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On August 31st, 2011 we received a phone call from a local central Florida Animal Control shelter about a small puppy diagnosed with “swimmer puppy syndrome.” This “syndrome” caused the puppy to splay out like a turtle, almost in a rigor mortis state and it was suggested that we euthanize her. We decided to take a chance and rescue her. We named her Harper and the rest is history…

-To read Harper’s entire story from the eyes of her rescuer, read our blog HERE

Harper on September 1st 2011                                                                          Harper at 8 months old










Harper story touched so many people’s hearts, it made national news!

We even flew to New York City for the Today Show! Check us out on the Today Show and HERE and her updated version- HERE.

Harper made Animal Planet’s Top 10 Most Awesome Dogs of 2011- see it HERE.

Harper made MSNBC’s Top Animal Stories of 2011- read it HERE. covered Harper’s story- read it HERE.

The Huffington Post story- HERE.

Daily Mail story- HERE.

WESH2 story- HERE and HERE.

Animal Planet story- HERE.

American Dog Magazine story- HERE.

Cesar’s Way Magazine story- HERE. story- HERE. story- HERE.

9News in Colorado story- HERE.

KSN TV in Kansas story- HERE. story- HERE.

Seattle Dog Spot story- HERE.

23 Comments Post a comment
  1. Paul Mlinko #

    Is Harper going to be available for adoption???

    October 12, 2011
  2. Brynn #

    She is beautiful and precious little blue pitbull. I’m so happy that the woman and Erica rescued this little baby from such a tragic end. Now little Harper is doing better than ever. I saw the news here in El Salvador covering the story of little Harper and I felt so happy to see her doing better. It makes me appreciate all the more my little Sofy who is a 4 month old pitbull.

    October 12, 2011
  3. Rollamay #

    She is such a beautiful little angel! What an amazing story.I have a beautiful daughter that has overcome some major disabilities and could relate very well to Harper. Will she go up for adoption?

    October 19, 2011
  4. Brandi #

    Everyone loves a puppy, but I think I actually got cavities from looking at the photos of baby Harper. And the worst part is I can’t stop looking at them….I am completely in love with this little girl and I’ve never even met her. How lucky are you Erica? I know you technically rescued her (with the help of the initial angel at the Save A Lot) but Harper will surely pay you back tenfold….i just know it!

    October 20, 2011
  5. Olivia Paris #

    Look at that happy little face, I heard about Harper in Australia. The inspiration of determined animals like her amazes me every day <3

    October 20, 2011
  6. Kristin #

    Harper is a beautiful, happy puppy! Thank you for giving her a chance and a wonderful home.

    October 20, 2011
  7. Kerry #

    Oh…what a truly wonderful story of love. Thank you so much for your desire to love these animals and show them that they matter to us. So grateful to God that He had you pass that man selling pitbulls at just the right time so you could rescue Harper and give him a chance to live…and run & play! :-)

    October 21, 2011
  8. Kristine from New Orleans, LA #

    I know God has us where we need to be in our life for a reason and seeing that horrible man with the garbage bag on that day was where that woman needed to be.

    To see Harper in that last picture running with a smile on her face is pure joy and made me smile with joy.

    October 23, 2011
  9. Denise #

    I agree with Brandi. I just cant stop looking at her happy face. She actually has a smile. I think she knows how lucky she is. God love her.

    October 24, 2011
  10. Debbie #

    Harper is one lucky little dog, and she looks so happy now! Her story (and the stories of other dogs helped by Dolly’s Foundation) have inspired me to make a donation. Please keep up the good work!!

    October 28, 2011
  11. Jess #

    what wonderful and beautiful ending for this pup! <3

    October 28, 2011
  12. Such an amazing little pup! Thank goodness for people who wanted to love her one last time. That gave her her new life.

    October 28, 2011
  13. Rebecca #

    Love this!!!!

    Hate she was thrown in the trash!!!

    October 28, 2011
  14. Michelle K. #

    Thank God for you! What an amazing story of cruelty turned miracle. That person who would have thrown Harper out needs to be IN JAIL!

    October 28, 2011
  15. Jennifer Kidder #

    Hello from Michigan! I have a boxer and a pitbull and I would like to know if Harper is going to go up for adoption?

    October 29, 2011
    • No, I’m sorry Harper is not available for adoption. Thank you for your support though!

      October 29, 2011
  16. There are a LOT of puppies like Harper who are homeless — many who are in kill shelters. Please, please go look at them and save a life!

    My Gloria was horribly beaten by a dog fighter and suffered severe brain damage as a result. It did not impair the quality of her life. She did not know she was different, only that she was loved. Never hesitate to rescue a special needs dog, they will pay you back in a thousand ways every day.

    October 29, 2011
  17. Amelia #

    You know a human being by the way (he) she treats animals. Thank you for such a beautiful gesture and lesson about unconditional love, persistence and faith.
    What goes around comes around and you will be abundantly blessed.
    Thank you….

    October 30, 2011
  18. When I saw this story on one of the morning shows, I was in tears. Such an amazing story. Harper is the cutest! Love and kisses to her…

    October 31, 2011
  19. Donna Kelly #

    Am wondering the same thing everyone else is…is Harper up for adoption? If so, has she been adopted already? I can’t stop reading about this story!

    December 16, 2011
  20. Ivana #

    This story really touched me. I am a huge pit bull advocate and appreciate all the hard work and dedication of your organization. Thank you for creating awareness!

    January 3, 2012
  21. Chris #

    I raised an Old English Sheepdog with puppy swimmer syndrome. He lived a very wonderful life. He did have difficulties as he got older with severe arthritis, but he was the best dog I ever owned. I think his problem made him more special. Good luck to whoever chooses to adopt this little puppy. They will not regret it!!! By the way, two additional exercises which helped are walking diagnally up and down hills and “wheelbarrowing” the dog…lifting the back legs and having them walk on the front legs.

    February 13, 2012

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