It is every dog owner’s nightmare. Having no answer when you call. Not knowing where your dog is.
For over a year that had been Northam and April Morris’s nightmare. But they never stopped searching for their beloved pit bull, Nina Louise.
She had disappeared from her back yard during a bathroom break. April went back inside to make a cup of tea and came back to find an empty yard.
“We walked miles to find her. I’d walk until I couldn’t walk anymore,” April said.
Long after most people would have given up hope, Nina’s owners had continued to put up posters, walk neighborhoods and knock on doors and had offered a $500 reward for Nina’s return. After a year had gone by, they were coming to the realization that they would never see Nina’s sweet face again.
Then, while watching the news one evening, there was Nina’s face looking at them through the TV screen. The couple watched in horror as the newscaster told the awful story then raced for the phone to call the Humane Society of Marlboro County, South Carolina.
“We knew instantly it was her,” April explained. “I mean, just the way she held her face, the way she looked up at the rescuer.”
They told the receptionist their story about Nina’s disappearance and seeing her on the news that night. After describing the dog perfectly, it was determined that it was indeed Nina and they could come and claim her the next day.
Through their tears, they watched the newscast again, this time listening to the story instead of concentrating on the photos of Nina. It was heartbreaking. They cried again realizing the horrors that Nina had faced during their year apart.
Shared.com reports: Nina was discovered by the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue (CWF), one of the organizations involved in saving 120 roosters during the a cockfighting bust that saw 27 people arrested. Among all the birds, they found poor Nina, chained outside.
Nina leaned into the hug given her by Amie, a volunteer with Carolina Waterfowl Rescue. It was probably the first gentle touch she’d had in over a year.
Nina was covered with scars, most like the result of being used as bait for training other pit bulls for fighting. The fact that she survived made her valuable to her captors for another reason.
It wasn’t just the scars that the Morrises noticed when they were reunited with Nina. Her body type had changed as well.
Motherhood will do that to you, they found out, as volunteers brought out the 10 newborn puppies seized alongside Nina in the raid. She had been chained outside with only a makeshift shelter where she had lived for a year and given birth to her babies.
The Morrises took the 11 dogs home that day, smiles wide as they welcomed Nina back into the family. It took Nina a bit to adjust to being loved again, but all of the horrors of the last year faded away quickly under the tender care of people who loved her.
Everyone who knows and understands pit bulls knows that they are resilient as well as gentle and sweet at heart. Even Nina’s rough treatment and being in survival mode for a year changed only her body; it didn’t change her temperament in the least.
Her puppies will stay with the Morrises until they are old enough to go to new homes. Then the Marlboro County Humane Society will help choose responsible homes for them. They have kept in close contact with Nina Louise and the Morrises. Nina was the kind of success story that all rescues and shelters love to see.
There is no better feeling than reuniting a family with a pet they’ve loved and lost. Although they don’t usually get to return quite the extra bonus that the Morrises received.
According to SHARED, although they got more than they were expecting during the reunion, Nina’s family couldn’t be happier to have her back – they wrote:
“She’s right back sleeping at the foot of our bed. Her pups beside her. If she goes outside we are right there with her. As we learned, one quick trip to make a glass of tea can cause unmentionable grief. I just want to thank you all… Thank you. Thank you God!!!!!!”
Nina was an incredibly lucky dog and we are grateful her story had a happy ending. As her 10 little ambassadors go out into the world to their new homes, we hope that they take with them her story. Proof that even a pit bull that has seen the absolute worst that life can offer is still at heart a sweet and gentle member of the family.