Jones, Puppy With Twisted Legs Had a Miracle

October 05, 2013  •  2 Comments

No one would have known about Hugo (now "Jones") had a Harbor Animal Shelter volunteer not noticed him.  He had tucked himself way in the back of the kennel in the Isolation area.  It was dark inside his cubby and all the volunteer could see were his eyes.  There was something about Hugo that made her stop for him, but he was too terrified to come out of the kennel.  So she went in and managed to get him out from the cubby where he was hiding.  The minute she saw his legs her heart shattered into pieces.  She knew there was little hope that Hugo would get out of the shelter alive...  But giving up without giving him a chance was not an option.  He deserved a chance and the volunteers made sure of it.  Hugo came into the spotlight when Melody Harper, made a touching video of him ( in hopes that a rescue will save him.  

By the time the world learned about Hugo, he had less than 48 hours to live.  He had already been at the shelter for two weeks.  No one came to the shelter to claim him and there were no rescue interests.  The odds were not in his favor. Everything about him made him the least likely adopted or rescued dogs at the shelter.  He is a black dog, a Mastiff/pit mix, and his legs required medical attention.  But despite the insurmountable obstacles before him, the volunteers believed in something more...  A miracle.

Hugo' video reached Sasha Rose of Love Leo Rescue, who is an experienced pitbull rescuer in Los Angeles.  She has a soft spot for black dogs, especially pits because they are most overlooked.  After seeing his story, her heartstring was tugged and pulled in all directions.  He had less than 48 hours to live and she had to act fast.  It's do or he dies.  

On May 21, 2013, Sasha rescued Hugo from the Harbor Animal Shelter.  It was the beginning of a new life for him, and he was given a new name, "Jones".  Little did anyone know at that time, more challenges were ahead.  After consulting with four veterinarians, it was determined that the deformity in Jones' legs was the result of two broken ankles that were never treated.  As a result, his growth plates developed unevenly.  And because Jones was only 10 months-old at the time and was still growing, the deformity would worsen and if left untreated and he would be crippled within a few months.  The only treatment option to correct the deformity was surgery, and the cost was approximately $6,000.

Raising $6,000 was not an easy feat, but it had to be done.  Through the help of social media, generous support poured in from everywhere.  People responded to Jones' story and they wanted to help.  And within days, Sasha was able to raise enough for Jone's surgery.  One month after being rescued, Jones had surgery on both of his front legs, performed by one of the finest surgeons- Dr. Oldes.  The surgery was a success and he was well on his way to recovery.  Soon, walking and running will be pain free.

I first met Jones in July, a month after he had surgery.  His legs were wrapped in bandages and he was unable to walk or stand for too long.  He was shy and uncertain of of the world around him and of strangers.  But he was very attached to his foster mom who had been caring for him since his surgery.  He would not let her out of his sight; when she took a step he would take a step, he made sure that she is always near.  

I saw Jones again last weekend, and this time he seems like a different dog.  For one, his legs are no longer in bandages and he is able to walk around pain free.  He is still a little shy, but he is more confident and comfortable with the world around him.  He loves being around other dogs and spends most of his time hanging out with this foster brother and sister.  He is becoming more playful each day, and gaining confidence.  

It has been a long journey from the day Jones was found hiding underneath a car in Watts, then picked up by Animal Control and brought the Harbor Animal Shelter in San Pedro.  After he was rescued, he went through extensive orthopedic surgery then followed by 8 weeks of recovery.  Through it all Jones showed the world how gracious he is of everything that everyone has done for him.  This has been a story about hope, resilience and perseverance.  It's about believing in miracles, and what kindness, compassion and strength can accomplish.

Jones, the puppy with the sad eyes that captivated so many, is ready for another chapter in life.  He is now searching for his forever family, his forever home.  Please contact Sasha Rose at:




Bonnie Beane, Prescott, AZ(non-registered)
This is a prize-winning story!! What a lucky guy -- thanks hugely to all who have helped him along his way to a better life. Hoping the right person sees him and comes to take him to his forever home. May the good Lord bless his sweet self and his heros!
Melody Harper(non-registered)
I LOVE Hugo/Jones story and Paula's photos are so, omg amazing!! I am hoping I can buy a print or two ~
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