Pepper was adopted this year by Meg, together with her husband, John. Please read this open letter from Meg about Pepper’s incredible journey from feral dog to loving house-mate!

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I am so excited to share the story of my dog Pepper who was rescued by Saving Great Animals after years of sitting in a cage.

I hope that you will be inspired by my story to make a gift that helps save other dogs – from their worst days to the day they finally go home.


Pepper stands with her tongue out.

When I first met Pepper, she glanced up at me and quickly turned her eyes back to the floor. Her head hung down, her ears drooped. She just looked deflated.

Our first instructions from Saving Great Animals were to sit with her in her kennel. “Don’t make eye contact. Do not touch her. She needs to get accustomed to the presence of humans. She needs to know there is nothing to fear.” I spent the first visit sitting on the floor of her kennel against the door and she on the opposite end of the kennel leaning against the wall as if she was trying to disappear into it. I sat and read her affirmations and told her that she was loved.

Pepper sitting in a kennel. A long-haired person pets under her chin.

I  told her that a great life was now beginning for her.


Gradually we were able to sit closer. Peppers eyes met ours. It took a long time for her to be comfortable enough to lie down with us in her kennel. She would sit, falling asleep, head bobbing, but lying down made her too vulnerable.

Eventually we could brush her and we knew we had gained a little trust when she would lick “squeezy cheese” from our fingers and finally she was willing to lie down and even sleep pushed up against us.

On Christmas Eve, 2019, I helped take Pepper on her first walk outdoors. She was so excited! She was coming to life.

Pepper, a tan colored dog, walks on two leashes with her future owner.

She loved her walks outside. On days when the weather didn’t allow an outdoor walk and we walked around inside the building but she would stop at the windows and paw at them. My husband, John became her best buddy. He would run with her through the nearby park and Pepper, who had not run for the majority of her life, absolutely loved running, maybe more than anything she had experienced.

When Pepper was ready to move to a foster home, John and I decided to volunteer. The night Pepper came home, she ran and did her goofy bunny hops through the house with our dogs. She had never been in a house but seemed so happy and comfortable. The next morning Pepper literally bucked and jumped around the kitchen and woofed at me as I prepared the dogs’ food. At one point she ran into the room and gave me a kiss when I bent down and then she ran back out. Her personality was really coming out!

She began playing with toys and playing with us, doing play-bows and jumping and running around the house. When we were able to let her off-leash in the yard, her favorite game became one of hiding in the trees at one end of the yard and then jumping out and running as fast as she could, tail flopping around, nose out, running past us, daring us to try to catch her.

We knew we couldn’t part with Pepper. We had to adopt her.

Pepper laying in the grassPepper is adorably mischievous. She wags her tail and gives kisses when we come home and she follows us around the house, always wanting to be close. This sweet, playful, goofy girl who had no hope, now has a life in which she has other dogs to play with. Pepper knows love and gentle touches, soft beds and good food, treats and toys – something she never experienced until Saving Great Animals rescued her.Pepper gets out of her dog bed every morning, wags her tail, and approaches everything with a playful, happy attitude. She shakes her toys and throws them around. She plays chase with our other dogs, she whines while I prepare her food, and she runs to the bedroom at night and waits for her “night-night” cookie before we all go to sleep.

Pepper is soaking up life and she reminds us not to dwell in the pain of the past but to be grateful for what we have today, every day, and to look for the even the simplest and greatest joys.

I can’t imagine any other life for her now. I’m so grateful for Saving Great Animals and the incredible work they do to give dogs like Pepper a chance!

Please consider making a gift this holiday season to help other dogs find immense joy as Pepper has done.

Thank you and warmest wishes,

Meg & John
Pepper’s Parents

Pepper, a light tan colored dog, with future owner, Meg.