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Pets Large & Small

Eve’s new beginning

Jennifer Vanderau
Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter

(10/2013) I need to tell you all about one of the happiest endings we've had in a while at CVAS.

In January of this year, an incredibly malnourished pitbull was brought in as a stray to Lincoln Way Animal Hospital in Chambersburg, Pa. I have to say, when I first saw the dog, it was one of the toughest things I've witnessed in a while. The pup -- a 3-year-old female -- weighed 25 pounds.

Average weight for an adult pitbull her size would have been at least 50 pounds. Her backbone was actually bowed -- it was almost as though her body was caving in on itself.

She was so cold, her temperature wouldn't measure on the thermometer.

The folks at Lincoln Way immediately took her into foster care for us and named her Eve, because they wanted to give her a new beginning.

Meanwhile, we put out information to the press to see if we could find the owner for this poor girl.

No owner was found.

Her story, though, reached and touched a lot of hearts. We put it on Facebook and had tons of calls with well-wishes and donations. One woman even called from Georgia to say how much she hoped Eve would recover.

Truly, in the beginning, it was touch-and-go. We weren't sure in her condition if she would make it. She was half the size she should be.

Our little girl was a fighter, though and thanks to the folks at Lincoln Way and a whole lot of positive thoughts, Eve made a full recovery.

She officially went up for adoption -- still maintaining her residence in her foster home because her foster mom didn't want her living in a kennel -- in April of this year.

We had some folks who were interested, but because of the other four-legged friends in the home, the situation didn't work out. The thing about Eve is that, since she had been through so much, we wanted to make sure she had the right spot -- where she would get along with every member of the family.

I am beyond thrilled to say that as of August 29, Eve is now in her permanent forever home and all of us at CVAS couldn’t be happier.

Eve's is a story of resilience and hope and triumph. Her body almost gave out on her through no fault of her own, but her spirit and those of the humans around her were strong enough to fight for life and a happy ending.

I was talking with her foster mom just today, who says she misses her, but knows that Eve was never supposed to be hers. Eve was one of the many souls that her foster mom was able to help transition into another life -- one filled with a whole lot of love and fun.

Eve's foster mom told me that Eve had visited the other day and her foster mom wanted to see how the pup was adjusting. There was a point in time earlier this year when Eve refused to leave her foster mom's side -- even for camera crews or dog walks.

When they saw each other again, there were tailwags and kisses and hugs and I'm sure a few tears, but amazingly enough, Eve spent the visit making sure to stand between her foster mom and her adoptive mom. It was as though she was keeping an eye on both of them to make sure they were okay.

This was, even through the bittersweet feelings, exactly what the foster mom was looking for. Eve appeared just as devoted and in love with her new mom as she should be.

Eve has a canine sister and they run and play so much, if it was possible to bottle the energy, we're all fairly certain it could be sold as a drink for athletes.

When the visit was over and it was time to go, Eve went right out the door, hopped into her new mom's car and didn't look back.

Eve's foster mom had a tear in her eye when she told me this, but she also knew in her heart of hearts that Eve had finally found her place in this world.

If the concept of angels is true, Eve had a lot of them: the folks at Lincoln Way for all the care they gave her; the foster mom who took Eve into her home and loved her so much and worked so hard to get her back into shape; the countless people who were touched by her story and sent out donations for her care and prayers and well wishes every night for her; the adoptive mom who had the exact right spot for this special girl.

Eve's tale is beyond inspirational and is so important to remember in this unsure world.

So, if you're having a bad day and it seems as though there's nothing good left anymore, remember this white pitbull who, nine months ago, had been awfully run down by life. Think of her running and playing with that infamous pitbull smile and remember that new beginnings are possible.

Eve taught us all that.

Jennifer Vanderau is the Director of Communications for the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter in Chambersburg, Pa., and can be reached at The shelter accepts both monetary and pet supply donations. For more information, call the shelter at (717) 263-5791 or visit the website

Read other articles by Jennifer Vanderau