Abigail, a Pit Bull, was rescued as a stray from the streets of Miami four years ago. She had suffered severe injuries. Her skin ripped down to her right eardrum, and half of her face was missing.
Victoria, founder of Love Is Fur Ever (LIFE) Dog Rescue, noticed Abigail’s picture on a Miami shelter’s Facebook page and decided to help Abigail.
She then brought the dog to the vet and at first didn’t know what happened. When Abigail was shaved to treat her injuries, scars and puncture wounds were revealed on her head, neck and back legs. It has been shown that the dog has been repeatedly used as bait in a dog-fighting ring.
However, Abigail herself proved to be a fighter, but in a very positive way. She endured several surgeries and skin grafts. During her weeks of recovery, the bandages on her face had to be changed several times daily.
Victoria noticed that the gauze over her Abigail’s ear resembled a bow. She bought some headbands for Abigail to wear. This inspired her to launch the Bonnets for Abigail page on Facebook, which now has over 31,000 fans.
People from all over the world have sent bonnets to Abigail for her to help raise awareness about the horrors of dog fighting.
Jason and Megan Steinke of Fort Myers, Florida, adopted Abigail in 2017. “She has settled in perfectly to our family,” Megan Steinke said at the time. “There really wasn’t any sort of a rough transition. She came into our home and knew that’s where she was meant to be.”
Based on what happened to her as a pup, you might think Abigail would be scared of other dogs, but she quickly became best friends with Tala, Steinkes’ rescue Pit Bull mix. Both Abigail and Tala became certified therapy dogs.
Abigail was awarded the top title of American Hero Dog at the 2017 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards, which recognize “extraordinary acts of heroism performed by ordinary dogs.”