Stevie's Story

There is often a stigma around shelter dogs. They are considered 'broken' or not capable of being loving family dogs that people idolize. A goal of Salvation Bark is to increase awareness for those dogs in shelters, showing that they can be incredible, loving companions.

An amazing example of this is Stevie, a pitbull mix, who currently lives in Hudson Valley, NY. In 2019, Stevie was found on the North Shore of St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. She had horrible burns down her back and was living alone in the bush, where she contracted tetanus. She was picked up and brought in for care by Ruff Start Rescue, where it was determined that the burns were from scalding hot oil being poured on her. As expected, she was terrified of everything and was left with a 14-inch scar down her back.

An amazing team worked together to fly Stevie to NC in an attempt to find her forever home. Gracious volunteers collaborated to relocate Stevie to New England, where they believed they found the perfect fit for a home. After about two months with this loving new family, Stevie was put in a high-stress situation and ended up biting another person while trying to protect her owner. Following the event, Stevie was sent to the shelter to be euthanized.

After enduring a life on the streets of St. Croix, suffering from burns, undergoing care and recovery time, rebuilding trust in humans, enduring flights and car rides to reach a safe place—after all of that—she was going to die in a cage, terrified and alone.

By the grace of God, one of Stevie’s transporters, Haley Goudreau, stepped in to save Stevie’s life. Prior to Stevie, Haley had no experience with dog training. However, she was convinced that with proper training, she could help Stevie live the life she deserved. Haley began studying and, day by day, with training, she started seeing tremendous improvements in Stevie’s behavior. If you were to meet Stevie today, you would have no idea of the horrific past she came from. Not only that, but she is now an integral part of a truly loving family that would not trade her for the world.

After training Stevie, Haley followed her passion and created Clean Slate Canine Training, where she helps all varieties of dogs become their best selves. For any adopted dog, Clean Slate Canine Training offers one free training session.

Needless to say, Stevie’s story started out with a situation far more horrific than 99% of the dogs in shelters today. Yet, she managed to overcome the odds and become an incredible addition to a family. We are honored to consider Stevie one of the faces of Salvation Bark. Consider going to a shelter and finding your own Stevie. You never know, it may be more than one life you’re saving!