The beautiful white Pibble in the colorful array of bows, headbands and bonnets is almost unrecognizable from the pitiful, abused creature she was just 10 months ago. Abigail, decked out in a patriotic gown and a sparkly red version of her signature headband, became American Humane’s Emerging Hero Dog of the year on September 16. It is a well deserved honor for a dog whose face has become a symbol of hope and survival for Pit Bulls and victims of dog fighting.
Abigail was rescued in November 2016 during a raid on a suspected Florida dog fighting ring. Her face, head and neck were covered in infected wounds, and most of her right ear was missing. She was anemic, infested with ticks, and her lovely white coat was nearly black with caked mud and blood.
After seeing Abigail on Facebook, Victoria Frazier of Love is Fur Ever Dog Rescue, pulled her from Miami’s busy city shelter. The gentle dog endured weeks of daily bandage changes and extensive skin grafts without a single snap or growl toward her caregivers. It became clear that this sweet pooch would not have lasted long in the world of dog fighting.
During this time, Frazier noticed that Abigail’s bandages resembled a headband or a large bow. She decided to purchase a few colorful hair accessories to brighten up the starkness of her wraps. Photos of Abigail decked out in her whimsical bonnets inspired Love is Fur Ever Dog Rescue’s Facebook followers to begin sending head scarves, hats, beanies and bows.
Bonnets for Abigail became a worldwide movement and the dog behind the bow became a viral online hero. Frazier nominated her for a prestigious American Humane Award back in December and was delighted when she was announced as a finalist in the Emerging Hero category this summer.
Abigail spent six more months in Frazier’s loving care before being adopted by Megan and Jason Steinke in June. The lucky couple – who also have a second rescue Pibble named Tala – beat out several potential adopters eager to give the famous pup a forever home.
The Steinkes knew that Abigail was destined for more than just a quiet life as a house pet – and they were right! The couple, Tala, Frazier, and Abigail’s veterinarian, Thomas Jackson accompanied the remarkable pooch to the Hero Dog Awards ceremony (which will be broadcast in a two-hour special on the Hallmark Channel on Oct. 26).
Her involvement in the contest helped raise money for Dogs on Deployment, a charitable organization that finds foster homes for the pets of deployed military servicemen and women.
Abigail’s Facebook page, “Bonnets for Abigail” has more than 22,000 devoted followers. There, she uses her status to spread messages of hope, survival and forgiveness with the goal of putting an end to dog fighting.
H/T to Today.com
Featured Image via Facebook/Bonnets for Abigail