Abigail’s story both haunts and inspires me.
“Just do something, Sue” I thought, over and over. In an effort to just do something, I’ve begun to share the highs and lows of Abigail’s journey by writing about it.
It literally sickens me to write this story, again. I am an animal lover, advocate and avid supporter of humane education and initiatives. While volunteering for, working with, and on behalf of animals, I have seen the best of people and the worst of people too.
EVIL VS GOOD
EVIL. The worst of people results in cases like this:
The dog is Abigail, of “Bonnets for Abigail” fame. As a young dog, she was used as bait in a dog fighting operation in South Florida.
I first learned about Abigail as part of a joint project with her group, and the non-profit group “Dogs on Deployment,” whom I blog for. Her story both haunts and inspires me. (Click on the link provided to learn more about Dogs on Deployment.)
Abigail was found mutilated. When first rescued and brought to a shelter, it was clear that just about the entire right side of Abigail’s face and right ear were missing. Her condition was startling and dire.
The dog pictured represents many just like her, and the horrors they confront. Abigail’s rescuer was Victoria Frazer. She is the founder of, and along with her amazing team, operates Love is Fur Ever Dog Rescue, a non-profit rescue group.
GOOD. The best of people results in cases like this:
Equally as important as the “BEFORE” images above are Abigail’s “AFTER” images. YES!! I’m delighted to say this is the same dog that’s pictured above!
Abigail is a new dog now, thanks to much tender loving care, compassion, and the extraordinary surgical skills of veterinary doctor Thomas Jackson, DVM, of Pets First Wellness Center in Estero, FL.
Abigail was fostered these last few months. She has been enjoying the life all dogs deserve. Abigail currently has about 17,000 Facebook followers.
Many wonderful, loving families have stepped up to ask to be her “Furever Family.” Abigail is awaiting the announcement any day now of who that will be!
Abigail was once left for dead. Since then, she has gone on to emerge as a teacher, hero, and an award nominee! She inspires with love and forgiveness. Along with her many bonnets, Abigail also acts as an ambassador to help us all spread awareness of animal abuse and end dog fighting.
Animal abuse is alive and well.
Dogs like Abigail are born into a world where only pain and suffering persevere. Their only hope for relief is rescue.
Animal abuse comes in many forms, even in a thriving, civilized, industrialized society like we enjoy here in the United States. Numerous individuals, legislators and animal advocacy/rescue groups work tirelessly and successfully everyday to end animal atrocities.
Animal atrocities include:
- puppy mills
- “backyard” breeders
- unlicensed, unregulated “rescuers” who hoard animals
- dog fighting rings
And, I would even argue that the numbers of innocent dogs and cats alone that are euthanized daily in overcrowded shelters throughout the U.S. also represents an atrocity. But, that is another story for another day.
Sometimes, animal abuse represents larger societal problems. Dog fighting is prevalent in disadvantaged groups of people who are often uneducated, unemployed, and who abuse drugs. Dog fighting is done for sport and for gambling.
It has already been 10 years since 51 pit bulls were rescued from the property of NFL quarterback, Michael Vick. As part of a dog fighting ring, the dogs were subjected to cruel abuse and torture, including being shot at, electrocuted and drowned.
After their rescue, many of the dogs survived and were given a second chance at a real life, thanks to people who got involved to help. We have made some progress since then, but there is much more important work to be done. Lend your voice, talent, money if you can. Decide to care, get involved, and take action.
Just do something.
And if and when you doubt that your efforts and support are making a difference, remember sweet Abigail and her bonnets.
Recognize your moral obligation to stop animal abuse and end dog fighting.
We can do this. We must.