Dog left behind during snowstorm is now living her best life with the firefighters who rescued her

Ashley the pit bull didn’t have an easy life. Her previous owners did not feed her, never took her outside and left her alone in the middle of a storm.

Luckily, No More Pain Rescue cofounder Erica Mahnken and her fiancé, Michael Favor, found the one-year-old dog in January 2017.

“We got a phone call from somebody that there was a couple living in an abandoned house,” Mahnken told The Dodo. “They had no heat or electricity, and they had a dog there.”


Ashley was left to her own devices when a snowstorm struck.

“I guess they went to find somewhere warm to stay, and they had left the dog behind. So as soon as we got the phone call, we ran and got her,” Mahnken said.

They drove to the rescue location to rescue Ashley. Favor asked Mahnken if he would stay in the car with them while he searched for the dog inside the house.

Ashley the pit bull with an FDNY firefighter

Later, he shared with Mahnken how awful the conditions were in the house. Favor said that there was no electricity and it was freezing. Ashley’s owners didn’t even leave food or water for her.

The entire house was a mess, with broken windows and feces all around. It was a disaster.

Ashley was unharmed despite her poor living situation. When Favor finally walked her out of the abandoned home, the dog couldn’t hide her excitement.

Ashley the pit bull wearing a firefighter's uniform

“She came running down, super happy,” Mahnken recalled. “She jumped straight into my car.”

Ashley’s owners neglected her, and it manifested on her physically. The pup was very thin and malnourished with her ribs sticking out. A vet checked her and discovered that she was 25lbs underweight.

Worse, Ashley had cigarette burns to her head.

No More Pain Rescue doesn’t have a physical shelter where Ashley could stay, so Mahnken and Favor had to find her a foster home immediately. They were fortunate to have friends at the New York City Fire Department (FDNY).

A firefighter holding Ashley the pit bull

They knew that Fort Pitt station had a dog and asked firefighters if they would foster Ashley until they could find her a home.

“As soon as she walked into the firehouse, her tail was wagging, and she was licking and greeting everybody,” Mahnken said. “She was super happy. From where she came from, you wouldn’t really expect that. You would think that she’d be a little skittish, but she wasn’t at all.”

A few days later the FDNY called Mahnken asking if they could keep Ashley.

“They said, ‘We’re going to adopt her. We love her so much. She is at home here.’ So I was thrilled. And as soon as I walked her in there, I knew that that’s where she belonged,” Mahnken said.

Ashley the pit bull inside a fire truck

Ashley has been at the firehouse since then and has lived her best life.

“She’s constantly on the go – she goes on smaller runs with them, she goes on the fire truck with them,” Mahnken said. “They walk her about 30 times a day. They take her up on the roof to play. She’s constantly in the kitchen watching them eat. She has endless supplies of treats.”

She even has a seat in the fire truck that firefighters have designated for her. She is truly a special girl!

Ashley the pit bull wearing a pig costume

“I’m so glad we got her into a home that will show her nothing but love, and not make her into the pit bull that people love to hate so quickly,” Mahnken said. “It was an unbelievable feeling to know that that’s where she belonged.”

Follow Ashley on Instagram to see more photos of her and her firefighting buddies. You can also visit No More Pain Rescue for a donation. 

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