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Two Pit Bulls were dumped in a park right outside Philadelphia. They were in such horrific shape that no one had much hope that the dog would survive. Gracie, who was certainly in worse shape, was already cold to the touch. Layla, the other dog, was lying on top of her acting as her protector.
If anyone came close, Layla would cover Gracie with her body even more as if she were volunteering to receive whatever torture she anticipated to protect Gracie from the cruelty.
A police officer, Officer Harper, arrived and even though he looks like a tough guy with a shaved head and tattoos, he says he has an ability to calm dogs through his voice. He says he can make his voice sound more like a 10-year-old girl than a macho officer.
Officer Harper slowly crawled over to the dogs and gave his best ‘girly’ voice impression. That’s when Layla got off of Gracie and approached him, tail wagging but eyes tightly clenched. It was if she was anticipating she might get hit. It was horrible. Officer Harper pet her nose and the top of her head. She seemed to enjoy it but then quickly ran back over to Gracie and laid on top of her again.
Thankfully, Officer Harper was able to get close to the dogs and put his police vest on top of them to keep them warm. He then put them in his squad car and raced them over to the vet. He didn’t have much hope, especially for Gracie– but he still prayed.
Gracie was too weak to even open her eyes. Officer Harper feared the vet would suggest euthanasia to end her suffering.
Based on their severe wounds, and how emaciated they were, the vet confirmed that these poor girls were used for dogfighting. Both dogs were around 2 years old and all they knew from life was fighting and suffering. Not love. Not compassion. Not what it felt like to be someone’s beloved pet.
The veterinarian immediately gave Gracie fluids to start to warm her body up. The staff would try their best but they were also realistic. Incredibly, Gracie started to improve. In fact, just a short while later, when Officer Harper came to see Gracie, she stood up to greet him! It was an unexpected triumph for sure!
Gracie remembered the caring officer and even ate out of his hand! Harper sat down beside Gracie and she got right on top of his lap. It was a small victory — but a victory nonetheless!
Both dogs continued to struggle. They had good days and then they had bad days. But they were still fighting to hold on. Neither dog was ready to give up.
Officer Harper and a friend co-founded Justice Rescue. That is why Harper understands the complexity of rescuing dogs like Layla and Gracie. Both will need extensive care after being released from the vet. They will need rehabilitation and behavioral training. And Harper is happy to help. He isn’t just a police officer. He’s a dog-saving warrior!
Harper also has been trained specifically for situations like this one. He knows how to investigate the complex inner workings of dogfighting and its gateway operations. When there’s dogfighting there’s is almost always drugs, domestic violence, and other serious crimes.
Gracie and Layla are now in good hands. They made it through the roughest times in their lives– but those times are forever in their past where they will stay and NEVER resurface. It is likely Gracie survived because of Layla’s protection and body heat.
Thank you, Officer Harper, for all the amazing work you do. And thank you, Layla, for understanding that Gracie needed a protector. Watch the video below to learn more about Layla and Gracie’s rescue.