The Best Friends Animal Society took to their popular blog Monday with sad news to report. Georgia, one of the American Pit Bull Terriers rescued during the raid on NFL star Michael Vick’s dogfighting compound, Bad Newz Kennels, has died.
Georgia became a familiar face since her rescue, appearing on the National Geographic Channel television show Dogtown several times. She also joined Best Friends’ trainer John Garcia on several TV talk shows, including the Ellen DeGeneres Show and Larry King Live, serving as an ambassador to her breed and a reminder of the need to crack down on the cruel blood sport of dogfighting.
Nearly two years ago, Georgia finally found her happily ever after with a kind woman named Amy.
Back in March 2013, Amy told Best Friends a bit about how Georgia loved her new life at her new home, taking walks and going to visit her grandparents on weekends.
“My favorite thing about Georgia is that she is such a lovie and loves to snuggle!” Amy said. “She keeps very close to me on my/her bed, and when she first arrived, she kept giving me kisses during the night like she was thanking me for bringing her home.”
“I knew right away how very lucky I was to have adopted this very special girl,” Amy added.
But as Georgia’s age started to catch up with her, her kidneys began to fail. Finally Amy knew it was time to say goodbye. Today, after Georgia’s death, Amy is speaking out again with more words of love for her very special dog.
“To all who loved Georgia,” Amy writes, “I’m so sorry and sad to report that our girl, Georgia has left us. I kept hoping that she would be able to turn things around one last time with her strong will to live, but it was her time to go and she let me know she was ready.”
“She died peacefully with me by her side with the help of a wonderful home vet,” Amy continues. “[Best Friends’] Kathy Moore told me early on that Georgia would continue to get sweeter and she was so right — she couldn’t have been any sweeter to me trying to give me kisses up until the very end.”
Georgia’s buddies back at Best Friends are remembering her today, too.
“Knowing that Georgia isn’t with us anymore is something that is very emotional for me,” says trainer John Garcia, who spent years working closely with Georgia before she was adopted. “Georgia taught me so much more than I could have ever given her, not from her reputation or history, but simply because she was who she was and the world got to see it.”
“Through her, we learned that all dogs are individuals and deserve a chance — even ex-fighting dogs,” says Senior Legislative Attorney for Pit Bull Initiatives Ledy VanKavage. “God speed, Georgia — you were one of a kind.”
Georgia’s adopter, Amy, had one final message to share, one that perhaps best sums up Georgia’s legacy.
“I’ve always loved the quote, ‘Rescuing one animal may not change the world, but for that animal, their world is changed forever!” she says. “Thank you to our girl, Georgia — you certainly changed my world forever!”