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Second chances: Crash survivor Andrew Allen adopts abandoned dog

Posted at 3:25 PM, Dec 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-19 17:51:12-05

SHARONVILLE, Ohio — A teen who survived a car crash and a dog abandoned on the side of the road both got a second chance at life. Now that they've found each other, they’re forming what’s sure to be a lifelong bond.

Doctors didn’t expect 19-year-old Drew Allen to walk again after he was struck by a car while crossing Springdale Road, just days after his 2-year-old brother Brody died of brain cancer.

At his worst, Allen entered a coma and was placed on life support. His already grieving family was told to say their goodbyes.

But now, over a year after the crash, Allen’s standing tall, walking on his own and preparing to start a new job.

"What a year," Todd Allen said. "To go from this time last year in a coma and not certain if he would even survive or what his future would be like, to speeding through his recovery, working every day to do the little things.”

Then, the Allens met SPCA Cincinnati Senior Operations Manager Denise Johnson, a chance meeting she says was "meant to be."

"We started discussing puppies, and he told me he was Mr. Allen from the Allen family. And then the tears flowed," Johnson said.

From that meeting sprung the idea for Drew to adopt Harland, a three-legged puppy whose owners left him inside a trash bag on a Mt. Healthy road when he was only eight weeks old.

“He came up with this really good idea that this could benefit Drew. Second chances for everybody,” Johnson said.

The two immediately bonded.

“It’s amazing to see the smile on Drew’s face, to see Harland respond to him and give him kisses, knowing they’ll grow together,” Johnson said.

On Thursday, Drew got to bring Harland home from the SPCA in Sharonville, promising to love the dog "like he's part of the family."

“I like Harland because we have similar stories, and he’s more calm," Drew said Thursday.

Todd Allen hopes the bond between Drew and Harland helps them both grow stronger.

"You’ll see the true spirit in [Harland]," Todd Allen said. "You’ll see how hard he’s going to work because now he’s only going to have three legs. And every day everyone that sees him is going to know that he’s been through a fight and sees him like he is today…happy and just the puppy that he is.

“Every life deserves a chance, and these two have a second one today,” Todd Allen said.