Three years ago Weston real estate agent Leslie Mann read a story on the Internet that horrified her.
What she read was the story of Turtle, a female pit bull-type dog who had been abandoned in a wooded area of Hyde Park in the middle of winter. She was badly injured and barely clinging to life -- showing all the signs of a bait dog, one used to test the fighting instinct of a potential fight dog.
The Animal Rescue League of Boston stepped in to help Turtle -- she was found near Turtle Pond Parkway -- nursing her back to health through six months of treatment at Tufts Veterinary Hospital in Walpole.
"I was just horrified by [the story] and said, 'We have to do something for her,'" Mann said. At the time, she held a Spin class fundraiser and sold T-shirts, efforts that brought in about $6,000 for Turtle's treatment.
Today, Turtle is happy, healthy and living blissfully with her adopted family, all facts that make Mann smile.
"I think it’s just something about how sweet she is after everything she’s been through, it just caught people’s attention," Mann said of her affection for Turtle. "It certainly caught my attention."
But Mann's appreciation for the work of the Animal Rescue League continues even now.
"They just are so amazing," Mann said. "Turtle is alive today because … people raced out in the middle of the night and got her help. They go and rescue animals nobody else would rescue."
Even though Turtle doesn't need her help anymore, Mann and her husband, Kyle, both agents with Gibson Sotheby's Realty in Weston, want to continue supporting the Animal Rescue League of Boston.
For the remainder of the year, they will donate $1,000 to the league from every home sale they make, in Weston and beyond.
"They're just such an amazing place," Mann said. "They don’t just put the animals in the shelter and hope somebody comes and adopts them. They do a lot to help them get adopted.
"I’m really excited about the organization."
More information on the Manns' efforts is available here.