Atlanta Humane Society rescue workers were anonymously notified of an animal hoarding and possible puppy mill situation. When they arrived at the Georgia home in question, they were horrified.
The Mangey Boston Terrier
Almost 80 dogs were trapped in a chicken wire cage. Many had matted coats while others had no fur at all. They laid on the hard, dirt ground or on top of broken pieces of plastic dog houses.
Among the diverse group of adorable, loving pups, a young, hairless Boston Terrier stood out. She was cocking her head to the side, curious about her rescuers.
Thankfully, the hoarders released all of the dogs to the Atlanta Humane Society. Although many were put up for adoption the next day, many still needed medical attention. Among those in need of help was the adorable little Boston Terrier. The shelter named the head-tilting, cutie Abigail.
Abigail had a severe case of Demodex Mange, a contagious condition where tiny mites burrow into the dog’s skin. The mange had caused poor Abigail to lose all her fur. On top of that, she was itching nonstop, resulting in scabs all over her body.
In Search of Insta-fame
Amanda Harris, the Marketing Manager for the Atlanta Humane Society, spotted poor Abigail and knew she had to foster her.
Harris brought her new foster home and immediately noticed how photogenic and goofy Abigail was. She decided to set up an Instagram account just for Abigail. Abigail’s Instagram account, call_me_scabigail, aimed to spread awareness about her condition and her journey to becoming a happy, healthy pup.
Harris loaded the account with delightful photos and videos plus a silly bio that reads “On a mission to grow all of my hairs back. Every. Single. One.” All this was in hopes of making Abigail, or Scabigail (her new nickname), an Instagram famous shelter dog.
Christina Hill, the Director of Marketing and Communications at Atlanta Humane Society told the Dodo, “We were really excited by the community’s support and rallying behind her, asking how she was doing. It started talks about the case and animal welfare in a really interesting way, because everybody sees the happy ending stories or the really sad stories, but they don’t see the process that happens to the animal in between.”
“That was That”
As the shelter had hoped, Abigail’s Instagram following grew and grew. Among her many followers was Alton Brown, the chef and Food Network host, and his fiancée, Elizabeth Ingram, an Atlanta-based interior designer.
Alton tells Atlanta Magazine in an email, “I can’t remember if I saw Scabigail first or if Elizabeth did. We follow a lot of rescue organizations, so one of us just saw her [scroll past] and showed it to the other, and then we started following her, and then realized she was available for adoption. That was that.”
Alton had posted on Abigail’s Instagram: ‘Is she up for adoption? Is this dog looking for a home?’
Hill explained, “He was joking about letting her come to the studio and eat scraps off the floor of the test kitchen, and we thought, ‘This is perfect for her.’ This dog has had such a rough time, and for her to get the opportunity to have such a wonderful life and to be loved the way she should be loved — it’s heartwarming.”
The rest is history, as they say. Abigail was adopted by Alton and Elizabeth and is living a well-deserved, happy life with her parents and dog and cat siblings.
Alton tells Atlanta Magazine, “The funky little mutt is actually 100 percent Boston Terrier and all personality. She walks in and owns whatever room she’s in, and that’s a pretty big deal considering she’s only 9 1/2 pounds and has no hair.”
Alton goes on to say, “There so many animals out there who need loving homes. I can’t even think of adopting anything but a rescue at this point.”
Thankfully, Abigail’s new family has promised to continue updating her Instagram account. So be sure to follow along and share!