When Lambros and his partner, Danny, decided to foster a dog for the ASPCA, each scrolled through the ASPCA Foster Bulletin to see photos of available dogs. To their delight, both chose Mays, a two-year-old female pit bull mix.
“When I saw Mays, I said, ‘Stop right there!’” Danny says.
“Mays was the dog we wanted to foster,” says Lambros. “She stood out.”
They applied to foster Mays but were told she was being considered for adoption. A week later, they learned that the adoption didn’t go through, and that Mays was again available for fostering. Both men were thrilled.
Rescued from Cruel Conditions
On April 7, 2022, the ASPCA assisted in the removal of 28 dogs—including Mays—from filthy conditions on a property in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, following an investigation by the NYPD. Many of the dogs were discovered without access to food or clean water. Some were in cages and crates, covered in feces and urine. Some, including Mays, were dehydrated, underweight and suffering from medical issues, including open wounds, ear and skin infections, overgrown nails and dirty hair coats.
Jason Nunez was arrested and charged with 28 counts of overdriving, torturing and injuring animals; failure to provide proper sustenance, and 28 counts of failure to provide proper food and drink to an impounded animal. The case remains open.
A Surprising Discovery
Following her rescue, ASPCA staff soon learned Mays was pregnant, and on May 21, she gave birth to eight puppies.
“Mays was great at caring for her puppies,” says Dr. Marina Relman, Staff Veterinarian at the ASPCA Animal Hospital who was an Intern at the Animal Recovery Center (ARC) at the time. “From the moment she gave birth, she was a super mom. She worked hard cleaning, nursing and stimulating them. The job came very naturally to her.”
ARC staff weighed the puppies daily to ensure they were all growing appropriately.
“As soon as you would pick one up, Mays would come over and gently take the puppy back and return it to the group,” says Dr. Relman. “She knew instinctively that her puppies needed to all stay together under her watch.”
Dr. Relman says she was amazed that Mays could supply so many puppies with enough nutrition.
“Even though she was constantly eating, we watched her lose weight and muscle from the caloric toll of producing that much milk,” she says. “Eventually, the puppies were weaned, and Mays returned to a healthy weight. But it’s a good reminder that raising a litter is not easy on the body, even when a dog or cat is well provided for.”
From Foster to Family Member
On October 6, Lambros and Danny began fostering Mays. She was their first-ever foster dog.
Danny, who grew up with dogs in New Jersey, and Lambros, who is from Astoria, have always loved dogs.
“When I thought about her story—how she was in a cage without food or water—I started to cry,” Lambros says. “Then she came right over to me like an emotional support animal.”
“She’s adorable and fun,” adds Danny, saying that Mays joined the couple on two hiking trips to Bear Mountain. “She loves chasing squirrels at the park and is good about dressing up in pajamas and hats. She’s curious and sweet.”
“Everybody loves Mays,” Lambros says. “She’s the queen of Astoria. When others give her attention, her tongue sticks out like there’s no tomorrow.”
Even Lambros’ father, who once feared dogs, enjoys Mays’ company.
“Lambros and Danny are crazy about her,” says Melissa Alejandro, Manager of Administration for ARC and CARE (Canine Annex for Recovery and Enrichment). “They were perfect foster dads.”
Mays’ puppies were adopted, and Mays was spayed on November 21. Two days later, just before Thanksgiving, Lambros and Danny adopted her. They spent a low-key holiday at home, where Mays enjoyed a bite of turkey.
The holiday season inspired the couple to reflect on their new family member.
“We’re grateful for the ASPCA,” says Danny. “Fostering gave us a chance to see if we were ready for that responsibility, and Mays is just what we needed. We’re glad we could give her a new life. We couldn’t ask for a better dog.”
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