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Woman Who Adopted Dog Thrown Off Bridge Faces Eviction

By Helena Sung

If you were forced to choose between your apartment or your dog, which would you pick?

For 21 year-old Kelsey Westbrook, the answer is clear. “An apartment, to me, is just a material thing,” she tells Paw Nation. “But you can’t get a dog’s life back.”

In July, the University of Louisville senior was serving tables at Joe’s Crab Shack overlooking the Ohio River when she heard a boom so loud she thought a piece of shrapnel had blown off the highway. “Somebody just threw a dog off the bridge,” a customer said, stunned.

“We looked down,” remembers Kelsey. “And sure enough, we saw her little head bobbing in and out of the water. You could tell she was confused. She was swimming in circles and had no idea where to go.” The dog, a pit bull, had just been hurled off the Clark Memorial Bridge and plunged 80 feet into the water below, reports the Courier-Journal.

PitbullOffBridgeKelsey and others ran down to the river, where they tried to coax the frightened dog to shore. “When she heard my voice, she started swimming real hard towards us,” Kelsey tells Paw Nation. The Louisville Fire Department dive team was practicing nearby and rescued the dog.

Once on land, the reddish brown pit bull dog began jumping all over everybody. “She was licking me like crazy,” says Kelsey. “She was wagging her tail and so happy. You would never know what she had just went through.”

Miraculously, the dog appeared to be unhurt. Kelsey took the dog home that day, and later, to a veterinarian who estimated that the pit bull was less than a year old and had already had a litter of puppies. Kelsey planned to find the dog a good home, but changed her mind. “After a day, I thought, ‘Nope, she’s mine. I have to keep her,” says Kelsey.

Friends suggested she name the dog “Miracle” or “Lucky,” but Kelsey decided on a different name. “She’s so happy, like a ball of sunshine,” explains Kelsey. “So I named her Sunny.”

Unfortunately, the day after Sunny’s harrowing rescue, Kelsey’s landlords notified her she had two days to remove Sunny from the apartment. Kelsey balked at the idea, but Areté Real Estate, the company that owns Kelsey’s apartment complex, insists pit bulls are a “vicious breed” and not allowed on the premises, reports the Courier-Journal.

“I’m really attached to her and I love her, and I’m not getting rid of her,” says Kelsey. “If that means me having to find a new place, then that’s what I have to do.” Efforts to reason with her landlords haven’t been fruitful. “I’ve called them upwards of fifteen times and left messages, but they won’t return my calls,” says Kelsey. “They’re not really working with me at all.”

Sunny, meanwhile, has gotten spayed and is doing wonderfully. She’s been shuttling back and forth between Kelsey’s boyfriend’s house and the apartment. “Sunny is such an amazing, resilient creature,” marvels Kelsey. She has become best friends with Kelsey’s two year-old German Shepherd named Nala, who is allowed to live at the apartment for an extra monthly fee.

So many good things have come from rescuing Sunny, says Kelsey. They are planning to hold a fundraiser at Joe’s Crab Shack on October 10 to raise awareness about animal cruelty. “A lot of people will come up to me at Joe’s and want to give me a hug and say, ‘Thanks, I love animals too,'” says Kelsey. “Every day you hear about really bad things going on in the news, I guess it’s kind of an uplifting story.”

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trishhafely
trishhafely
11 years ago

Kelsey you are not only a hero but an advocate for animal cruelty and pit bulls; who ALWAYS gets a bad rap! I wish you the best on your search for a new place for you, Sunny and Nala!

God Speed!

Joannrcalderone
Joannrcalderone
11 years ago

Hi Kelsey
Sunny is a very lucky dog to have found you, I can't people can be so cruel to animals. I have had a pit bull, General, I had him for 13 years until he passed away 2 years age. And I would tell anyone who says pits are a vivious breed that they are wrong it is all in the up bringing you give them or any animal. Mine was so gentle but protective. I hope you find another place to live soon and you keep your Sunny!

shelbysmom
shelbysmom
11 years ago

Great story, nice to hear that there are some good people in the world.

bettyowens
bettyowens
11 years ago

As a shelter volunteer, we hear stories like this all of the time. It is a shame that some people value animals so little when they bring so much happiness into our lives and ask for so little. The people responsible for this have to be very hard core uncaring human beings. Luckily there are people like Kelsey and foundations like Save the Animal Foundation in Cincinnati, OH and other no-kills shelters who step up to the plate for animals like these. I would love to have the funds to start a shelter for bullie breeds that are abandon and mistreated in the Mid West area. There just isn't enough space for all of the animals that are abandon, starved, and mistreated and unfairly pits fare even worse than other breeds. God Bless you Kelsey! She is a gorgeous dog. http://www.dogsindanger.com

dale999999999
dale999999999
11 years ago

Had a pitbull myself…Angel, rescued her from the shelter a night before she was scheduled to be put down……She was with us for 14 years till she passed last year. She was just a simple sweet, loving dog.

Amanda
Amanda
11 years ago

Kelsey,
Thank you so much! The world needs more people like you :)! Sunny is very lucky! I have a pit bull bix, and she is the sweetest dog ever! I wish people would open their eyes and their hearts to this amazing breed of dogs! I hope you and Sunny find a place to live…I am sure many people will open their doors for you! Your kindness will not go unnoticed! Keep smiling! Long live Pit Bulls!!!!!

Sweepea
Sweepea
11 years ago

I have a Pit Bull mix and I wouldn't trade her for anything. God bless you Kelsey, the world needs more people like you! Good luck

Dog G
11 years ago

Making good from bad – well done to Kelsey Westbrook.

frankif07
frankif07
11 years ago

I too have a 'vicous' breed-German Shepherd Mix, 80 lbs, and a love sponge. We live in an apartment.
For future reference, your dog is 'a mixed breed' to prospective apartment managers.
Your actions reflect your huge heart, the and courage to get involved.
Give Sunny a belly rub for me!

GSDMom
GSDMom
11 years ago

I have had two German Shepherds, both male. One full blood registered (he was a wonderful gift) and one mix. Both have been the most fabulous companions anyone could imagine! While I respect all dogs, I have never met one I would describe as “vicious”. Protective? You bet. But that's a huge difference from being vicious! My pure-bred Shepherd was quite large. He tipped the scales at 160 lbs. With not a trace of fat on him. He lived for 12 yrs, 2 wks. and 3 days. I miss him every day. Give yours a hug for me.

german_shepherd_breeders

Excellent! Great article, I already saved it to my favourite,

german_shepherd_breeders

Excellent! Great article, I already saved it to my favourite,

SHARON
SHARON
11 years ago

kelsey the world is a better place because of people like you ♥ i have two pitbull’s of my own both rescues so i know just how loving and rewarding having one in your life can be.. YOUR A HERO!!! i wish you and sunny all the luck in the world ♥ SAVE THE PITBULL’S ♥ IF WE DONT WHO WILL?!?

Judy
Judy
11 years ago

Kelsey,

God Bless You and your honeys. Someone will rent to you, for sure.

Patience
Patience
11 years ago

Wow! You are my hero Kelsey! Your Karma rating just went thru the roof! God bless you and Sunny!

smiss
11 years ago

Aw, what a great story! Good luck to Kelsey and Sunny!

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