The Pug Life Chose Conway

More stories from Katie Wood

Sylvia Price, senior
March 29, 2019
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(Neely Conway)

Neely Conway has always had an exceptional love for pitbulls. Her entire childhood revolved around the breed. Now 26, married, with no kids, she still loves the dogs.
When Conway moved to Atlanta in 2012, the first thing she looked into was the animal shelter. She made sure the area had a wide variety of dogs to shelter and choose from. She spent long hours of the day at the shelter, bonding with the employees and getting to know the dogs. Everyone there, including the dogs, took an immediate liking to her. As time went on, she became popular at the shelter and got a job as a full-time volunteer.
Conway has two dogs of her own, but decided that wasn’t enough.
“The two dogs I already had were the loves of my life, but I was ready to take on something more,” Conway said. “I decided to start a foster care system for abandoned pit bulls in the area.”
Conway had a special place in her heart for the dogs in the worst condition at the shelter. She started taking them in, nursing them back to health and finding them the perfect foster home.
“I realized that these poor dogs were just dying in the shelter because no one wanted them,” Conway said. “My husband and I decided to bring them into our house with open arms. We raise them like they’re our own and show them unconditional love. Once we raise their social skills, get them healthy, and find a good foster home, we send them on their way.”
Although fostering dogs is what Conway loves to do, it is never easy for her to say goodbye to the dogs with whom she has become so close.
“The days their new parents pick them up are the worst. I sit in bed and eat ice cream all day because I wish I could keep them all. We only have the dogs for 2-6 months which doesn’t seem long, but when you’re with dogs like these, you build incredible friendships with them.”
It can also get quite expensive to care for these dogs on their own.
“We pay for everything the dogs need with our own money as our way to show appreciation to the shelter. It can get super expensive though because dogs are a handful. Because these dogs are coming off the streets, their medical bills can get pretty high.”
Conway continues to foster dogs today and plans on doing it until she is physically unable. She will continue to make a difference in our community for the better by saving these dogs who have no voice.
“I love pit bulls with all my heart and hope I can keep helping them out for the rest of my life,” said Conway.

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