Cherry Garcia, one of 53 rescued pit bulls from NFL star Michael Vick’s dogfighting ring in 2007, was recently featured by Us Weekly showcasing the 11-year-old, three-legged canine’s remarkable recovery. Some initially considered euthanizing Cherry, believing his breed and life lived as an aggressive fighter would make him unfit for rehabilitation (he was unable to walk without displaying fear or resistance). However, nine years after his rescue, Cherry now does community outreach to teach children about animal welfare and is a loving companion animal to the Fiaccone family in Virgina, living alongside a pitbull sister and two kitten brothers. Cherry’s amazing turnaround earned him a Dog’s Best Day celebration—sponsored by companion animal subscription company BarkBox—which provided him with a kitten cuddle tent (in which kittens from a nearby shelter were brought to play with the rescue); facilitated the creation of “Cherry’s Treats,” a line of dog biscuits at Brownstone Bakery for Dogs, which would donate a portion of its sales to fund a leg surgery Cherry needs; an ultimate dog-friendly sundae (Cherry’s favorite); a backyard beach day; and dog-safe beer from Bowser Beer. “He’s overcome so much,” guardian Paul Fiaccone said. “He wants to be happy. He wants to give back. What he wants to do is love.”
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