Four years ago, when Abigail was just a pup, the Pit Bull was rescued as a stray off the streets of Miami. She had horrific injuries. Half of her face was missing, with the skin ripped down to her right eardrum.
Victoria Frazier, founder of Love Is Fur Ever (LIFE) Dog Rescue, fostered Abigail after she saw her photo on a Miami shelter’s Facebook page.
“We brought her to our vet and at first didn’t know what happened,” Frazier told ABC News in December 2016. When Abigail was shaved to treat her injuries, scars and puncture wounds were revealed on her head, neck and back legs.
“This was not a one-time thing,” Frazier said. “It was consistent with having been used as bait in a dog-fighting ring.”
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. Frazier noticed that the gauze over her Abigail’s ear resembled a bow. Frazier 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 around the world have sent bonnets for Abigail to wear as she helps raise awareness of the horrors of dog fighting.
In 2017, Abigail was adopted by Jason and Megan Steinke of Fort Myers, Fla. “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 early in her life, you might think Abigail would be frightened of other dogs, yet she quickly became best friends with Tala, the Steinkes’ rescue Pit Bull mix. Both Abigail and Tala became certified therapy dogs.
Abigail was 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.”
As the Hero Dog Awards website stated, Abigail didn’t need therapy because she is the therapy: “She loves people and dogs. She has a mission to continue to teach forgiveness and end dog fighting.”
Three years later, Abigail is going to be “the newest Disney princess,” Megan Steinke told FOX 4. Abigail is starring in the May 29 episode of “It’s a Dog’s Life” on the Disney+ streaming service. This new series features working dogs as well as “hometown hero” dogs. In tonight’s episode, Abigail is the hometown hero.
“It’s just been so inspiring to see the impact a dog can make on people, and really advocate for the breed of the Pit Bull, and help rescue dogs,” Steinke told FOX 4. “Rescue dogs aren’t broken. They have so much love to give, and Abigail is an example of that.”
Congratulations to Abigail for overcoming a rough start in life and becoming a true hero.
Photo: FOX 4 Now/YouTube