A Quick Check-In With Penelope, The Rescued Pit Bull

For anyone new to the site, in January, my friend found a pit bull chained to the Williamsburg Bridge in Brooklyn, left to die overnight in a horrendous snowstorm. I posted her story here, and despite the fact that about 1 in 800 rescue pit bulls finds a home, she became a sensation, and I was inundated with offers to take her in from as far away as Greece (!!).


We ultimately chose a new home for her in Washington, D.C., with a very nice couple and a pair of pugs. A number of you have been asking for an update, and I recently received a detailed report from her new owners. I’m happy to say she seems to be fitting in quite well!


I’ll let her new owners take over this one…

“Here’s [a picture] that I think shows Penelope right at home.  The picture shows their pack order, actually.  Argus is the pug at the top of the bed.  He’s in charge and he knows it.  Ziggy is the guy yawning.  He likes to avoid conflict, so he tends to occupy the bottom slot.”

“Penelope has been doing great…We took a little trip to PetSmart [the other day].  I was like an overindulgent parent with a spoiled child.  I’m literally walking up and down the isles saying, “Do you like that?  Do you want one of those?  We’d better get two, then.”  We bought her a soccer ball the other day and she thought it was the most amazing thing ever.  Seriously, the “Oh my GOD” look in her eyes is what I imagine I would look like if someone paid off my student loans.”

“We put her back on puppy food to get her weight up to where the vet wants it (about 50 pounds).  That, plus the exercise she gets has helped her get that characteristic pit bull muscle definition that she didn’t really have when she came to you.  She looks great…Oh, she gets spayed in a few weeks.  That will be (not at all) fun.”

“She knows her name, she comes when we call her, usually enthusiastically, and now has sit, lie down and stay solidly in her bag of tricks.  And “off.”  That’s an important one.  And “give it” and “leave it.”  She’s a little shaky on those two at times.  The big one is coming when called and she’s pretty solid there…We did a lot of work with her in the beginning and now she’s a park pro.”

“Her play growl sounds mean to most people, so I’m always giving people a heads-up that she is not fighting, just playing, and that I know the difference, but if they aren’t comfortable to let me know. That usually works and people will let the dogs play…She’s a pretty good ambassador for her breed, actually, and most people are won over pretty quickly.”

“She also gets endless comments on how beautiful her coloring is, her coat, her eyes. She’s happy and friendly, loves to play and chase and be chased. You should see her fly. The girl can run like nothing else and the park where we go has a center area that is sunken about six steps and surrounded on two sides by a hip high wall… She’ll run full steam and leap up the wall onto the upper level and back with a power and grace that is something to watch. We just got back from the park tonight, actually, and she’s passed out on the floor; couldn’t even bother hopping up into the bed.”


If you enjoyed reading this post, would you consider making a donation to help me make my first movie? The goal is $50,000, and to date, 1,728 Scouting NY readers have donated $36,348! Just $5 or $10 can make a difference - AND you get this snazzy Scouting NY sticker/magnet as a Thank-You gift! Click here to donate today!


And hey, if you've made it this far, why not follow us via RSS, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Tumblr?


  1. that story broke my heart, and now i’m crying seeing that it has had such a happy ending. such a beautiful dog who deserves a beautiful life!

  2. Oh this story made me so happy! I just adopted a kitten from the DC humane society and saw all sorts of sad animals while I was there. It is so very important to adopt unwanted animals!

  3. This is the best follow-up ever! I’m so happy you found her and they adopted her. We are dog lovers and have two pugs too. This entire story from beginning to end makes me choke up. Thanks for posting.

  4. This follow-up story, which I have followed form the beginning, is the best present of the day! I have 2 pugs and an adopted cavalier.
    Thank you for giving this dog a second chance at happiness!

  5. Hooray for pit bulls!! We just adopted one and she is the sweetest thing ever. I hope Penelope & our Lady will continue to be ambassadors for the breed & show people that the temperament of an animal depends so largely on the humans in their lives. Thank you, Scout for your compassion & thanks to everyone else who as adopted an “unwanted”.

  6. Yeah!! Adopted dogs are the best! They always remember where they came from and are so appreciative! Thanks for the update!

  7. Thanks for the update. Dogs are pretty amazing and have so much love to offer. It makes me so happy to see her in a happy, loving home.

  8. Thnxs a million to the wonderful ppl who adopted this loving dog. She has an amazing look of intelligence in her eyes, that it would have been a huge loss if she had not been saved. Thnx Scout and to all of the loving ppl who adopt strays and shelter dogs and especially to the Saints who save dogs who have been so cruelly left stranded. This dog being stranded in a hugh storm is just about the most cruel thing that I have heard, although all of the abanded animals out there breaks our heart. Plz adopt and spay and do not shop in pet stores that sell puppy mill dogs. Thnx again everyone for being the loving humane ppl that you are. Hugs

  9. Awww, that is so wonderful to read. What great pet parents–loving but also training the beautiful dog to fit in well with other dogs and people. So nice to hear about a happy ending and also that picture of the pack order is just so great and beyond cute…

  10. Bless you for intervening in her rotten life and giving her the best thing that could happen for her. xoxo

  11. There is more to this city and surrounding environs that we love. You have shared some spendid architectural treats with us. It is our “stuff”. Penelope, however, captures the soul of the city, and its people.

  12. OH MAN I have tears in my eyes. Everyone involved in this story did I real great thing here. Ya’ll should be really proud of yourselves!

  13. Thanks for the update. I just love this whole story. The humans in it come off very well and Penelope is one lucky lady.

  14. More PHOTOS please…..: )

  15. Thank you so much for posting this followup. I had thought about Penelope a few times and wondered how she is doing. Such a nice report. Nice family. I love that the pug is the alpha. Dogs don’t know size.


  16. I came to this story a bit late – only with the “update,” but I am the owner of a pit bull rescue pup (she was only 12 weeks when I got her) and have been doing my best to undo the harm that has been done to the reputation of this breed. What you described in the first post about Penelope (adorable name!) is pretty much exactly the demeanor of my dog. I believe that it is only when they are neglected and abused that they turn into the “monsters” that people know pit bulls to be. They really are smart, loyal, eager to please, ready to be love and funny. Seriously, I think my dog is half human! She just doesn’t quite understand when she sees me on skype (she lives with my parents in Oregon right now)

  17. Thanks for the update, guys!!

    TO all of y’all, please always considering adopting when you’re looking for a furry friend to fill your life. You’d be surprised what amazing animals we get in shelters!

    – S. Shah, volunteer, Animal Haven shelter

  18. This story makes my heart soar!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE happy endings. I hope karma rears its ugly head and descends upon whomever left that poor girl to die in a storm. Animal abusers/dumpers are just about the worst there is in my opinion. 🙁 Yay Penelope!!!

  19. WOW. I ALWAYS cry when I read stuff like this. Both my dogs (Labs) were puppymill rescues, and I love them to bits. I really really hope the person who chained her to the bridge thinks about her EVERY DAY, and it eats at them every damn day until they die. Harsh, but true. There are some thing YOU JUST DON’T DO- touch little kids, steal from old ladies, and abuse animals. Effin people. SO glad that gorgeous Penelope found her family- she looks like an AMAZING, one of a kind dog. When i adopted my FlatCoated Retriever, she had this look of “thank you, thank you!” every time we loved up on her… and when we would feed her she would lick us for like five minutes before eating. Rescue dogs have a sense of appreciation about them. This is a great story.