By Jay Behrke

GOSHEN – “The rumor is she was fed live chickens,” said Rick Bossley of the Goshen Humane Society, which first took in Holly, a malnourished and neglected 3-year-old pit bull mix, in early December. “Whether it’s true or not, we don’t know, but that’s what the neighborhood is saying.”

The good news is Holly’s put on 25 pounds since arriving and now weighs 67 pounds, while boasting a sleek, soft coat. She loves human company, and gives great – and copious – paw; while I was there, she snuggled up to me, sitting on my shoe.

But make no mistake, this is a horribly abused animal who was likely also trained to fight; so, not surprisingly, she has issues with other dogs, and possibly cats – though that is as yet untrod territory.

“You could kind of tell, around her face, her head, she had some bruising that would lend to being in fights,” recalled Bossley. “She’s really a great dog, she’s got a wonderful personality. But she’s got to go to a home with no other dogs because I do believe she was used as a fighter.”

Holly was discovered when, on authority of a search warrant, the Orange county Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Goshen Humane Society in investigating an animal cruelty complaint at a home on Excelsior Avenue in the Town of Wallkill. The search revealed the neglected dog housed outdoors in a feces- and leaf-riddled lean-to.

“She was in a cage in the back yard, chained up; really horrible conditions,” said Bossley. “There was no food, just water, and that may have just been because it rained. She barked a lot, but didn’t seem to be very aggressive. I brought a bunch of dog treats; I could tell just from the way she took them from me, she was gentle.”

They unhooked Holly from the chain and thick, spike-studded collar that had imprisoned her, “got her out of there,” and – in just over a month – this sweet-natured animal has proven the innate resilience of a neglected animal to rebound quickly, given the right care and just a little bit of the love previously denied her.



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