Thursday, November 11, 2010

JoJo, a remarkable story of survival and service

Dog's Remarkable Story of Survival, Helping Others Earns Top Honors in Pet Rescue Contest
Pro Plan Doing More™ for Pets Contest Rewards Rescue Dog for Her Inspiring Story With a Trip to the National Dog Show Presented by Purina®

ST. LOUIS, Nov. 11, 2010 -- From roadside to bedside, a courageous dog named JoJo now uses her own journey through life to inspire humans recovering from orthopedic injuries. JoJo's remarkable tale could not have been possible without the help of a dedicated animal rescue organization. From the Heart Rescue, which saved this spirited pup, and JoJo have been named the grand-prize winners in the Pro Plan® Rally to Rescue® Doing More™ for Pets Rescue Stories Contest.  

JoJo's journey began, and nearly ended, as she lay by the side of the road in the west Texas desert. JoJo, a pit bull terrier, belongs to a sometimes feared and misunderstood breed, so the hours and cars drifted by with no help. Finally, someone stopped and took her to a shelter in rural Texas. An examination revealed a severely broken leg in need of specialized surgical repair. JoJo's journey resumed when an orthopedic vet 225 miles away in El Paso, Texas, agreed to do the surgery and From the Heart Rescue offered to step in as her rescue for foster and rehabilitative care.

The journey of JoJo continued when her foster mom, occupational therapist Ann Marie Giron, began to take JoJo to work so she could inspire humans recovering from orthopedic injuries. With a shaved hind leg, large rows of staples on her incisions and an external fixator sticking out of the top of her hip, JoJo went into service as a therapy dog to those in need.

Brandy Gardes, founder of From the Heart Rescue based in El Paso, Texas, and JoJo will be honored at the National Dog Show Presented by Purina at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pa., on Nov. 20.  As part of the grand prize, From the Heart Rescue will receive $5,000 worth of Pro Plan® brand pet food coupons for the organization.
"It took a village to mend JoJo back to health," said Gardes. "After countless hours in rehabilitation and therapy, JoJo heeled extremely well restoring her body and growing her spirit."
JoJo has since had her fixator removed and is progressing wonderfully with her own therapy. She continues to help the patients at the orthopedic hospital, demonstrating the loyalty and intelligence of her breed. But even more, JoJo enjoys offering inspiration and love to people who are in pain.

The Purina® Pro Plan®  brand launched the fourth annual Rally to Rescue® Doing More™ for Pets Rescue Stories Contest to chronicle the amazing but often untold stories of pet rescue and to increase awareness of small pet rescue organizations' tireless efforts.

From July through October, more than 44,000 votes were cast by pet lovers across the country for the story that most touched their hearts to help select the grand-prize winner.
As unique as JoJo's story is, there are countless other unbelievable tales like hers from pet rescue groups across the country.  These stories reaffirm the purpose, effort and devotion of pet rescue groups everywhere.  To read more of these incredible stories, visit or

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