2012-07-20 / Front Page

Cherokee County dog goes from death’s door to modeling gig, celebrity status

“Here she is, a mutt from South Carolina, and everyone wants her”
By TiM GULLA Ledger Staff Writer tim@gaffneyledger.com


Emma was twice on death’s doorstep. First after being abandoned in a Gaffney apartment and later after being taken to the Cherokee County Animal Shelter, which does not have an adoption program. Now Emma is not only happy and healthy with her new owner in New Jersey, she’s an active competitor in dog obedience and agility competitions and has become an animal model, appearing in a recent women’s apparel fashion catalog. 
(Photo by M. NiCOLE FiSChER PhOTOGRAPhy) Emma was twice on death’s doorstep. First after being abandoned in a Gaffney apartment and later after being taken to the Cherokee County Animal Shelter, which does not have an adoption program. Now Emma is not only happy and healthy with her new owner in New Jersey, she’s an active competitor in dog obedience and agility competitions and has become an animal model, appearing in a recent women’s apparel fashion catalog. (Photo by M. NiCOLE FiSChER PhOTOGRAPhy) From death’s doorstep to high fashion, a little dog from Gaffney is not only happy and healthy but apparently now living the high life.

In December 2010, “Emma” was one of several dogs rescued from the Cherokee County Animal Shelter by a New Jersey-based rescue group. Christy Wrede, whose New Jerseybased Luv Furever Animal Rescue has now spared 140 dogs from euthanasia in Cherokee County, so fell in love with “Emma” that she kept the dog as her own pet.

And now, it seems, Emma is becoming a star.

The current fashion catalog for White House/Black Market features Emma walking in stride with a fashion model showing off some of the latest designs. Photos of the fashion shoot can be viewed online at the White House Black Market Facebook page or in the online catalog at: whitehouseblackmarket.com.

What a difference two years can make.

Emma was brought to the Cherokee County Animal Shelter as a puppy in late 2010 after she was found abandoned in a Gaffney apartment, Wrede said.

Wrede’s group, which works with the Humane Society of Cherokee County to get dogs out of the local shelter, came to Gaffney in December 2010 to rescue 16 dogs and put them up for adoption.

Wrede had seen photographs of one of the dogs she was coming to pick up, a malnourished brindle and white puppy that just so happened to look a lot like her own dog, Logan. “Everyone said (in advance) that I was going to keep her,” Wrede said.

They weren’t wrong.

“Here she is, a mutt from South Carolina, and everyone wants her,” Wrede said.

The term mutt isn’t really an understatement, either. Wrede had Emma DNA-tested and discovered Emma is half Boston Terrier and a quarter Boxer. The remaining quarter is a mixture of several different breeds.

So how did Emma get in a fashion catalog? Wrede explains that Logan is an already-experienced animal model with his own agent. Recently, the producers of a fashion catalog called for Logan and Wrede offered up the possibility of Emma getting a shot.

“As soon as the casting director saw her, they wanted her,” she said.

In addition to her turn as an animal model, Emma competes in obedience and agility competitions as well.

She’s just one of many unwanted animal stories that have been ending well as a result of rescue groups.

Due to tougher spaying and neutering laws in the Northeast, Wrede said, it’s rare to find puppies at animal shelters there. Where dogs go unwanted in Cherokee County, Wrede’s group has so far had no problems finding homes for them.

Without the efforts of the Humane Society of Cherokee County and rescue groups like Wrede’s, animals that go into the Cherokee County Animal Shelter are euthanized unless reclaimed by their owner.

Earlier this year, local Human Society officials estimated that less than 10 percent of the animals that go into the local shelter are returned to their owners and only about 20 percent of the dogs rescued from the shelter are adopted locally.

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