Onscreen Superhero Becomes a Real-Life Hero By Rescuing a Dog in Need

When you see actor and former wrestler Dave Bautista, the first thing you notice is his enormous stature. However, if there’s one thing bigger than his size, it’s his love for animals.

When the Humane Society of Tampa Bay shared the story of Sage, a 3-month-old Pit Bull who had a chain embedded in her neck, Bautista went to work. He immediately gathered reward money to find information about Sage’s abuser.

During the search, Bautista couldn’t help but fall in love with Sage, so he adopted her and gave her a new name: Penny Bautista. Now, Penny won’t have to worry about experiencing abuse or neglect anymore.

Puppy in Need

When Sage arrived at the Humane Society, she had a chain embedded deep in her neck that dragged on the ground. To remove it, the vets had to perform surgery, which fortunately turned out well. The only remnant of the abuse is a bald spot where the chain used to be.

Sage was originally found by a stranger on the side of the road. Even though she was in pain, Sage ran up to the stranger without hesitation, showing how friendly and full of love she was.

“She is very sweet and friendly,” wrote the Humane Society of Tampa Bay on Facebook. “Even though she is in immense pain, Sage was wagging her tail on the exam table while our veterinarian and vet techs were examining her. In addition to the chain, we noticed that Sage has skin issues and overgrown nails. We can’t imagine who would do this to her.”

Bautista offered $5,000 as a reward for any information regarding Sage’s abuse. In addition, the Humane Society is offering $1,500; actor Mickey Rourke pitched in $1,000 to help find the person (or people) responsible.

Pairing dogs with a loving home takes work. Help place a companion dog with a veteran in need by getting a US Flag bracelet (learn more here):

Bautista’s Growing Family

After finding out about Sage’s story, it didn’t take long for Bautista to fall for her. After only a few days, he adopted Sage and renamed her Penny, promising to give her a life of love and pampering.

“To me, there’s nothing more innocent and pure than a puppy,” said Bautista. “For someone who can abuse a puppy has got to be the lowest form of human being, pure evil, for someone who can abuse an animal like that. It makes me sick to my stomach.”

Bautista has a history of loving animals – and especially Pit Bulls. In 2019, he adopted two Pit Bulls named Ollie and Maggie. Not only will Penny be in a loving home, but she’ll also be part of a loving family.

Want to help a dog be part of a loving family? Buy a US Flag bracelet and we’ll donate part of the sales to organizations that pair veterans with companion dogs. Find out how to help here:

Watch Penny’s journey here: