The Cleveland Miracle

Sometimes things work out just perfectly.

Cleveland/Northeast Ohio has an amazing animal welfare and rescue community. There are lots of ‘key players’ in this arena and two of them happen to be named Becca. Becca Riker who owns The Mutt Hutt (doggie daycare and boarding facility) who started Secondhand Mutts, quite organically after her business took off and Becca Britton who founded and is still at the helm of The Friends of Cleveland Kennel.

Both Beccas broke into the animal world in Cleveland at about the same time ten years ago and were quick to become friends. This friendship has led to dozens and dozens of dogs being pulled from the City of Cleveland Kennel and moved to Secondhand Mutts for re-homing and has also helped develop their friendship and respect for each other.

Sadly, both Beccas lost beloved rescue dogs last year.

As it turns out, there’d be one little dog that would help both Beccas heal.

Miracle came to Becca Riker and Secondhand Mutts after a volunteer peeled her mostly dead body from the ground on December 15, 2014. Becca Riker didn’t hesitate to save this dog, to go ‘The Extra Mile’ for her, no matter the cost. She was immediately taken to Gateway Animal Clinic where Dr Liz and the staff there took the lead on getting her on the road to recovery…and what a recovery it was!


Miracle moved to foster more quickly than any of us could have imagined; and with the original woman who found her! As Becca Riker got to know Miracle through visits to her foster home and at her vet visits  she began to realize Miracle could be a “Becca Britton dog”

Miracle_before_after_350Becca Britton maybe wasn’t “there” with wanting or feeling ready for a new dog , after all, losing a beloved dog is heartbreaking and she knew there was no replacing her Sam. Becca Riker already felt the relief and wholeness that saving Miracle offered and she just had a feeling that Miracle was meant for Becca Britton, to help her heal and move on as well, so the seed was planted.  Knowing Miracle would be making her public debut at the Barkfeast fundraiser and Becca Britton and her partner Dave would be there: the introduction was made. Becca Britton met Miracle and as they say: the rest is history!

Becca Britton and Dave have worked diligently at implementing this puppy, who lacked some social graces and a whole bunch of manners (and more than just puppyhood – she missed out on proper social development – and food and water, clearly (!) when she was growing up and needed it most) into their lives and with their other pets.

The journey took about a month. Miracle is literally: “One Smart Puppy” and is learning skills and manners and is fitting in great with her sister Peanut (dog) and the household cats. Dave and Becca couldn’t be happier. We couldn’t be happier.


Miracle is fitting right in with the very active and outdoorsy life she is leading! So far she loves hiking in the snow and Becca and Dave can’t wait until it’s warm enough to hit the beaches and creeks and bring Miracle swimming and camping with them. They also look forward to just hanging out with Miracle in the back yard as they read, garden and just enjoy the warm days that are soon to be upon us.

Miracle is used to at least some sort of adventure or errand almost every day when Becca and Dave get home and she still enjoys coming to The Mutt Hutt for socialization and play.


The biggest loves of Miracle’s life outside of Becca and Dave are the outdoors, any of the cat toys she can find, (though she does like one, little green Christmas bulb shaped dog toy!), her favorite cat of the house: an orange tabby named Leo and anything stick related: finding sticks, chewing on sticks, running with sticks, hanging out with sticks, thinking about sticks and so forth!

It’s amazing that this little dog that was found near death on the streets of Cleveland, who received love and prayers from all corners of the country, would end up with someone who has been one of the most integral members in animal rescue and advocacy in Cleveland for over a decade.

MiracleSHM_Becca_Becca_300Once again the Beccas pulled it off: an amazing story of healing and love and rescue.

Thank you (again) to everyone that contributed to Miracle’s care, has donated money, has followed her story, sent thoughts and prayers and cards and made inquiries and shared in the triumph of her health. We’re so lucky for every part of this story and for all of you and we are thrilled with the happy ending!

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Our Adoptables Are
  • Socialized in a cage-free dog daycare environment
  • Dog-Friendly
  • Cat Tested (upon request)
  • Fostered in real homes
  • Spayed or Neutered
  • Temperament tested
  • Veterinary Health Checked
  • Fully Vaccinated
  • Distemper Vaccinated
  • Rabies Vaccinated
  • Bordetella Vaccinated
  • Heartworm Tested
  • Microchipped
  • Flea Preventative
  • Heartworm Preventative
  • Groomed prior to adoption

Services provided by
Gateway Animal Clinic

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