The iconic Bait Dog, Gypsy

GypsyThis is mostly screenshotted from a website called Animals Are Always Innocent (I think that’s the title… it could also be Against Dog Fighting, Pitbulls, Dog Cruelty, Dog Meat, Dog Rescue… that’s what’s on the browser tab but not the top of the page). I had always wondered about the most horrific dogfighting facial mutilation picture that constantly popped up when I was reading about dogfighting. Sometimes this dog was attributed to Michael Vick’s operation, but in actuality she was found on a roadside in North Carolina in April 2005.

As far as I can tell, her torturers were never caught.

Gypsy was found, patched up (extensively – her sinuses had been punctured, the meat was rotting off her face, ears torn off, mouth full of pus. It’s hard to imagine anyone, anything, still holding on to life in that state. She seems to have all her teeth but it’s assumed that she was a bait dog. One of her front legs had also been damaged to the extent that it required amputation.

Once healed up, Gypsy underwent facial reconstruction as well as a spay, & (I think) was eventually adopted or at least found a permanent home in foster or sanctuary care. She passed in 2009. Learning about her made me smile & cry. Anyway, here are screenshots of the abovementioned website’s entries that tell the story of her progress from broken pile of meat to beloved pet.

Gypsy 2005 04I wanted to store these screenshots somewhere in chronological format so I can refer to them in the future. They were a little difficult to find (lots of scrolling) on the original website.

Here is what Gypsy looked like after her initial patch up. Hideous, but healing. Thank you Eastridge Animal Hospital doctors McLean & Lowery.

Gypsy 2005 05-04

Reconstructive surgery. Wonderful work. I’m curious as to how they managed such a great job from such a ruined face, but can’t seem to find any specifics on that.

Gypsy 2005 05-12

Healed up & looking more like a friendly dog, she did really great in a nursing home. Only 3 months after she had initially found. It’s a fabulous transformation & it’s wonderful to see her eyes bright.

Gypsy 2005 07-29

And here are the final pictures of Gypsy in August 2005, after 4 months of recovery. There really are wonderful people out there & it helps me feel better about humanity. According to Stephanie Ambler’s article, Gypsy even won a trophy at a canine event by the Southeastern Pit Bull Association.

Gypsy 2005 08

Happy endings are a gift. Sometimes we need to read about happy endings, even if they were all the way back in 2009. I’m glad that I know what happened to that monstrously mutilated dog in the photo.


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