It was a heartbreaking sight when two pit bulls were found abandoned in a park near Philadelphia. Many assumed that they were no longer alive. One of the dogs, referred to as Gracie, was already cold to the touch. Her companion, Layla, was tightly nestled beside her, as if shielding her from harm.
According to Officer Russ “Wolf” Harper, who is a co-founder of Justice Rescue, Layla refused to leave Gracie’s side. She even tried to hide her friend from anyone who came too close. It seemed as though she was willing to take the brunt of any punishment meant for Gracie.
The tall Officer Harper has an impressive collection of tattoos on his arms, along with a beard and a shaved head. Despite his intimidating appearance, he possesses a unique talent for calming dogs down with his “girly 10-year-old voice.” When he came across two scared dogs at the park, he immediately got down on his knees and used his special voice to coax them over to him. One of the dogs, named Layla, tentatively approached him with her tail wagging but her eyes closed in fear of being hurt. Harper was eventually able to get close enough to the dogs to cover them with his police gear and keep them warm. He then quickly rushed them to the vet, prepared for the worst.
Harper was filled with fear at the thought of Gracie being put down due to her frailty and low body temperature. The state of both dogs left much to be desired, with visible wounds and scars all over their bodies. It was evident that the younger canines had been pit against each other in fights for quite some time.
According to Harper, the bite marks on the dogs’ bodies were a mix of fresh and old ones. Despite being only two years old, they had already lived a life of violence and maltreatment. It was evident that the dogs needed help and care ASAP.
Harper shared the heartwarming story of Gracie who was once on her deathbed, but thanks to the vet’s efforts of providing fluids and warmth, she started to recover. Harper has dedicated his life to rescuing dogs and even became a police officer to respond to cases of animal cruelty. He strongly believes that animal abuse is linked to other serious crimes like child abuse, domestic violence, narcotics, firearms, among others. Realizing the gap in the system where police officers were not trained to handle animal cruelty, Harper and his partner founded Justice Rescue. They received law enforcement training and were recognized as special humane officers. With their certification as crime scene investigators, they can now discover abusers and present evidence to district attorneys. Harper’s efforts have resulted in busting dogfighting rings before the canine victims surfaced in distress. Gracie’s condition continued to improve and she grew much stronger.
Harper noticed a change in Gracie’s behavior during their visit to the vet. According to her, Gracie immediately stood up and began feeding off her hand. It was evident that Gracie recognized Harper and showed interest in following her around. Harper went on to say that she sat down, and Gracie jumped into her lap.
The following day, Layla met with an unfortunate accident and needed immediate medical attention. Although she recovered eventually, both dogs are still not in the best of health. Harper observed that after rescuing them, they appeared to be surprised and confused by the sudden attention they were receiving. They enjoy the affection but appear uncertain about how to react to it.
Gracie and Layla are going to be staying at the veterinary clinic for around seven days before going under Harper’s care. She will assist in their recovery, hone their skills and show them how to regain trust in humans. Once they feel comfortable and ready, they will be able to find a perfect, loving home.
According to Harper, some dogs become excessively attached to their owners because they lack companionship. It is heartening to see how many people are helping these dogs recover from their emotional turmoil. Harper notes that these dogs often stare at their caregivers, as if to confirm that this new reality is indeed true.