The Serendipitous Way Instagram Saved One Dog’s Life

A woman posted a photo to an Instagram group called NYC Free at the Curb depicting a confused and sad-looking pit bull mix tied with a rope at a local subway station which caused a local woman, Heather Hamm, to spring up into action and rescue the dog.

By Brian Scheid | Published


Instagram is a place where people can share pictures of important things in their lives with their followers. The app also allows people to form groups for others to join based on a common interest among the group members. On Monday, a woman posted a photo to the Instagram group called NYC Free at the Curb depicting a confused and sad-looking pit bull mixed canine tied with a rope at a local subway station. Upon seeing this image, Heather Hamm sprang up into action.

We are all familiar with the all-too-common tale of a person yearning to get a household pet. They plan on caring for the animals and loving them with all their heart. However, at some point, after they have committed to their new pet, life’s circumstances cause them to have to part ways with the animal. Sometimes they are dropped off at the local pound or, worse yet, abandoned outside somewhere to fend for themselves. 

The latter was the situation unfolding in a New York City subway station where a dog owner abandoned their dog to survive on their own for unknown reasons. A passerby took a picture of the dog tied to a banister in a subway stairwell and posted it to the NYC Free at the Curb Instagram page. The intent of that group is for people to share pics of items with little to no value and the owner no longer needs or wants, and then someone currently looking for that item can arrange to pick it up for free.

Heather Hamm was sitting on her couch in her apartment, which coincidently got on the NYC Free at the Curb group when she opened the app on her phone, and the first pic in her news feed was of the abandoned dog. Normally you find items like used chairs, old TVs, or already-read books posted on this page, but this was an unusual post for this forum. Hamm had recently been mulling over the idea of bringing a dog into her home, and when she saw the pic, she could not resist the temptation.

She requested a Lyft driver to pick her up and take her to the Fulton Street subway station. When she arrived, she descended the staircase to the location where the pic originated and feared the dog might already be gone. She came upon a few police officers standing with the dog, waiting for animal services to arrive and taking the animal off to the shelter where it would be put down if not claimed.

Heather is quoted by ABC7 New York, “I was just like, ‘Can I have her?’ And they were like, ‘She’s your dog now, she obviously likes you.’” And just like that Heather swooped in and saved the dog from its potential demise thanks to an Instagram post. Heather named the dog Peaches, and after bringing it to the vet to get checked out for any physical or health issues, the dog received a clean bill of health.

The feel-good story has made its rounds on social media sites and local news stations. It is a welcome breath of fresh air regarding the usual doom and gloom of our 24-hour news cycle. The doctor estimates Peaches to be between six and nine months old, and now she is sporting a pink harness and in the company of a loving new pet owner.