12 Saves of Christmas: Ziggy (Save #1)

Our #1 save of the year is Ziggy (formerly Bilbo). Ziggy came to us at the beginning of February, after a long and difficult journey.

Ziggy is blind and deaf. He was confiscated with his two brothers and nine other animals by state officials from a home in Tennessee as part of a cruelty investigation. They were found living in a basement in very unhealthy and inhumane conditions. They had never been outdoors.

When contacted by HSUS about taking the brothers, we immediately said yes. We knew we had an incredibly supportive community, and were confident we could place them into loving homes.

With the help of the Portland Press Herald, we were able to shine a spotlight on these boys and the response we had from our community was overwhelming.

Ziggy tells his story best:

Hi! My name is Ziggy. I am totally blind and deaf and I LOVE my forever home. I came from a really bad situation, but we won’t talk about that. Let’s just say, for the first year of my life I had never stepped foot outdoors. I didn’t even know what the outdoors was. Now my parents take me out for trail or beach walks EVERY DAY!

My mommy and daddy came to get me in March of this year. I don’t know why they wanted to take me home. I didn’t know how to do much of anything and I kept bumping into everything. They would have to be BOTH my eyes and my ears. There were a ton of other dogs that they could have adopted, but for some reason, they chose me. Yay! They had room in their hearts and time in their lives to teach me what I needed to know to live a safe and extremely happy life and I think that I am the luckiest dog around!


My parents do cool things that help me find my way around like spraying the walls a sage scent, the doorways basil scent, and lavender for my safe place, food and water areas. That way I learn how to navigate around my home. They also give me TONS of kisses and snuggle time. I really love to give them kisses and I know they love my slobbery tongue too. I can even kiss on command: they just blow in my face and I know that they are there for the licking! Aside from kisses on command, I have learned how to “sit” and “come” too. It’s really fun learning. I didn’t get any teaching the first year of my life but now my mommy and daddy teach me tons of cool things and I know that they love me to pieces.


I have a really cool brother too. His name is Ottis. He is a pit bull terrier mix and he is 4 years older than me. When we first met, he thought I was weird. He didn’t understand my language and lack of senses. But soon we figured it out and he has taught me all about playing and sharing. He even looks out for me, especially when another dog comes near me. Ottis makes sure the other dogs are nice before they approach me. He is a great big brother and I think he is super cool.

Another cool thing is that we live on a small farm. I love following the scents of the ducks and chickens but I don’t think they like me all that much. I don’t know why…. I just want to play with them! I also get to eat lots of apples on our farm. We have a lot of apple trees and I LOVE apples! We also live close to the ocean so I get to play in the water. I think water is really neat. I especially like to run circles in the shallow parts.


I don’t know where I would be today without the help of the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland but I know that I would be very sad. I can’t hear what my parents say about me but I know that they love me more than anything in the world. So I give them kisses and snuggles as much as I can to show them how much I love them too.

We are incredibly happy for Ziggy and his family. We are grateful to be part of such a wonderful community that opens their hearts and homes to animals in need. Because of your support, the thousands of animals who walk through our doors every year find loving homes.

From all of us here at the ARLGP we wish you a very, merry Christmas!

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