Have you ever gotten the sense that something was a little bit off? Maybe you noticed an object out of place or just had a feeling in your gut, but picking up on these signals can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.
In a small town in the south, a group of ordinary people were looking up at the sky when they caught a glimpse of something highly unusual. This ominous sign was sending a desperate message they had they to find out fast.
It started out as a normal winter’s day in Greensboro, North Carolina. But a couple of passersby noticed an unsettling thing: a black circle of vultures lingering above a particular house.
Flickr / Scott Brewer
The birds began gathering on Christmas, and their numbers continued to expand over the next couple days. Neighbors grew concerned and decided to investigate.
Nobody could get a hold of the homeowners with the vulture problem. Because this development was so unusual, however, neighbors decided to take matters into their own hands.
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They entered the backyard and immediately noticed more vultures dotting the trees. The creatures almost seemed like they were waiting for something. But what?
Flickr / Rachel W.
That was when the neighbors spotted a sickly, chained-up pit bull puppy with a large number of vultures surrounding it. She clearly needed help, and fast.
Vultures are scavengers that only eat decaying plants and animals. They wouldn’t attack the pup, but they recognized she was unhealthy and were waiting for her to die.
The neighbors called animal control, and several officers rushed over to assess the situation. They left a notice on the front door of the home and examined the dog that was perhaps just hours away from becoming vulture food.
The officers determined that the vultures would not hurt the pit bull, and the bigger threat was the chain around her neck. They figured that her owners never let it off that chain at any point in her short life.
Animal control whisked the distressed puppy away to an animal shelter. With the way this household treated the pit bull, they did not deserve to own any kind of pet.
The good people at the shelter got the puppy cleaned up and fed a full meal. Then they provided a safe place for the pooch, though it was not a permanent solution.
It’s not easy being cooped up in a shelter. Many animals wait long stretches of time before finding a family. Some never find a family at all.
Nevertheless, there was hope for the pit bull. Local news stations picked up on her harrowing story, so with a bit of luck, a family would feel inspired to adopt the dog.
One bright day, all the dog’s dreams came true. Keana Lynch and Travis Henley adopted her and named her ‘Lilo,’ after the favorite movie of Travis’ daughter, Lilo and Stitch.
Greensboro News and Record / Rob Brown
Understandably, Lilo was timid toward her new family at first. She went through a lot of trauma and needed some time to adjust to unfamiliar circumstances.
But Lilo was too happy about her fresh start to stay down for long. Once she realized she’d never get chained up again, she enjoyed bouncing around the yard and participating in many outdoor activities.
Lilo also discovered a love for affection and snuggling with her humans on the couch. It’s safe to say that Lilo got to relax while watching and re-watching the movie that inspired her name.
Facebook / Merit Pit Bull Foundation
It truly was the good life. Keana and Travis were glad that Lilo was so happy in her new home, but they also felt that they could do more. Maybe Lilo’s uplifting story could help people in the community?
Yes indeed! She visited schools with Keana to teach the kids about dog behavior and rescue animals. Lilo even dressed up in a nice pink hoodie for the occasion.
It’s probably a good thing that Lilo saved the quirkier items in her wardrobe for another time. We’re not sure that would’ve fit in with the school dress code…
Best of all, Lilo got a sister, and the two are absolutely inseparable. Travis and Keana are forever grateful that those neighbors investigated the vultures, or else they would have never found such a fantastic family member.
It’s a sad reality, but not everyone is capable of taking care of their pets—and sometimes the situation requires outside help. Two Miami residents named Alex and Stephanie realized this firsthand when they were told about another dog chained to a tree behind an empty house…
Sure enough, the dog was all alone—and he didn’t look to be in good shape. Alex and Stephanie knew they had to take action or this poor pooch wouldn’t make it much longer. With food and a leash in hand, they carefully approached the emaciated animal.
The dog, whom they named Ganesh, was understandably nervous, and he barked at them as they approached. It was no wonder! After being mistreated by humans the way Ganesh had been, it was only natural he’d be a little suspicious of strangers.
Ganesh had clearly been left alone and tied up in the back yard for quite some time. He was thin and filthy—and that was just what was visible. Who knew what sorts of illnesses he might’ve had? It was likely that his emotional scars went a lot deeper, too.
After eyeing Alex and Stephanie warily, Ganesh’s hunger took over, and he eagerly wolfed down the food and water they brought him. Thankfully, he seemed to warm up to them once he realized that they weren’t going to hurt him.
As it turned out, all Ganesh needed was a little bit of love—and little bit of grub! He’d stopped barking and he even allowed Alex and Stephanie to pet him. He was still very nervous, but it was clear he was in much better hands than before. Who would do this to such a sweet dog?
Before long, Ganesh was wagging his tail and was happily following along as he was led by leash to Alex and Stephanie’s home. Who knew how long it had been since he was able to leave his yard? It was like he could sense that things were looking up…
Ganesh relaxed even more once Alex and Stephanie gave him a much-needed bath. He had a lot of bugs on him from being chained outdoors for so long, but with a little soap and a lot of scrubbing, he was finally clean!
Once he was all clean it was time for Ganesh to come inside Alex and Stephanie’s home to dry off and explore the warm house. It seemed that he couldn’t believe his good luck! First food, then a walk, then a bath, and now this?
Like any good dog, Ganesh eagerly offered up kisses to express his gratitude. It was clear that this pooch felt exceptionally grateful for having met Alex and Stephanie and being allowed to stay with them.
Even though Ganesh had been through a tremendous amount of pain and suffering, he wasn’t going to let it put a damper on his spirits in the least. Before long, he was eagerly playing. But one question loomed: what did his future hold?
Talk about a dog with a truly loving heart and resilient spirit! Ganesh wasn’t going to let anything keep him from living his best life, no matter what things were like before he was rescued—or how things would be in the future…
Alex and Stephanie knew that it still wasn’t going to be an easy road, but they were committed to helping Ganesh. They were completely invested in his well-being. Still, the price tag for doing so was starting to add up…
The pair went online to share their story about Ganesh’s rescue and they received quite the reaction. People were so immensely moved by the pooch’s story that they wanted to help however they could.
Donations came pouring in from people all over, and thanks to their generosity, Alex and Stephanie were able to cover all of Ganesh’s expenses! It looked like Ganesh would get the happy ending he deserved…
Soon enough, Ganesh was being treated by a veterinarian and he was well on his way to recovery. With his every need being met, all that was left for him to do was sit back and enjoy all that attention!
Alex and Stephanie, along with all of their friends who helped support Ganesh’s recovery, couldn’t have been happier with how much his life had turned around. He was still very skinny, but he acted like a totally different dog altogether!
Making the decision to step into that back yard was one of the best Alex and Stephanie made, and Ganesh’s loving face was proof of that. There wasn’t a person he met who he didn’t adore!
Now all Ganesh needed was to find himself a forever home! Once he was fully recovered, he’d be able to live a happy and healthy life the way he deserved. So many dogs don’t get a second chance, and it was all thanks to two caring strangers.