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Sweet Pea probably wasn’t going to make it. At least, that’s what they thought when she was found in a Camden dump, badly injured from dogfighting. Animal control took her to a shelter, where she was scheduled to be euthanized the following week.

Now, she’s ASPCA’s 2019 Dog of the Year.

Her unlikely road to recovery started when Kathy McGuire, president of NJ Aid for Animals, came to her rescue, bringing her to Mount Laurel Animal Hospital. Through social media, NJ Aid for Animals raised so much money for Sweet Pea’s vet bills that they created a fund for abused and abandoned animals in Sweet Pea’s name, providing $65,000 in medical expenses since 2016. This local pup became the face of New Jersey’s dog-fighting awareness campaigns, and now she’s taking on the nation.

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