TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Despite many adoption requests, Hercules will be fostered by the girl who saved him.
On Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 24, Pima Animal Care Center delivered the surprise of a lifetime to the 15-year-old girl who rescued a dog hanging from a tree the week prior – her new foster pet, Hercules.
"I'm so happy," Anyssa Barker said as she admired her new dog. "I've been wanting a dog for a while and was afraid he'd get adopted."
Hercules' life could have ended much differently if Barker hadn't found him strung to a tree on Jan. 15. And now, the 15-year-old girl will get a second opportunity to save him through Pima Animal Care Center's foster care program, which will allow Barker and her family to provide a temporary home for the dog during its recovery period and the option to adopt him permanently in the future.
On Jan. 15, Barker was taking a stroll around the neighborhood, when she heard the sound of a whimpering dog. Curious, she followed the sound to an area behind Lowes, and found a black, mixed-breed dog hanging from a tree. She climbed the tree and freed the dog, whom she later named Hercules in honor of what he had experienced.
"I hate to see animals hurt," Barker said as she remembered the day she found him. "He knew what was going on and that I was there to help him. As soon as I took that thing out from around his neck, he sat in my lap."
PACC's Animal Protection Officers took Hercules back to the shelter to receive medical treatment and opened an animal cruelty investigation, which is still ongoing with no new developments.
PACC received many adoption requests from the public, including Barker, who asked PACC's Chief Animal Protection Officer Adam Ricci to hold him until she could convince her grandmother, who owns several cats, to say yes.
"It was very apparent to us that a special bond developed between Hercules and this amazing young lady after this terrible incident," Ricci said in a recent news release.
When they delivered Hercules to her new temporary home, PACC Officers Tiffany Foster and Bennett Simonsen gave the family a bag of dog food, treats, a kennel, toys and other supplies for their new foster pet. In addition, they reminded Barker and her grandparents of the amazing resource they have in PACC, encouraging them to take Hercules to the shelter every now and then for a visit.