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Rescued dog from Lehigh Acres shelter among ‘hero’ competitors

By Staff | Aug 25, 2017

When you consider where Abigail, a one-year-old pitbull mix, was just a few months ago, it’s a wonder she’s even alive, never mind in a wonderful home.

Now, Abigail, who has sent a message about the danger of dog fighting and the virtue of forgiveness, is in the running to be the 2017 American Hero Dog.

Voting to determine the 2017 American Hero Dog ends at 3 p.m. on Aug. 30, with the winner to be announced at the seventh-annual American Humane Hero Dog Awards gala in Beverly Hills, Calif., in September.

The American Humane Hero Dog Awards are an annual, nationwide competition that searches out and recognizes America’s Hero Dogs often ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things.

Hero Dog Awards are given in seven categories: Law Enforcement / Arson, Service, Therapy, Military, Search and Rescue, Guide/Hearing and Emerging Heroes.

Abigail has brought awareness to the importance of helping end dog fighting through a bonnet program on Facebook, which has attracted more than 12,000 followers.

The result is that she has gotten through the nominating process and three rounds of eliminations.

“She’s had a huge impact on our area and nationwide. It’s been an awesome journey,” said Victoria Frazier, founder of LIFE (Love is Fur Ever) Rescue, an animal rescue facility in Lehigh Acres, that took Abigail in.

The dog was found as a stray in Miami by Victoria’s husband, Brockton. He drove to Miami to bring Abigail to LIFE Rescue.

It was believed Abigail suffered a life of suspected dog fighting. She was anemic; infested with ticks; scars covered her head, neck and back legs; part of her face was missing; she smelled badly of infection; and was covered in dried mud.

Abigail had only spent a day at the shelter before she was brought to the rescue’s vet clinic, where she had two surgeries for skin grafts, weeks of hospitalization and daily bandage changes as she fought for her life.

As for how the bonnets began, the veterinarian and assistant were changing her bandages, and the way they held the gauze looked like a bow. The bandages were then called her bonnets.

The response was that people worldwide started sending bonnets. Abigail’s “Bonnets for Abigail” Facebook page has more than 12,000 followers.

After spending eight months at the Frazier’s house, Abigail finally found someone to adopt her last month. She now lives in Gateway.