“Unbreakable Bond: Two Rescued Pitbulls Heal Together from Past Trauma and Find Comfort in Their Friendship”

Two pit bulls found abandoned in a park near Philadelphia were initially believed to be lifeless. One of the dogs, known as Gracie, was extremely cold to the touch, while her companion Layla was nestled up beside her, as if trying to keep her safe. According to Russ “Wolf” Harper, co-founder of Justice Rescue, Layla refused to leave Gracie’s side and attempted to conceal her from anyone who approached. It appeared as though Layla was willing to endure any punishment on behalf of her friend.

With his towering height, tattoos adorning his arms, a shaved head and a beard, Officer Harper may seem imposing at first glance. However, what sets him apart is his uncanny ability to soothe dogs with his “girly 10-year-old voice”, as he calls it. When he arrived at the park and saw these distressed pups, he immediately got down on his knees and used his soft voice to coax Layla over to him. Though her tail was wagging, her eyes remained clenched, as if she was bracing herself for impact.

After a while, she finally came closer and allowed Harper to give her some pets on the nose and forehead. With his thick police gear, Harper was able to get close enough to cover both dogs and keep them warm. Despite the uncertainty of their condition, he bravely took them to a veterinary clinic.

Harper was filled with fear at the thought of having to put Gracie down. She couldn’t shake the image of the cold and weak dog, emaciated with scars and wounds all over her body. It was clear to Harper that both dogs had been involved in fights for most of their lives, judging by the marks on their skin. “It’s hard to tell how long they’ve been fighting,” Harper said with a heavy heart. “The bite marks on their skin are fresh, but some of the scars are older. They’re so young, only two years old, and all they’ve ever known is abuse and violence.”

Harper shared the story of Gracie’s close brush with death, where the vet administered fluids and warmth to save her. He has dedicated his time to rescuing dogs and even underwent police training to be able to respond quickly to cases of animal abuse that are often linked to other serious crimes such as child abuse, domestic violence, narcotics, firearms, etc.

To address the lack of animal cruelty training among the police force, Harper founded Justice Rescue with a co-founder. After undergoing law enforcement training, they were recognized as special humane officers and are now certified crime scene investigators. This enables them to uncover abusers and submit evidence to district attorneys, leading to successful busts of dogfighting rings without waiting for canine victims to surface. In the meantime, Gracie has grown stronger and shows recognition towards Harper during vet visits, while Layla fell and required prompt medical attention but has since recovered poorly.

Harper observed that the rescued dogs appeared to be taken aback by the attention they were receiving. Although they seemed to enjoy it, they were unsure how to react to it. Gracie and Layla are expected to stay at the veterinarian’s office for approximately a week before being transferred to Harper’s care. There, they will go through rehabilitation, receive essential training, and learn to trust people again. Once they are prepared, they will be placed in a suitable home for adoption. Harper explained that dogs frequently develop strong bonds with their caretakers because they lack social interaction. They are amazed by the number of individuals who are assisting them in recovering and getting better. They only stare, almost as if to ask, “Is this really happening?”

Scroll to Top