Dave Bautista adopts bonded pit bulls in ‘fairy-tale ending’
“Guardians of the Galaxy” actor and retired wrestler Dave Bautista is now a new type of guardian: He recently adopted a pair of bonded 6-year-old pit bulls, who had been surrendered and separated after their previous owner had a baby.
“I needed them, they needed me,” Bautista wrote in a Nov. 13 Instagram post about the dogs, named Ollie and Maggie. “These beautiful babies spent the first six years of their lives neglected and abused. And now they are going to spend the rest of their lives being spoiled and loved.”
“They just won the #DogLottery,” actor Justin Long wrote in a comment on the post.
It’s a remarkable ending for Ollie and Maggie, but luck wasn’t always on their side.
The four-legged besties were separated at the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center in Tampa, Florida, when they arrived on Oct. 18. It is important to keep bonded dogs together, especially through any new process, as separation anxiety can occur, according to Scott Trebatoski, department director of the shelter. He believes the animals were separated because of kennel space constraints.
In a shelter, keeping bonded dogs together brings them comfort in a stressful situation, according to Jennifer Abrams, the senior manager of the behavior and volunteer programs at the Animal Care Center of NYC, who wasn’t involved with the care of Ollie and and Maggie.
“My opinion is that in the shelter is not the place to break up bonded pairs because the shelter is very stressful, and leaving them alone is one more thing to add stress and sometimes they find comfort in each other’s presence,” she told TODAY.
Word of the dogs’ plight reached members of Rescue Me Tampa, an independent volunteer organization that aims to get shelter dogs adopted.
“Please consider these 2 together,” the organization wrote in an Oct. 26 Facebook post. “They just lost everything they knew and loved. Although not kennelled together or listed as bonded they have lived together since they were pups so that in our opinion is BONDED!!”