She was “too big.” This was the explanation given to the shelter workers when an owner dropped off a 5-year-old dog at the Manhattan Animal Care Center (ACC) in July.

The dog, an affable pit bull mix named Clover, had lived with her family for many years, and she’d apparently gotten along with everyone in the household, which included adults, toddlers and infants.

Clover had also lived with another dog, who was her daughter. But when the owners decided that their house had become too crowded, Clover was the first one to go.

“Initially when she came into the shelter, she was good,” Stacey Silverstein, cofounder of Rescue Dogs Rock NYC, the group that eventually pulled Clover, said. “But let’s be honest. A shelter is a very, very scary place. There are tons of dogs there. It’s loud, it’s scary, it’s unfamiliar. Clover was a family dog, so obviously she was very shell-shocked.”

It didn’t take long for the stressful shelter environment to get to Clover. Her behavior started to change, especially when she interacted with other dogs. Although she was always affectionate and loving toward people.


“She was doing really poorly in the shelter,” Silverstein said.

“Her behavior was really deteriorating. She was cage-aggressive, and they couldn’t put her into a playgroup with other dogs. She was giving the shelter a really hard time, and they just really wanted her out.”


This was enough to get Clover on the euthanasia list — not once, but four different times. Silverstein doesn’t think Clover would be here today if someone hadn’t recognized the dog’s sweet side.

“Someone there was her guardian angel,” Silverstein said. “She was very lovable and warm, and the staff really took to her.”


By the time Clover had been saved from euthanasia for the fourth time, Rescue Dogs Rock NYC had found the perfect foster home for her in upstate New York. There she’s currently living until she finds a forever family.

“[The foster dad] was confident that he could help Clover, and he was telling the truth,because if you look at those pictures, she looks amazing,” Silverstein said.


“It’s a miracle,” Silverstein said. “She’s doing amazingly well, and it worked out really well.”

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