As pet parents, there is nothing that we wouldn’t do to protect our four-legged best friends from harm. We consider our dogs to be members of our family and love and cherish them as such. Sadly, however, not everyone believes that dogs deserve this level of care and respect.

Maria was a victim of extreme abuse when she was a small pup. Born into a dog fighting ring, she was designated as a “bait dog,” used to teach the other fighting dogs to attack and kill. This is typically a fatal sentence for fighting dogs, but Maria was saved just in the nick of time thanks to a state police raid. When the authorities found her, her spine was completely crushed, but she had escaped being thrown to the other dogs and managed to make it out of the raid alive. With the help of proper medical care and a lot of love, Maria has become a fully functional two-legged pup.

Despite the horrors that she faced early on in life, Maria is an extremely positive and upbeat little dog. She even acts as an ambassador for other victims of abuse and travels to local schools in Detroit to teach kids what it really means to be a responsible pet guardian. Now that’s truly amazing!