Max’s Mission: Boxer mix Rhea looking for a loving home after a rough start to life

CENTRAL OHIO (WCMH) — Meet Max: He is a Brittany Spaniel-Beagle mix on a mission to find rescue dogs, like himself, a loving forever home.

NBC4 Today Weekend Anchor Hattie Hawks and her husband adopted Max from a small Central Ohio rescue called Pets Without Parents. Every week, Max and Hattie introduce viewers to other rescue dogs in search of forever homes.

This week, Hattie and Max met Rhea, a boxer mix staying with RESCUEDOhio.

The first two years of Rhea’s life were not easy by any means. She was seized by animal control officers in Kentucky when they found her shackled and abused.

“She was in pretty bad shape,” said Rhea’s foster mom Paula Bourne. “She was severely emaciated and had a gunshot wound to the hip and wounds to her ears.”

Rhea also had three puppies, who were only five days old. She gave them everything they had to make sure they were protected and fed. When she was rescued, no one was sure Rhea would survive, but now she thrives.

“She is healthy and her puppies have been doing beautifully,” Bourne said. “They have all been adopted and now it’s time to find mom a home.”

Despite everything Rhea has suffered, she still loves people.

“They have done her wrong in the past, but she has let all of that go and everyone that she meets she is very loving to and trusting and just doesn’t harbor any resentment to how she was treated in the past,” Bourne said.

Rhea would do best in a home where she has plenty of room to move around. She gets along well with other dogs and is learning to play with toys.

“She is potty trained. She has not had an accident in our house and she has been here over six weeks. She sleeps in her crate, loves people and is just a great overall dog,” Bourne said.

RESCUEDOhio saves hundreds of dogs each year, and next week they are holding a silent auction to raise money to help the dogs they rescue. They have lots of items up for grabs, including roundtrip airline tickets from Southwest.

To learn more about Rhea or RESCUEDOhio’s silent auction, visit their website at For more information about Max’s Mission, check out Hattie’s Facebook page and follow along with Max’s adventures on Instagram. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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