UPDATE APRIL 21, 2012 - READY FOR OUR COURT DATE (as always, click on any image for a larger view):
Well, we’re down to the wire now, folks.
Blaze’s hearing is on Monday, April 23rd. I’ve gotten many letters of support from people who have followed Blazie’s case, some from as far as Australia and England, and I thank all of you who have sent them from the bottom of my heart. They WILL make a difference.
And Blazie? Well she’s doing her part, to say the very least. She’s 18 pounds svelte now. Has adjusted to her pack and her new home so well that it’s hard to believe she hasn’t always been here. She’s loving and funny and a joy to be with. Her personality, at first absent to the point of catatonic, is now outgoing and funny and determined and very busy. I still cannot imagine why anyone would abuse her in such a horrific way for such a long period of time, but I’m very much anticipating looking those people in the eye next Monday to find out what they have to say for themselves.
Please, if you want to but have not yet done so, take this last opportunity to write something about how Blaze’s story has affected your life, make your suggestions to the judge about how to deal with Blaze’s abusers, and speak to how the issue of animal cruelty has been impacted by the shining light of this one little dog who, in spite of all the odds, now Blazes forth with life and love and happiness.
Thanks so much for your efforts,
UPDATE March 26, 2012 - HERE’S YOUR CHANCE TO STEP UP FOR BLAZIE!! (as always, click on any image for a larger view):
It’s been a long emotional haul since August 25, 2011, when our Miracle Girl was rescued and delivered into the saving hands of American Fox Terrier Rescue . Only days away from death at the time of her rescue, in the last eight months she has endured two major oral surgeries to correct the horrendous condition in her mouth and another dangerous and difficult surgery to remove the massive lipoma hanging on her belly. She has fought infection, starvation and abuse, going from just under 10 pounds (including the huge tumor) on the day of her rescue, to a rather zaftig 17+ pounds now. As you can see, she’s now having difficulty in squeezing her after breakfast self into her cozy little bed…
As the months have gone on, Blaze’s ongoing story of survival has garnered hundreds of devoted followers. I cannot tell you how moved I have been by the overwhelming response I have had from people who have sent toys and treats for Blaze, cards and notes to me, and emotional and encouraging Facebook responses. To know that you were out there thinking and praying for us during the really scary awful times in this process has meant more to me than I can tell you. All I can say is thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. YOU have made so much difference in my life and in Blazie’s. Now YOU have a very real opportunity to step up and have your voice be heard on Blaze’s behalf.
My promise to Blaze on that first awful day was that if she lived, I would make sure the people responsible for her long term abuse would be held accountable. My amazing and tireless friend (and fountain of solace),Terry Cerisoles, who heads up American Fox Terrier Rescue , has championed this cause alongside me from the very beginning.
Blaze’s former owners were arraigned for animal cruelty by the DeKalb County Special Victims Unit, (which includes Animal Cruelty), in January 2012. Without going into a lot more detail (and believe me, it’s a novel in itself), the bottom line is that Blaze’s final court date has been set for April 23, 2012. The amazing steel-hand-in-velvet glove DeKalb County Deputy Chief Prosecutor, Special Victims Unit, Jessica Rock, has been there for us through thick and thin. While the documented evidence of Blaze’s abuse (photos, vet records, invoices for care, etc.) will all be presented by Jessica’s team, she says that in any court hearing or trial such as this, the victims of the crime have the opportunity to stand up and make a statement about how the crime has impacted their lives. Since Blazie obviously cannot speak for herself, Jessica has asked me to write a statement to read in court that tells the horrific story of her rescue and recovery, which of course I will do.
If Blaze’s former owners are found guilty, the judge will have the option of awarding any combination of several types of punishment including community service, a monetary fine, compensation for her medical expenses, and/or jail time. Jessica plans to ask for the maximum punishment available by law because of the long term and severity of Blaze’s abuse. As her foster mom and caregiver, I will represent Blaze as her personal advocate on her day in court. Terry will speak on behalf of American Fox Terrier Rescue , and I am so hoping that many of you will also contribute a testimonial (or letter or statement) to back us up. According to Jessica, each of you who has been moved by Blaze’s story (and by the rescue effort) is not only welcomed but encouraged to write a heartfelt testimonial about what her story has meant to you and lend your voice to the issue of animal cruelty that is so important. Jessica says that every testimonial will be read at Blaze’s hearing. Write anything you want, but I urge you – I BEG you – to take the time to write something, even if just a short paragraph, so that you ALL may be heard on Blaze’s behalf. She so deserves justice and her story has the potential of being crucial in sending the bigger message that people who abuse animals should not and will not go unpunished.
BTW, Jessica also says that anyone who wants come in person to Blaze’s hearing on the 23rd is welcome. While we want to be respectful of the judge’s time and the court’s facility, the physical presence of a number of supporters will also help make our case and get the best result for Blaze. If you live near Atlanta or want to come, email me for directions and logistics.
A standard Word doc will be fine. I will need to have them in enough time to print them and give copies to Jessica’s team prior to our court date, so the sooner I get them, the better.
Again, I cannot thank each of you enough for your support throughout this struggle to save our Blazie. I often think “it takes a village” when I consider everyone who’s shared both the challenges and the successes in Blaze’s recovery. I’m so looking forward to hearing whatever you would like to contribute to be read on our Miracle Girl’s day in court.
Holly & Blazie
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