredible. It was probably one of the best experiences of my life,” she said.

Faith is available for adoption. For more information, visit www.alabamapugrescue.org.