In a small town in the south, a group of ordinary people were looking up at the sky when they caught a glimpse of something highly unusual. This ominous sign was sending a desperate message they had they to find out fast.
It started out as a normal winter’s day in Greensboro, North Carolina. But a couple passersby noticed an unsettling thing: a black circle of vultures lingering above a particular house.
Flickr / Scott Brewer
The birds began gathering on Christmas, and their numbers continued to expand over the next couple days. Neighbors grew concerned and decided to investigate.
Nobody could get a hold of the homeowners with the vulture problem. Because this development was so unusual, however, neighbors decided to take matters into their own hands.
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They entered the backyard and immediately noticed more vultures dotting the trees. The creatures almost seemed like they were waiting for something. But what?
Flickr / Rachel W.
That was when the neighbors spotted a sickly, chained-up pit bull puppy with a large number of vultures surrounding it. She clearly needed help, and fast.
Vultures are scavengers that only eat decaying plants and animals. They wouldn’t attack the pup, but they recognized she was unhealthy and were waiting for her to die.
The neighbors called animal control, and several officers rushed over to assess the situation. They left a notice on the front door of the home and examined the dog that was perhaps just hours away from becoming vulture food.
The officers determined that the vultures would not hurt the pit bull, and the bigger threat was the chain around her neck. They figured that her owners never let it off that chain at any point in her short life.
Animal control whisked the distressed puppy away to an animal shelter. With the way this household treated the pit bull, they did not deserve to own any kind of pet.
The good people at the shelter got the puppy cleaned up and fed a full meal. Then they provided a safe place for the pooch, though it was not a permanent solution.
It’s not easy being cooped up in a shelter. Many animals wait long stretches of time before finding a family. Some never find a family at all.
Nevertheless, there was hope for the pit bull. Local news stations picked up on her harrowing story, so with a bit of luck, a family would feel inspired to adopt the dog.
One bright day, all the dog’s dreams came true. Keana Lynch and Travis Henley adopted her and named her ‘Lilo,’ after the favorite movie of Travis’ daughter, Lilo and Stitch.
Greensboro News and Record / Rob Brown
Understandably, Lilo was timid toward her new family at first. She went through a lot of trauma and needed some time to adjust to unfamiliar circumstances.
But Lilo was too happy about her fresh start to stay down for long. Once she realized she’d never get chained up again, she enjoyed bouncing around the yard and participating in many outdoor activities.
Lilo also discovered a love for affection and snuggling with her humans on the couch. It’s safe to say that Lilo got to relax while watching and re-watching the movie that inspired her name.
Facebook / Merit Pit Bull Foundation
It truly was the good life. Keana and Travis were glad that Lilo was so happy in her new home, but they also felt that they could do more. Maybe Lilo’s uplifting story could help people in the community?
Yes indeed! She visited schools with Keana to teach the kids about dog behavior and rescue animals. Lilo even dressed up in a nice pink hoodie for the occasion.
It’s probably a good thing that Lilo saved the quirkier items in her wardrobe for another time. We’re not sure that would’ve fit in with the school dress code…
Best of all, Lilo got a sister, and the two are absolutely inseparable. Travis and Keana are forever grateful that those neighbors investigated the vultures, or else they would have never found such a fantastic family member.
Wow, Lilo sure came a long way from that sad Christmas Day when she was left out for the vultures.