Love animals? Then you’ll understand why social media erupted in absolute outrage over an injured bait dog named Penelope.
In mid-December, this winsome pooch was discovered by a female resident in the Church Hill neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia.
She was all alone, shivering in the bushes — and she was horrifically injured.
Bait dogs are used in fighting circles to train other canines in the stomach-wrenching art of aggression. These helpless victims are often bound tightly around their mouths and/or paws, to prevent any possibility of fighting back.
Penelope, a black-and-white pit bull estimated to be roughly three or four years of age, was rushed to a local veterinary clinic for emergency care and intervention.
Doctors cleaned her numerous bite wounds, and they were able to prevent hypothermia from setting in.
The name “Penelope” was actually chosen by concerned Facebook followers, who had been sickened to learn that this sweet pup was suffering from a fracture, holes in her sinus, and injuries so grave that she almost lost her left eye. The veterinary clinic actually deemed her preliminary photos far too “gruesome for public sharing.”
Richmond Animal Care and Control (RACC) became involved to help rehabilitate Penelope, working with police officials in an attempt to hunt down the perpetrator. As RACC Director Christie Chipps Peters told media sources, “She’s the nicest dog — it’s always the case.”
Chipps Peters appealed to the numerous local citizens keeping close track of Penelope’s case. “If you see something, no matter what you think it is,” she said, “call us.”
In the meantime, things began looking quite a bit brighter for this courageous canine as the New Year dawned. After losing their own beloved family dog of 16 years, Kelli Rice and her daughter Addyson decided to adopt Penelope on New Year’s Day.
The Rices had been following Penelope’s heroic fight for life, ever since their own pup had passed away just before Christmas.
Describing their cherished new addition to media outlets, Kelli noted, “she’s got perfect manners.”
Their brave furbaby had already undergone several intensive surgeries, so she was certainly ready for a ray of hope. According to news sources, all procedures were generously covered by RACC’s foundation and pet-loving donations — as Chipps Peters noted, “we are so very grateful to everyone that supports our city shelter.”
“When I read her story,” said Kelli, speaking about Penelope, “it makes me furious that people would do that to an animal — as well as it breaks my heart.” But she said everything worked out perfectly in the end, because “we had a void we needed to fill, too.”
“Her scars, to me, show uniqueness like no other dog,” said Addyson, reasoning that fate may have ultimately brought them all together. “I feel like everything happens for a reason,” she added.
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