BEREA, Ohio - Patients in the behavioral health unit at the Aristocrat Berea Skilled Nursing Facility look forward to a visit from a special four-legged friend. It's become a weekly visit that means a lot to the residents.
At first glance, she look might be intimidating. But, once you hear her story she might just touch your heart. When Gremlin walks into a room, faces light up. Gremlin is a pit bull, a therapy dog and for residents at the facility just what the doctor ordered.
"You Gremlin, you beautiful baby, "said Tara Scott stroking the dogs head.
Gremlin was a bait dog in a dog-fighting ring. She was terribly abused. The 7-year-old pup had her back legs broken, and she can't bark anymore.
"They would take a blunt object, like a bat, stick it down her throat and rupture her vocal chords," said owner Chris Hughes. Gremlin is partially deaf too.
Gremlin's life changed four years ago when she was bought by an undercover police office. She was then put into evidence in the cruelty case. She was nearly put down until a rescue group stepped in to save her. Gremlin was then adopted by Hughes and certified as a therapy dog.
"Being abused is not a good thing, but she overcame it and is not abusive toward anyone. She is a strong-willed dog," resident Tara Scott said.
"Animals tend to have some of the strongest impact on people, bring the dog in all come down excited," said Jill McDonald with the nursing facility.
Gremlin got a second chance at life, and she shows her appreciation everyday to people like Ron Blag, a resident at the facility.
"Gremlin got back love, that's all she wants is love, that's all she ever wanted," said Blag.