When two pit bulls were discovered dumped in a park just outside Philadelphia, people assumed they were ᴅᴇᴀᴅ. One of them, who we will call Gracie, is very cold to the touch. Layla, her friend, was snuggled up against her, as if trying to protect her.
Officer Russ “Wolf” Harper, co-founder of Justice Rescue, said, “She’s not leaving her.” “When someone got too close, her friend tried to hide the other person. It’s almost as if she’s willing to take the punishment on behalf of the other.” It was the first thing he tried when he saw these dogs when he arrived at the park. He explained: “I got on my knees and summoned my 10-year-old daughter’s voice. “Then Layla came up to me with her tail wagging but her eyes closed, like she was ready to be beaten.”
In the end, she reached out and took some petting on her nose and eyebrows. Then she ran back to her friend. Harper was eventually able to get close enough to both dogs to cover them with his thick police suit to keep them warm. So he grabbed them and ran to the vet, braced for the worst. Harper was confident that Gracie might have to be ᴇuтнᴀɴιzᴇᴅ because she was so cold and weak. Both dogs were emaciated and full of wounds and scars.
Harper could tell from their wounds that the little dogs had been used to fighting all their lives. Gracie lay on her hospital bed. “The vet gave her fluids and started warming her up.” Harper has devoted herself to dog rescue for many years, even training as a police officer to be the first to arrive on the scene when police receive complaints about cases like this.
Gracie began to grow significantly stronger. But the next day, Layla fell and needed quick medical help. She eventually healed, but both dogs remained in poor health.
Harper noticed that they seemed startled by the rescue: “They love the attention but don’t know what to do with it.”
Gracie and Layla will stay at the vet’s office for almost a week. They will then turn to Harper, who will help them recover, give them some basic training, and help them regain their confidence. When they are ready, they will be adopted into a suitable home.
“In many cases, dogs bond very closely because they have no one else,” explains Harper. They can’t believe how many people are helping them get healthier. “They just stare at you. They just stare, as if to ask, ‘Is this real?’”