Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rescued pit bull has healed, is ready for adoption in Clearwater

CLEARWATER — She once ran loose on the streets of New Port Richey, her head swollen to a monstrous basketball size from the infection that raged through her body. A rope, embedded in the flesh of her neck, had created a wide and deep wound.

The pit bull mix was thin, mangy and close to death when she was rescued by some good Samaritans on Dec. 30.

Now she's called Honey, for her sweet nature, and is just waiting to hear three little words: "Honey, you're home."

"She's been nursed back to health and is ready for her new family," said Twila Cole, spokeswoman for the Humane Society of Pinellas, a nonprofit shelter in Clearwater that has taken care of the dog since New Year's Eve.

Cole then looked at Honey and quipped, "No more frozen lizards for you."

Honey's ribs no longer show, her wounds have healed and her short golden hair is making a comeback since receiving treatment for the mange that once covered her body, likely a result of her weakened condition.

And how is she doing mentally?

"Great. She's affectionate, playful and loves people," said Cole, who has three pit bulls of her own and adores the breed. "Like all pit bulls, she loves to lick your face."

As if on cue, Honey gave her a few wet kisses.

She said Honey is housebroken, walks nicely on a leash and appears to like other dogs.

On Friday, Honey picked up a stuffed toy lying in the dirt of the play area, brought it over to Cole to throw and then retrieved it.

"Oh, this is what makes it all worthwhile," said Cole. "That's the first time she's played with a toy. She was probably never taught how."

Her original owners have never come forward or been found.

Honey's new family will have to be a bit special themselves.

"They should be familiar with the breed," Cole said, describing the breed as strong-willed, energetic, smart, loyal and protective. "They'd rather sit in your lap than be at your side."

Honey's owners will need to give her plenty of exercise, attention and training. They shouldn't have small children and should be extra vigilant, given her history of past abuse.

Though Honey has shown no sign of aggression, the recent killing of a week-old baby by a pit bull mix in New Port Richey has put pit bulls in the news.

"Pit bulls do have the highest bite record but they also have the ability to attract irresponsible owners and the criminal element," said Barbara Snow, executive director of the shelter.

Many owners prize the breed's tough, fighting dog image and don't want to neuter their males. But unaltered males are the most aggressive and most likely to bite, Snow said.

The dog in the New Port Richey attack was not neutered.

Tethering dogs, letting them roam the neighborhood, leaving them outside all day or alone with a child can also lead to trouble.

"It's education," she said. "We have to teach people how to be responsible dog owners."

In the shelter's play area, Honey picked up the stuffed toy again and took it over to Cole.

Then she raised her paw and shook Cole's hand.

Honey, like all dogs up for adoption at the shelter, has been temperament tested.

"We won't put a dog up for adoption if we believe in any way they could be a threat to humans," Snow said. "Everything we know about Honey says she's adoptable."

Reach Terri Reeves at treeves@

. Fast facts

Want to give Honey a home?

Honey has been spayed, vaccinated and microchipped. Her adoption fee ($75) includes a bag of dog food, 45 days of health insurance and postadoption support. For details, call the Humane Society of Pinellas at (727) 797-7722 or visit www.humane societyof The shelter is at 3040 State Road 590 in Clearwater.

Rescued pit bull has healed, is ready for adoption in Clearwater 04/16/10 [Last modified: Friday, April 16, 2010 9:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trump's new order bars almost all travel from seven countries


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a new order banning almost all travel to the United States from seven countries, including most of the nations covered by his original travel ban, citing threats to national security posed by letting their citizens into the country.

    President Donald Trump speaks to reporters Sunday upon his return to the White House in Washington.
  2. Somehow, Rays' Chris Archer remains just shy of being an ace

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Chris Archer had another bad game Sunday.

    Chris Archer is sputtering to the finish line, his rough start on Sunday his fourth in his past five in which he hasn’t gotten past four innings.
  3. In Mexico City, hopes of finding quake survivors dwindle


    MEXICO CITY — Five days after the deadly magnitude 7.1 earthquake, the hulking wreckage of what used to be a seven-story office building is one of the last hopes: one of just two sites left where searchers believe they may still find someone trapped alive in Mexico City.

    Rescue workers search for survivors inside a felled office building in the Roma Norte neighborhood of Mexico City on Saturday.
  4. GOP health bill in major peril as resistance hardens among key senators


    WASHINGTON — The floundering Republican attempt to undo the Affordable Care Act met hardening resistance from key GOP senators Sunday that left it on the verge of collapse even as advocates vowed to keep pushing for a vote this week.

    Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a moderate, said Sunday that it was “very difficult” to envision voting for this health-care bill.
  5. Baghdad orders Kurdistan region to hand over borders, ports


    BAGHDAD — Iraq's central government in Baghdad ordered the country's Kurdish region to hand over all border crossings and airports to federal government control late Sunday night, hours before the region is set to carry out a controversial referendum on support for independence.

    Iraqi Kurds climb the fence into a soccer stadium during a rally in Irbil, in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, on Friday. Kurds will vote in a referendum today on the creation of their own country.