The Best Companions
Dogs are known for their unconditional love, amazing companionship, and fun personalities. Unfortunately, not everyone appreciates the love that a dog can give. For one pit bull puppy, the first eight months of her life were filled with abuse, neglect, and heartache. However, when someone noticed her in a backyard…it would change her life forever.
You won’t believe this rescue attempt.
Circling in the Area
It was a particularly gloomy day in Greensboro, North Carolina when someone noticed something ominous in the sky. A group of vultures, high up in the air, were circling something behind a home in the distance. But what? Vultures never were a good sign, and the neighbor’s curiosity led them to investigate.
Helpless and Alone
Investigating the strange birds in the air, the neighbor was shocked to find a helpless puppy in the backyard. A young pit bull that looked less than eight-months-old was tied to a tree in the bitter cold. Her only shelter was a small plastic dog house. The look on the poor pup’s face was heartbreaking. The neighbor could tell she had given up on life.
The puppy’s name was Lilo and in her short time on this planet, she had barely any human contact and spent most of her life chained in the backyard. The neighbor hadn’t even known the people living in the residence had a dog, and now he knew why…the poor thing had spent her life alone and unloved.
Calling for Help
What the man didn’t know was the group of vultures had not just appeared. They actually had been circling the poor puppy for a week and she was just about ready to give up the fight. Thankfully, the neighbor wasn’t going to just stand idly by. He immediately called the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).
However, he didn’t know if they would make it in time…
Waiting Patiently for the End
Pleading with animal control, the neighbor told them about the puppy chained outside in the middle of the cold, grey winter. He explained that she was surrounded by vultures and he was worried they were waiting for her to die. There was no way the man wanted to see this precious puppy become their next meal.
Thankfully, the animal control volunteers let him know they would head out that way immediately.
A Shocking Sight
When animal control finally arrived, they were shocked by the scene before them. The puppy sat nonchalantly in her little plastic house, not bothered by the vultures that had now encircled her in the sky and on the ground. Some had even perched on top of her little dog house as if they were laying claim to their future dinner.
The Ultimate Scavengers
Vultures are known to be the ultimate scavengers. They only feed on the carcasses of dead animals, whether they died of natural causes or were recently killed or wounded. You can always know there is a dying or dead animal nearby when you see vultures circling in the sky.
Nothing to Live For
The animal control officers could see in Lilo’s eyes that she had accepted her fate, but they were not going to give up on her just yet. They began to scare away the vultures and were shocked at her state when they got closer. The poor puppy was malnourished and obviously super-neglected. They quickly scooped her up, taking her to safety.
However, they did leave something behind.
A Simple Note
The animal control officers left a note for Lilo’s owners explaining why they had taken the dog and her current state of health. They also informed them where should be taken, so they could come to pick her up. Although, due to her neglect, they didn’t think anyone would be coming for her.
Safe and Sound
Lilo was taken to the Guilford County Animal Control where she would be looked after and treated for her abuse. For once in her life, Lilo was surrounded by love and warmth. She was also fed properly for the first time.
Then something shocking happened…her owners called, promising to pick her up in a few days. But would they really come for her?
Time Passes Slowly
Unfortunately, Lilo’s owners never showed up. Days soon turned to weeks and the shelter workers believed it was for the better. Lilo was such a sweet puppy with so much love to give and honestly deserved better than her neglectful owners. Hopefully, a kind and loving family would adopt her.
An Unfortunate Problem
There was just one key issue: the shelter Lilo had been taken to didn’t adopt pit bulls. Due to the nature of the breed and their reputation, it was a firm rule. With Lilo already being at the shelter for two weeks, the workers weren’t sure what they should do with her.
A Sad Fate
Pit bulls are considered to be one of the most misunderstood breeds. Often portrayed as violent and unruly, many residences, shelters, and even counties have banned the breed. However, animal experts agree it all comes down to the owner and how the puppy is raised. Sadly, the overcrowding of shelters has left many pit bulls facing euthanasia.
Hope on the Horizon
Thankfully, there are rescue organizations that solely exist to adopt pit bulls and save them from being killed at shelters. With Lilo facing almost certain death, the Merit Pit Bull Foundation decided to step in and save the sweet girl. A beautiful miracle, indeed.
Lilo’s Journey Continues
Thanks to the Merit Pit Bull Foundation Lilo was quickly moved into a loving foster home. Travis Henley and Keana Lynch had seen the viral photo of Lilo surrounded by vultures, and just knew they had to take her in and shower her with love. Even if it was just a temporary situation, this would be the first experience with a family this precious pup would have.
It really warms your heart, doesn’t it?
Love At First Sight
Both Keana and Travis fell for Lilo the moment they met her. They couldn’t believe anyone would be able to consciously harm and neglect such a beautiful puppy. Realizing there was no way they could ever give her up, the couple decided to skip fostering and permanently adopt Lilo.
A New Family
Lilo didn’t just get two loving human parents, but she also acquired to canine siblings as well. Gemma, a pit bull/terrier mix and Gypsy a Maltese! The three dogs quickly bonded and for the first time, Lilo had life-long friends to play with.
As time went on, Lilo began to break out of her shell and act like the happy dog she was always meant to be. She soon achieved a healthy weight and her infections cleared up as well. Keana and Travis soon engaged in training Lilo, hoping to curb some of her destructive puppy tendencies, but they always used a gentle hand, not wanting to trigger any past memories of abuse.
Always Smiling and Happy
Despite her issues from her troubled start in life, Lilo has grown into a happy and well-adjusted dog. According to her owners, she is always smiling and happy, as well as quick to give kisses and tons of love.
“She has never held a grudge for her past and loves everyone she meets. She prefers to be held like a baby and snuggled with any chance she can get. Over the past year Lilo has become a healthy vibrant girl with all kinds of funny behaviors,” Lilo’s mother Kaena says.
What a wonderful happy ending!