Seeing vultures gathered around another animal is never a good sign. In fact, it’s a macabre, pre-death funeral. But not for Lilo. These bird were photographed waiting around for her to become their dinner, and it’s because of them that she’s now living inside, and beloved beyond measure.
In late 2014, this saturnine photo circulated the ethersphere, bringing to light the bleakness that is the life of a chained dog. These wonderful creatures want nothing more than to be our constant companions, yet so many humans insist on their confinement – in the bitter cold, in the driving rain, in the blistering heat – with little to no nourishment of any variety. They often die of starvation or hypothermia, and Lilo was likely on her way to join the thousands before her who have perished in this manner.
On December 30th of 2014, a number of concerned neighbors called the Guilford County Animal Shelter in Greensboro, North Carolina after seeing Lilo scrooched down in her meager shelter, besieged by a venue of vultures. She was picked up by an animal control officer, and a notice was left on the resident’s door. The owners said the vultures arrived on Christmas day (yet they chose to force Lilo to remain outside). They said they’d be coming in for her, but they never did (*phew*).
Guilford does not allow people to adopt pit bulls from them – they have to be taken in by already inundated rescue groups, or else they’re euthanized. Thankfully, Merit Pit Bull Foundation spoke up for her, and from there she was placed in a foster home with Keana Lynch and her boyfriend, Travis Henley. She was named Lilo after the character in Travis’ daughter’s favorite movie, Lilo & Stitch.
The eight-month-old girl wasn’t quite ready for the vultures, but she certainly wasn’t the picture of health. She was underweight and had some healing cuts and sores on her ears and tail. In addition to becoming physically well, this puppy had to learn what was expected of her as an indoor pet.