The Wonderful Wonder

Meet Wonder.
She was scheduled to die in a Dallas, NC shelter on Monday, 2.7.11.

In hopes of saving her life, Wonder was posted on my facebook app, Pet Pardons. 
Well... it just so happens... I'm the Co-Founder of Pet Pardons...

So... one day... as I was scrolling through the pet listings on our site... I saw Wonder’s picture…

I've been involved in animal rescue all of my life.
Yet, I've rarely seen a more heartbreaking photo.

Honestly... it wasn’t the condition of the dog that got to me… it was her broken spirit.

Wonder has lived her entire life without lovenever experiencing kindness or compassion... acknowledgment or hugs... smiles or comfort. 

Instead... Wonder has been tortured & abused for much of her life.

At some point, her ears were painfully and inhumanely cropped --with scissors or a knife.

She's also been over-bred, under-fed, and beaten down... all the days of her life.

Then... she ended up at the animal shelter... where she was quickly scheduled to die.

At the time this shelter photo was taken... Wonder had completely given up.
She was ready to die...


After seeing Wonder on Pet Pardons, I contacted my Pet Pardons Co-Founder, Chris Hoar. Chris & I were equally affected by her picture. We just kept going back to her… and we couldn’t get her off our minds.

For me... this is how it starts.
I see an incredibly deserving dog... so, I start busting my ass to save them.

It’s always a race. There isn’t much time. Resources are slim.
But they need you.
This dog needed me.

So.... after unsuccessful attempts to find another rescue for Wonder, I simply told Chris, “I want her.”

Chris usually gets so mad at me when I say this, “Ashley! Are you crazy? You already do so much! Don’t overload yourself! No, no, no!”

This time, Chris said, “She's so broken. She needs you. No one else could make this one right. Only you. Do it.”

And so... I started the process of getting Wonder to my home to be my new foster baby. The amazing Jessamy donated to Wonder’s care, and I was able to set-up transport through the help of some INCREDIBLE volunteers (Thanks Mary, Dorothy, Geoff, Marsha, & Vanessa!!!).

And then... today... Wonder traveled the 8 hour trip from Dallas, North Carolina to Meridian, Mississippi...
To meet her new foster mom—ME!!!

Wonder’s entire existence has been filled with abuse, neglect, and hatred… until today.

Today, her life starts over.
Today, she learned what love is.
Today, she became part of my family… even if only for a short while.

I will love her with my entire heart... until she finds her forever family.

And when that day comes, I will let her go… because I'll know: she is safe now… Forever.

Happy Birthday, Wonder! Today you get to start over. Today, your life begins.


  1. I love this post! And she is so lucky to have gotten a place in your heart! Remind me to tell you about the pit bull mixed dogs that have been coming around here... 3 so far and they are so adorable. They enjoyed some of our leftovers tonight and I have a feeling they will be coming back over, soon. Love on Wonder for me... I know she will sleep good tonight!

  2. This little girl was indeed defeated. She had given up, it was so clear, she knew the fate that awaited her in the kill room just a few feet away. When we first saw that picture it was absolutely heartbreaking and death was just hours away, and it was for me too much, as i know it was for you. From that point on you and Jamie and Jessamy did the seemingly impossible, and you decided that enough was enough, but most of all you offered her a home and you changed her world, you saved her life. I will never be able to thank you enough for this Ashley, but i promise you i will try.

  3. Yea Wonder and Ashley!!

  4. Welcome to the neighborhood sweetheart! I look forward to meeting you. :)

  5. OMG I am in tears!!!! Wonder is SO lucky to have had you find her!!!
    This is a testament that networking DOES really work! You, Chris, and Jamie are AMAZING!!
    I want to thank those that helped transport this baby to my hero!!!!

  6. I love all of you. Chris, you aren't giving yourself enough credit. WE (you & me) did this together... and you're amazing :) And cheap.

  7. I was sitting in a small room off the back of my house with a dog that I have just rescued, thinking how I am going to do this! I have no training! She is a pit mix, not the boxer I was told and I'm not sure if I'm the right person for her. Then I read your story on Wonder, saw the pictures of her before and what she looks like now and you just gave me the boost I needed that maybe I can do this!! Willow looks so much like Wonder, abused, not taken care of, void of love. Thanks Ashley! I may not have the training, but I can give her lots of love, food and the much needed meds to get better and hopefully together we'll both learn something about each other until her forever home is found!

  8. This story is beautiful, you are beautiful. Thank you for doing this and saving these poor animals. What an inspirational person you are.

  9. Just look at Wonder's pictures! The defeat - and then the smile. Bless you!!

  10. so lucky to have you, God put you here for a reason and we all know what that is.(saving these beautiful angels)you are truly a blessing

  11. OMG! This made me cry! God Bless You, Jamie. I remember seeing Wonder's photo on Pet Pardons and it broke my heart too. If I could have dogs where I live, I'd have taken her in a heartbeat. I advocated for her and was relieved to see she was saved. Look at her picture with you now...she's so HAPPY! Keep doing what you do...the dogs need you!

  12. Oops...I meant to say "God Bless You, Ashley" in my previous comment. You both are amazing ladies, but I used the wrong name! Sorry!

  13. it is people like you that make it possible for abused animals to find love and a good home.. thank you for being out there to help the animals who dont have a voice....

  14. I didn't knew her Name, but something inside of me made me to keep a picture of "Wonder" in my files and at times something was driving me to put it out on my FB profile as a reminder for my friends and for others I hoped to read and to see and not to forget this so sad heartbroken lonely DoG... I could not get off my mind. Today I found the answer to my question and always wondering what might happen to this poor Sole, I found a beautiful Video about "Wonder" on my FB Wall ... Miracles do happen!! My Heart is filled with Joy for "Wonder" has a beautiful home :O) Thank you!

  15. Thank you for saving wonder, she is an amazing dog.. So, beautiful! I love all animals and I feel their pain and I often wish I had more money and other things to able to help more. But, I will continue to press the advocate button, for as many animals as possible .

  16. that is the most amazing story i have read!!! so happy there are people like you out there. That is how i got one of my boys. the neighbors had him tied to a tree and that was his life for over a year i asked them if i could have him so they gave me chunk. i neutered.and shaved him up he was skin and bones. Now 5 years later he is the best dog ever and nice and fat and never tied up again their loss and our gain!!

  17. I live in the North East and often wondered why so many rescue groups are bringing dogs from the south, for we have enough here. Now I know that the south is still using gas chambers, which is the absolute worst form of euthanasia. I thought it was outlawed every where.
    I have done rescue for the last 12 years, on my own, and saved, loved, vetted, and found GOOD homes for over 100 doggies. It is the most rewarding, however painful thing I have ever done. Knowing that there are other people that feel the way I do, will give me the courage to go on.
    I am sooo happy to see young people participating, for it takes a lot of energy, which diminishes with time.
    Many, many hugs and kisses to you, Wonder. And to all the people PLEASE KEEP UP YOUR RESCUE WORK

  18. Thank you for saving Wonder... thank you for everything you do for these beautiful and innocent animals....


  20. Hi Ashley,

    I just adopted a pit who like Wonder has a very broken spirit. She will just stand in the middle of the room and look into space. She is underweight and lethargic. We are just showering her with love. It breaks me heart to see her like this. In your experience how long does it take a dog to begin to enjoy life again after such mistreatment as these dogs must have received? Do you have any tips for me?

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