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Top Winning Dogs Since 1954

     Balto is a dog found sick and starving in March 2010 by Animal Lifeline, a nonprofit animal rescue organization. He was rescued and nursed back to health by Joe and Lisa DeJessa. Two months later he was adopted by his forever family, Laurie and Mark Pappas. He weighed 48 pounds when he was found; he now weighs over 100 pounds. With much love and care Balto has become a healthy, happy dog.

A recent letter from Balto's Owner:


To Joe DeJessa,

Balto and I have something special between us that can't be put into words.  I know you understand.  There are times he lays on the bed in the porch and tilts his head back and just gazes at me working in the kitchen.  (got one photo of that that isn't quite "it" but close enough; attached) He has little touches he does with me; there is not a time that I feed him that he doesn't stop and nuzzle me as if to say thank you.  I can look at him from across a room and know what he is thinking; and sometimes I think he does the same.  It is irreplaceable.  It isn't a matter of getting another dog when he is gone; he quickly became a part of me and it happened even before we got him down here.  It happened when I saw those photos of him at the shelter.  Something in me just knew we were connected. 

I have to stop... tearing up.
Thank you for rescuing him, Joe.  I feel like you rescued a piece of my soul that was out there that I didn't even know.

from  Laurie Pappas



Joe, Balto and Lisa

Laurie and Balto

Balto when rescued

Balto when rescued