April 16, 2015. Tony Stark was in trouble. He was held captive, along with many others. His very life was in danger...
A trailer for a new Avengers movie? Maybe. But it’s also the true-life story of a different Tony Stark. And though he didn’t know it, a band of superheroes was about to rescue “our” Tony, and make sure he found his happily ever after.
Tony’s initial champions were the APL’s Humane Investigations officers. They responded to a tip about a person breeding dogs in deplorable conditions. They found 33 Shih Tzus, including Tony, covered in filth and so much matted hair that many could not move their limbs. Using their superpowers of the law and their passion for animals, they immediately brought the dogs to the APL. Upon their arrival, the APL staff used their extra-human strength and speed to convert a large meeting room into an infirmary for the dogs.
As the staff was assessing their condition, a volunteer crusader arrived in her mobile grooming van: Super Groomer Tricia. She spent hours carefully cutting away the matted hair from her wee clients. Tricia and the APL staff were delighted to see tiny tails wagging as years’ worth of tangled, soiled hair disappeared! The APL veterinary and kennel staff—invoking their powers of intelligence and healing—quickly began to address the serious medical needs of their patients. Despite the very poor condition in which the dogs arrived, they were able to save all but one.
Finally, the APL adoption supervisor and team donned their capes, and spent countless hours screening all applications from generous people who wanted to adopt these special dogs, searching for the right combination of experience, empathy, and environment to make sure each
dog found a loving fur-ever home.
The most powerful superheroes to come to Tony’s rescue? Bud and Gail! Their superpower is compassion.
Bud and Gail have a history of opening their home to rescued dogs and cats. In February 2015, their first Shih Tzu, Luck Luck, passed away after a battle with a serious illness. The Shieffs had one dog, a Shih Tzu/Poodle mix, Zorro. When they saw the story of the beautiful little dogs, they decided to try to add one to their family. Gail and Bud were delighted to be chosen as the new family for Tony, who they renamed Tonio. And Tonio has taken happily to his new life. “The Cleveland APL did an excellent job with the overwhelming tasks they had with all those beautiful Shih Tzus ... Tonio came to us ready to start his new life.” A new life that includes, Gail notes, a second chance at being a puppy. He’s learning from big brother Zorro, as the two play outside. And, he loves snuggling on Gail’s lap. Most importantly, despite his previous living conditions, “he loves everybody,” Gail says. He’s friendly and happy and playful. It seems Tonio has a superpower of his own: spreading light and love.
Cleveland Animal Protective League
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