8 min read

Dog With Sad Past Wouldn’t Look Anyone In The Eye — Until Someone Finally Showed Her Love

“I went out and bought her a stuffed hedgehog, and when I gave it to her, she looked at me as if it was the greatest kindness ever bestowed on her. From that moment on, she made eye contact."

For the first year of her life, pain was the only thing Miley knew.

Born and raised in a dogfighting operation near Austin, Texas, Miley was used as a bait dog to train other dogs how to fight. Her mouth was continuously taped shut and barbed wire was wrapped tightly around her neck as she suffered through the constant attacks.

bait dog rescue texas
Amanda Holley

And then, in July 2017, she was thrown out on the street with her back leg barely hanging on. Although she was only 1 year old, she had seen more than any dog should.

These were the heartwrenching details that vets pieced together the first time they examined each mark on her weak body. No one in the room had been there to see what happened, but the scars played back each detail of the young dog’s neglect.

Amanda Holley first saw a photo of Miley on Facebook — the animal control officer who found her had posted it online with a plea for help, because the local shelter couldn’t afford to amputate her back leg.

rescue bait dog texas
Amanda Holley

“They were going to euthanize her,” Holley told The Dodo. “Without even thinking I offered to pick her up and keep her overnight so I could get her to the vet the next day. A woman on the post [comment section] started a fundraiser to cover her medical bills.”

Holley picked up Miley the same day — and the dog was safe for the first time in her life.

rescue bait dog texas
Amanda Holley

“She wouldn't even make eye contact and just kept staring out the side of her crate,” Holley said. “I went out and bought her a stuffed hedgehog, and when I gave it to her, she looked at me as if it was the greatest kindness ever bestowed on her. From that moment on, she made eye contact and would take meds from my hand. She changed my life in a matter of hours.”

rescue bait dog texas
Amanda Holley

Thanks to generous donations from the community, the money for Miley’s surgery was raised in just under two days. Although Miley was going to live with a foster after her surgery, Holley made sure to keep in touch.

“My intention wasn’t to keep her, just be a part of the chain of people who worked together to save her life,” Holley explained. “But I told her foster if she ever needed anything again to call me.”

rescue bait dog texas
Miley after the surgery to amputate her back leg | Amanda Holley

That time came just a few months later when Miley’s foster suddenly needed to move. She called Holley, who at that point had moved from Austin to Baltimore, Maryland.

“When you meet Miley she changes you immediately; she’s been through so much and is so sweet,” Holley said. “So of course I had to take her.”

Holley arranged to have Miley transported to Baltimore — and she was home just in time for Christmas.

rescue bait dog
Miley at the airport | Amanda Holley

“I only had her for 24 hours that one day [when she was first rescued] and I had no idea if she would remember me,” Holley said. “She wouldn’t stop wagging her tail and was so excited to see me again.”

With her new leash on life, Miley is excited about nearly everything. Although she’s still figuring out how to play with toys, she loves the company of other dogs and people.

rescue bait dog texas
Amanda and Miley | Amanda Holley

Miley’s brother, Ace, is also a rescue dog; he was found on the streets as a puppy and lived in a shelter for over three years until Holley adopted him.

Ace is very timid of other dogs due to his life at the shelter — so he’s still getting used to his new sister. But now that he has a confident, comfortable dog like Miley in his life, Holley is certain it won’t be long before Ace comes out of his shell.

rescue dog texas
Miley's brother Ace | Amanda Holley

“Miley’s favorite thing to do is meet people,” Holley said. “She’s already made a ton of friends — both dogs and people. She won’t go more than a few steps on our walks without saying hi to somebody.”

Despite growing up in a place where humans and other dogs only hurt her, it’s clear all Miley needed was to meet someone who cared about her.

rescue bait dog texas
Amanda Holley

“Miley is Wonder Woman in a dog’s body,” Holley said. “She is living proof of the principle that only love can save the world.”

Thinking about adopting? Then meet Dodo Adoptbot, an interactive guide for new pet parents. Get started on Facebook Messenger or text HOME to 38349.