Abused Dog Spreads Holiday Cheer - WFLA News Channel 8

Abused Dog Spreads Holiday Cheer

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Phoebe the Pit Bull Terrier demonstrates total calm and patience as students pet her during a "pet" and greet this morning at E.L. Bing Elementary School Phoebe the Pit Bull Terrier demonstrates total calm and patience as students pet her during a "pet" and greet this morning at E.L. Bing Elementary School
E.L. Bing Elementary Students E.L. Bing Elementary Students
Phoebe the Pit Bull Terrier demonstrates total calm and patience as students pet her during a "pet" and greet this morning at E.L. Bing Elementary School Phoebe the Pit Bull Terrier demonstrates total calm and patience as students pet her during a "pet" and greet this morning at E.L. Bing Elementary School

Phoebe the pit bull puppy strained on her leash, eager to greet students at E.L. Bing Elementary School. Decked out in a Santa hat and jingle bells, she was a big hit with the kids.

Little girls crowded around, asking, "Can I pet her, can I pet her?"

The answer was yes. Employees from Hillsborough County Animal Services brought Phoebe to the school in Clair-Mel City Thursday as a learning experience.

"A lot of these kids may be afraid of dogs, and hopefully today will change their minds," said Officer Pam Perry.

Animal Services says Phoebe is their holiday miracle. Someone shot her twice in the face and then buried her up to her nose last October. Fortunately, she's made a full recovery.

"She's a very special symbol to a lot of people, and yes, she is up for adoption," said Marti Ryan, a spokesperson with Hillsborough County Animal Services.

Phoebe made the trip to Bing Elementary because it's in the neighborhood where she was found. In addition to teaching kids how to be safe around dogs, Ryan also hopes the visit will drum up  leads in Phoebe's case. Animal Services has yet to find the responsible party.

Each student was sent home with a flier asking for information and offering a $12,000 reward. Students seemed to take the message seriously.

"Who would treat a dog like that?" asked Zachary Ferrezza. "It's mean. It's hateful."

But Ryan says Phoebe doesn't hold a grudge. She wagged her tail and greeted each student enthusiastically.

She still needs to gain some weight, but her rehabilitation is almost over and she is up for adoption.

"There's no greater symbol how great these dogs are-- how great they can be-- than Phoebe," said Ryan.

The public can see Phoebe on at Animal Services on Saturday. She'll be there with Santa from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The public is invited to come and drop off presents for the shelter animals.

As for Phoebe, she is up for adoption. Ryan says they hope to place her with a family by the end of the month.

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