Since Peanut was only a few months old, he was chained up in rural Pennsylvania. Its owners also lived there, but they were not particularly interested in it. They weren’t tough on purpose, they had the old school mentality when there was a dog on the street. Given everything we know and think about today, it is difficult to imagine a dog tied in this way for life.

But that was Peanut’s life; heavy chain around the neck and limited space for movement. And everything had to change for the sweet dog.

Locals became aware of the dog’s situation after the fence on the property fell over. Authorities were alerted, but nothing was being done. Word eventually got to HOPE for Erie Animal Wellness, a rescue about an hour away that helps improve the lives of chained-up dogs.

And that’s when Russelline Steinbuhle came into the picture. Her daughter volunteers for HOPE, she and said they got a lot of calls about the dog, but it was too far away for them to participate in it all the time. But, being a short drive from Russelline’s house, she decided to visit Peanuts and investigate the situation.

The kennel was old and falling apart, with holes rotting in the ceiling and floor. The poor dog was lying in the water. So Russelline decided to take over the management of Peanut. She approached its owners and offered to help, and they admitted to leaving him in chains all the time. Fortunately, they accepted help, and HOPE provided support and guidance along the way.

First up was a brand new doghouse. With that, they gave him a longer chain so he could lie in the grass, new bowls, and a new collar. He really seemed to enjoy being in the grass instead of dirt and mud.

The next time they showed up, he was sitting in the grass and smiling. But this was only the beginning for him.

Russelline made it a point to see Peanut several times a week, sometimes every single day. For a dog who’d had very little interaction over his lifespan, his personality was really starting to shine. Now, he was about to be freed from his shadowy corner of the yard.

A new law had just passed in Pennsylvania limiting the amount of time a dog can be kept chained up. Instead of changing the way they dealt with the dog, the owners decided to surrender Peanut to HOPE.

This was it — Peanut was finally free.

Since then, Peanuts will never be chained again.

Russelline took Peanut to Critter Camp and Cuts for what was most likely his first ever bath. And he seemed to enjoy every moment of it!

At their facility, there’s a giant fenced-in yard where he was let loose for the very first time in his life. Run free, Peanut! ?

It was a very emotional moment. The three-year-old dog was able to run and move freely for the first time, so he had to make a lot of noise. ?

Peanut all smiled. This is the life he’d always deserved. But better late than never!

Now, in a foster home, Peanut is learning to adapt to his new life and new love. And HOPE protects animals for the rest of their lives, so you will never see another chain again.

Hopefully, the Peanut story will help raise awareness for all the other dogs that live outside in the cage. Participation in their lives can make a difference.

Photo credits: Russelline Steinbuhler
h/t The Dodo




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