SALEM, W.Va. (WBOY) — James McManus spends much of his time traveling between Pennsylvania and Parkersburg via Interstate 79 and U.S. Route 50.
One day, he decided to change up his stopping point.
“I typically stop in Clarksburg at a rest area to walk my dogs,” McManus said. “I bypassed that and decided to pull off on the side of the road. I saw a sign for an animal shelter. So, I cruise up the road to check it out, because I am an animal advocate, a pitbull advocate. I met with some volunteers, and three weeks later, I had Mystic.”
Mystic is a Siberian husky, American pitbull, boxer and German Shepherd mix from the Doddridge County Humane Society. She joined McManus and his pack about a year ago.
Her life before McManus is primarily unknown.
“I don’t know if it was rough, but I know she didn’t have a lot of social contact with humans, and she was apparently allowed to run wild throughout Doddridge County,” McManus said. “She’s a wild dog. She’s a Mountaineer.”
Her lack of human socialization was noticeable when 12 News Anchor Harley Benda got to meet her, but was able to eventually sit down and pet Mystic with no problems.
However, at home, she’s a whole new pup.
“So when I actually have her at [the] house, she’s goofy. Just like every other dog, and I’m gonna say that’s the boxer in her,” McManus said. “But, she gets wiggly, goofy, she’s very, very playful with my other older dog. So, she actually annoys her because she wants to play with her so much. She loves for me to chase her in the yard.”
McManus said Mystic has been an amazing addition to his family, and that the Doddridge County Humane Society continues to be a place he volunteers his time.
“This place is absolutely great. Everybody that works here, [is] involved here has been just as good as I could ever expect. It’s been an unbelievable experience. I’d like to stay here and volunteer for as long as possible,” McManus said.
McManus is also a large advocate for pit bulls, who were often taken advantage of by people for their physical attributes, according to McManus. He plans to continue to save pit bulls from shelters across West Virginia and eventually create his own rescue for the breed.