PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — He was found freezing, starving and wandering through a lot in Homewood. But Thursday, Valentino found his forever home with a family who lives in Butler County.

A passerby noticed the 5-month-old puppy in a vacant lot on Valentine’s Day weekend. They called for help.

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When humane agents arrived, they realized the dog was extremely underweight. Given his age, he should have weighed about 35 pounds.

“He was 13 pounds, basically a little skeleton,” says Dan Rossi, the Executive Director of the Animal Rescue League, the organization that took Valentino in for treatment. “His body temperature was really low. We weren’t sure even that day if he was going to make it or not.”

Photo: Animal Rescue League

Photo: Animal Rescue League

But three months later, Valentino is thriving. His new family wants to thank the Animal Rescue League for all their hard work.

It turns out, the family that fostered him loved him so much they decided to adopt him. The Clifford family of Sarver, Butler County, says Valentino fits in perfectly with their other dogs, two rescued pit bulls.

“He’s just been loving,” says Shane Clifford. “When people hold him, he’s licking them and he’s just… a happy dog.”

Clifford added, “He’s spoiled rotten, but he deserves it after what’s happened to him.”

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But even with a nice warm bed by the fire place, Valentino is still recovering from his ordeal. On Monday, he’ll start physical therapy at the Twinbrook Animal Clinic in Valencia so he can keep making progress.

“He made a great recovery, and he’s still recovering,” says Briana Moon, who’s thrilled to have Valentino join her family. “He’s still a little skinny, but he… came a long way.”

Photo: Animal Rescue League

Photo: Animal Rescue League

Photo: Animal Rescue League

Photo: Animal Rescue League

The Cliffords decided to change Valentino’s name, too. He’s now called Scuba Steve.

Shane Clifford says they gave the dog the nickname while his weak legs were healing, because his little paws resembled scuba flippers. The name stuck with the family, as did the dog.


The pooch found support in another abused dog, Effie, who is recovering at the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society. The two were apparently valentines on Feb. 14.

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