ST. LOUIS, Nov. 11, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- From roadside to bedside, a courageous dog named JoJo uses her own journey through life to inspire humans recovering from orthopedic injuries. JoJo's remarkable tale could not have been possible without the help of a dedicated animal rescue organization. From the Heart Rescue, which saved this spirited pup, and JoJo have been named the grand-prize winners in the Pro Plan® Rally to Rescue® Doing More™ for Pets Rescue Stories Contest.
JoJo's journey began, and nearly ended, as she lay by the side of the road in the west Texas desert. JoJo, a pit bull terrier, belongs to a sometimes feared and misunderstood breed, so the hours and cars drifted by with no help. Finally, someone stopped and took her to a shelter in rural Texas. An examination revealed a severely broken leg in need of specialized surgical repair. JoJo's journey resumed when an orthopedic vet 225 miles away in El Paso, Texas, agreed to do the surgery and From the Heart Rescue agreed to step in as her rescue for foster and rehabilitative care.
The journey of JoJo continued when her foster mom, occupational therapist Ann Marie Giron, began to take JoJo to work so she could inspire humans recovering from orthopedic injuries. With a shaved hind leg, large rows of staples on her incisions and an external fixator sticking out of the top of her hip, JoJo went into service as a therapy dog to those in need.
Brandy Gardes, founder of From the Heart Rescue based in El Paso, Texas, and JoJo will be honored at the National Dog Show Presented by Purina at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pa., on Nov. 20. As part of the grand prize, From the Heart Rescue will receive $5,000 worth of Pro Plan® brand pet food coupons for the organization.
"It took a village to mend JoJo back to health," said Gardes. "After countless hours in rehabilitation and therapy, JoJo heeled extremely well restoring her body and growing her spirit."
JoJo has since had her fixator removed and is progressing wonderfully with her own therapy. She continues to help the patients at the orthopedic hospital, demonstrating the loyalty and intelligence of her breed. But even more, JoJo enjoys offering inspiration and love to people who are in pain.
"We are very proud to recognize JoJo's tremendous strength and the committed team of From the Heart Rescue," said Robert Tochterman, brand manager for Purina® Pro Plan®. "It is with their remarkable compassion, together with JoJo's foster family, who have welcomed JoJo into their home permanently, that has allowed JoJo's journey of love to continue for her lifetime."
The Purina® Pro Plan® brand launched the fourth annual Rally to Rescue® Doing More™ for Pets Rescue Stories Contest to chronicle the amazing but often untold stories of pet rescue and to increase awareness of small pet rescue organizations' tireless efforts. Nearly 100 rescue stories were submitted and a judging panel selected 10 that stood above the rest. These stories demonstrated that by doing more and going the extra mile, these dedicated pet rescue workers changed the lives of 10 exceptional animals. From July through October, more than 44,000 votes were cast by pet lovers across the country for the story that most touched their hearts to help select the grand-prize winner.
As unique as JoJo's story is, there are countless other unbelievable tales like hers from pet rescue groups across the country. These stories reaffirm the purpose, effort and devotion of pet rescue groups across the country. To read more of these incredible stories, visit www.rallytorescue.org or http://www.facebook.com/rallytorescue.
About Pro Plan® Rally to Rescue®
Smaller pet rescue organizations help place nearly half a million dogs and cats in homes each year and represent nearly 45 percent of all pet adoption agencies. However, they are often overlooked by potential donors due to more limited fundraising and marketing resources.
The Purina® Pro Plan® Rally to Rescue® campaign is committed to Doing More™ to help pet rescue organizations nationwide raise funds and awareness via local adoption events. The program helps pet rescue organizations give rescue pets the nutrition and care they need and the loving homes they deserve. To help raise awareness and promote adoption, Rally to Rescue® Ambassadors host adoption and fundraising events at pet specialty retailers across the country.
About Pro Plan® Rally Across America
Encouraging pet lovers to Do More™ for rescue pets and the organizations that care for them – by adopting, volunteering and giving – is the focus of the fourth annual Purina® Pro Plan® Rally Across America national road tour. This year, the tour has set a goal of 400,000 pet adoptions by year end, building on the current total of more than 330,000 adoptions since the Rally to Rescue® program inception in 2005. The tour also encourages pet lovers to contact local organizations and offer to help rescue pets by volunteering a few hours or by giving pet care items or a monetary donation, every little bit helps to make a difference in a pet's life.
Nestle Purina PetCare Company promotes responsible pet care, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. A premier global manufacturer of pet products, Nestle Purina PetCare is part of Swiss-based Nestle S.A., the world's largest food company. Rally to Rescue is not a 501(c)(3) organization.
Ashley Lynn: 312.729.4269 [email protected]
Jadea Abolahrari: 314.982.3981
Nestle Purina PetCare Company
SOURCE Pro Plan Rally to Rescue