Roo, Decatur, GA

Hi! I’m Roo. My story started on August 23, 2013, when the Georgia Bureau of Investigation went to serve an arrest warrant at the property where I lived as part of a multi-state dog fighting bust.

When they arrived at the house, the suspects were not there, but there were several dogs present, including me. Dekalb County Animal Services took all of us into their care and arrested the woman that owns the house. From all the dogs rescued that day, I was the one in the worst shape.

What I went through at the hands of my abusers was documented on every inch of my body: I was littered with hundreds of scars, I have a severely disrupted left wrist and a mauled right leg, missing a paw.

When the average person thinks about dogs involved in dog fighting rings, they think of a scary, vicious pit bull with a drive to kill. They never imagine a dog looking like me. The cruel dog fighting world involved dogs like me: timid, female, pocket-sized pit bull that they can use for breeding litters after litters of future fighters as well as throwaway practice dogs.

I am the face of dog fighting and for more than two years, I was forced to fight for my life.

When the folks from Friends of Dekalb Animals (FODA) met me, they knew they had to find a way to help me. In spite of my traumatic history, I am a sweet and loving girl. My new friends said that I’m a dog who touched everyone I met and they wanted to make sure I got the best care possible.

Many know me as Roo the Resilient; my name comes from my resemblance to a kangaroo — due to my injuries, I do look and bounce just like one. 🙂

I needed immediate medical assistance and FODA worked with the county to coordinate my release to a foster home. Ten days later, I went to my foster home.

My foster mom Chrissy works at the shelter as a rescue coordinator and works to place dogs with FODA. My foster parents have fostered numerous special needs dogs, rescued from Dekalb County Animal control like Xena the Warrior Puppy. They knew I was the next dog they were destined to rescue and help heal.

Once I was taken to veterinarian specialists, the plan for my recovery was set in place: The joint in my left broken leg needed to be fused into the normal position. This will give me better mobility and less of a kangaroo hop.

As long as all goes well, my rescuers believe that I will have better mobility and less pain. I get around well now, but the bone fusion will make me much more comfortable. If for any reason that does not provide enough support, my other leg will require surgery and a prosthesis.

So my bone fusion surgery was scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013. The doctors expected to keep me in the hospital until Saturday or Monday, just to keep a close eye on my leg’s swelling, drainage, and how well I walked on the splint. Guess what? I was released back to my foster parents the next day. 🙂 There were no complications and being in my loving foster home is the best place for me to heal.

My foster mom noticed that I seem to be standing taller and I’m getting used to being able to walk normally. It is also no surprise that since I’ve been in my foster home, my personality has flourished. And I started smiling! I’m no longer the dog with a broken spirit, sad eyes and no smile. I’m playful, loving and I started to trust humans again.

I’ve really come out of my shell with my foster parents. With new people, sometimes I like them and sometimes I don’t trust them. But when I do, I love them! I have not been exposed to other dogs yet other than in passing. (My foster brother is Super “Monster” Mr. Wilson the Elderbull.) When my physical issues are resolved, I will work with a trainer on socializing more with people, new places and dogs.

As for the cruelty case, I’m the only dog with enough visible injuries to help build a case of animal abuse against the criminals who owned and fought us. I’m considered evidence and will not be available for adoption until my abusers are prosecuted, convicted and the case is closed.

For now I will heal and learn how to walk on my repaired leg. And heal I will; my foster mom saw that the little teardrop scar is now white fur, the rest grew in white and brown and you can barely see them any more.

And for the first time in my life, I’m enjoying sunshine on my face, soft beds (I love them!! Sometimes I’m allowed to put one bed on top of another bed), squeaky toys, treats, toys with treats inside (yes, they have treats inside!), belly rubs and gentle hugs, especially from my foster dad. I love it when he picks me up and carries me. I call that the Foster Dad Express. 🙂

My foster parents and all my human friends promised that I will receive unconditional love. And I love them back unconditionally. Because love conquers all.

Dog fighting broke my legs, but not my spirit. And when the criminal case is closed, I will be ready to look for my forever home.

Drop by my Facebook page: Roo the Resilient and follow the journey to my happily ever after. Thank you for reading my story!

~ Roo

Editor’s Note: FODA is sponsoring all of Roo’s medical bills thanks in part to a generous donation by Xena the Warrior Puppy’s family who have started “Friends of Dekalb Animals: Xena and Jonny Shelter Fund.” If you would like to help Roo, you can make an online donation towards her medical expenses.

Editor’s Note: On September 20, 2015, Friends of DeKalb Animals shared this wonderful news:

“Roo has been with us for two years as an “evidence dog”. She was part of the #367 dog fighting bust, but since she was found in Dekalb County, Georgia while serving a warrant and not in Alabama during the bust, her case was initially not linked strongly enough to the federal case. That changed recently when her owner left threatening messages on a witness’s voicemail & Roo’s case moved to federal court. As a result, Roo has been released from limbo.

We have witnessed Roo’s transformation both physically & mentally over the past 2 years. Her physical scars healed and one front leg was repaired while the other was removed in a lengthy surgical process. We saw her first smiles, her relax, and even begin to interact & want to be around other dogs. Roo’s emotional scars will sadly always be there. She has triggers, similar to PTSD in people, where she becomes fearful & defensive with other dogs. As much as she wants their company, she is a dog that will always have to be carefully managed due to her past.

For this reason, and the fact that her foster home is the only place she has ever felt safe & loved, we will keep Roo in her foster home as a long term foster. Roo is extremely happy, knows her routine, and feels safe. FODA will support her future medical care so she does not ever have to feel scared or vulnerable again & can remain with the family she loves. Roo is no longer a piece of evidence in holding; Roo is home.”