Dog left for dead given second chance through local rescue program

A Chicago dog left for dead was given a second chance at life.

And now, the group that rescued him is hoping he can do the same for a military veteran suffering from PTSD.

His name is “Captain America” -- a veteran of Chicago city streets. As a young puppy, Captain was shot and left for dead. The damage forced vets to amputate his leg.

His saving grace was a man called “The Animal Angel.”

Peter Cangelosi is the founder of a pit bull rescue.

"Pit bulls are very misunderstood and our veterans are very misunderstood but they both have heart,” he said.

To date, Cangelosi has saved more than 300 dogs, like Captain, because he sees something many cannot.

Garrett Mercado is Captain's trainer.

"They are a very smart breed and unfortunately in the wrong hands, that can get them into trouble too but put them in the right hands and they can accomplish a lot of good work for a lot of good people. That's kind of what we're all about is to bring out the best in them to help serve the best in our country,” Mercado said.

Pets and Vets USA trains rescued bully breeds and turns them into service dogs for disabled veterans, free of charge. That's how Tom Ozuk met Lucas.

"Lucas has done a lot for me, he's got me out, got me agile, I uh, through depression and my injuries, I sat at home a lot and didn't get out so when I got involved with Peter at Pets and Vets my life really changed for the best,” Ozuk said.

And now, Pets and Vets is on a mission to find Captain America a home, and give another veteran that same joy.

"We're looking for a veteran who has lost a limb to pair this dog with, because the two of them have synergies, both have lost a limb and been through a battle and together they will have a second chance at the American dream,” Cangelosi said.

It costs $10,000 to train a service dog. If you'd like to help out with Captain America’s training, you can make a donation on

Or if you know of a veteran who has lost a limb, and could benefit from Captain, you can contact the organization on the same website.

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