Canine Partners Spotlight: Abandoned Mother Dog Becomes Multi-Titled Competitor

When an emaciated Lab mix and her puppies were turned into a shelter, a rescue group took the pups but left the mom behind. Luckily, a dedicated foster volunteer took Lady home where she fell in love with the sweet dog, adopted her and started training her. Today, AJ’s Search N Rescue BN RN CGC has multiple titles and lofty goals. Read their story:

Lady lived on the streets, scavenging for food, until a family noticed she was expecting and gave her shelter.

After the birth of her puppies, the family felt overwhelmed with caring for the brood. They turned Lady and her litter into a shelter.

A rescue group heard about the plight and arrived to take the puppies who would go into foster care until adopted. Lady remained alone at the shelter until a dedicated foster volunteer became her savior.

“Someone asked me if I wanted to take her. I said ‘Heck yes, I do. Who does that – leave the mother behind?’” said Angela Pleat, an Akron, Ohio, resident.

“So Lady came to live with me on Dec. 4, 2015, weighing 36 pounds. Mind you, when she went into the pound on Nov 18, 2015, she weighed 31 pounds so she was gaining weight back,” Pleat said.

The Labrador mix arrived at Pleat’s multi-dog household. Despite her ordeal, she was immediately sweet and loving, getting along well with everyone.

“I knew Lady was going to need a new name. Little did I know how she would get it. She spent her first three days searching my entire house for her puppies. As I sat there and watched her search, her new name came to me: Serchee.”

Pleat has fostered dogs since 2013, nursing them back to health, training them and finding them loving homes. But she had never adopted one.

“I was into showing and training my personal dogs too much to add to the household,” she said. Pleat has participated in dog sports for 12 years. She started with a Rottweiler that she took to an obedience class and then “got hooked.” She now competes with her Rottie and Labrador Retrievers in obedience, rally and agility.

Serchee was Pleat’s 125th foster dog and, like her other fosters, Serchee soon was back in good health and weight at 51 pounds - and had a new home waiting for her.

“As time went on and she was supposed to go to an adoptive family, my heart strings were pulled, and something told me she had already found her forever home. There was just something about her. My boyfriend and I both fell in love with her. She was so loving and thankful to have been saved. On Jan. 9, 2016, I adopted her.”

Pleat had no plans to train or show Serchee but thought she should attend a basic obedience class to learn some manners. Serchee did well at the class and passed the AKC Canine Good Citizen test. Pleat reconsidered the rescue dog’s future as a competitor.

“She seemed so happy to work and please me that I decided to give AKC Rally a try with her. With very little training, she did pretty good.”

Today, Serchee is actively competing with the rest of the Pleat canines. She holds the AKC Obedience title of Beginner Novice (BN) and the AKC Rally Novice (RN) title and the formal name of AJ's Search N Rescue BN RN CGC.

“We are currently working on our off-leash work to prepare for her CD and RA. My goal is to finish her RAE, her CD and maybe CDX, and get her into agility.”
Serchee’s will to live and great attitude inspired Pleat to start her own rescue group named after the special dog that made her become a foster failure. AJ’s Search & Rescue saves dogs and places them in a network of fosters who help them find forever homes.

“We are at 150 adoptions since we started last September. We have a great following, volunteers, and donors, which makes it all work out perfectly.“
Hundreds more dogs are being saved all because of a special mother dog who was left behind at the shelter.

“Little did this dog know what was in store for her. From the pound being completely underweight to a show life and being a good weight and healthy all in less than 1 year,” Pleat said.