Dear Squish’s Former Owner: Here’s The Powerful Note A Foster Mom Wrote To The Person Who Hurt Her Pit Bull

Photo credit: Leah Wesley

Squish the pit bull had a hard life. So much so, that her previous owner is going on trial this fall.

Leah Wesley, who fostered Squish through the Madison Animal Rescue Kennel in Louisiana, spent a few weeks this summer trying to make up for what had been done to the dog — whose skin is red and raw from infection, who is malnourished, who has heartworm.

She gave Squish daily baths, and rubbed her belly with coconut oil, and provided “lots of medications, and lots of love,” Wesley says.

Photo credit: Leah Wesley
Photo credit: Leah Wesley

In the course of providing this care, Wesley fell hard for Squish. Her sweet, funny, cute, universally affectionate personality.

The way “she dances when she hears her name, howls when she wants to play, and will do anything she has to just to snuggle with her people,” says Wesley.

“She loves all people, other dogs, and even cats!”

Photo credit: Leah Wesley
Photo credit: Leah Wesley

And she grew angrier and angrier at the person who had allowed this loving, special dog, to become so desperately sick. Who kept her tied up outside in this state, with just a tarp and some plywood as shelter.

Wesley finally put her thoughts together, in a powerful note to that person — which she posted to Instagram, along with a photo of Squish being hugged, and loved:

Dear Squish’s former owner. Do you remember her? I think you use to call her “color” and said she disgusted you. You probably don’t care, but I have her.

We went to the vet today (they said it would take at least 6 months for her skin to heal), we went to the pet store and got her some new clothes (to protect her skin from the sun), and we played with her new foster siblings until she couldn’t play anymore.

For an hour this morning, I covered her body in coconut oil and prayed that her sores wouldn’t get any worse. She has her own bed, she has her own crate, and she has absolutely stolen our hearts.

Your “disgusting” dog has changed my world and I want you to know that when you go to court, I will be there. I will be there with pictures of her progress and stories of our time together. I will be there with tears as I hear exactly what you did to her. I will be there to make sure you never get to harm another precious soul again.

Oh yeah, and right now, we are doing this. We are on the couch snuggling and she loves it

Photo credit: Leah Wesley
Photo credit: Leah Wesley

As Squish’s former owner comes closer to punishment, Squish’s own life keeps getting better.

She recently got adopted, into a permanent home, where she has a swimming pool to play in and a dog sister of her own to enjoy it with.

Wesley talks to Squish’s new family “almost every day,” she says. She’s doing great, which is both wonderful and bittersweet.

Bittersweet, because Wesley’s heart breaks when she remembers where this friendly, good, loving dog came from. Chained up outside, sick and alone.

And wonderful, because while Squish may not be completely healthy yet, she is definitely no longer alone.

“I love seeing her in her new home,” says Wesley. “Because she is so so loved.”

Photo credit: Leah Wesley
Photo credit: Leah Wesley

Arin Greenwood

Arin Greenwood is an animal writer based in St. Petersburg, Florida. Previously, she was animal welfare editor at The Huffington Post. Arin is a former lawyer (J.D. from Columbia Law School, member of the New York Bar), life long animal lover, pit bull advocate, and devoted fan of cats and dogs who run for public office. Her first novel, Tropical Depression -- based on her five-odd, sometimes very odd, years living on a small island near Guam -- was published by teeny indie publisher Back Porch Books in 2011. Her second book, a comic young adult mystery called Save The Enemy, was published by Soho Teen in November 2013. Hello From Dog Island!, Arin's third book, will be published by Soho Teen in 2018. Know a shelter with a great, innovative program? Have another animal story to share? Get in touch at!


  1. Kim Lorton says:

    I’m glad you will be in court to testify. Any animal treated like this, can’t speak for themselves, we need to speak for them! The only way to stop people from a using animals, or pets, is to prosecute them to the fullest, the law will allow! It’s a felony now, to abuse an animal, tame or wild. A felony.
    So, let’s be witnesses that stand up for the animals of this world, where there is abuse or worse,
    And make these evil people pay. Make it so they can never own another companion animal again, let alone any animal, period! They don’t deserve to have an animal by their side.
    Show these people, we mean business… You abuse or murder an animal, and we know of it, or hear of it or worse, actually see it, well report you, get a case opened, and catch you. Prosecute you,
    And you, will never know peace. Animals matter.

  2. Sima says:

    This is a wonderful story. I wish there are more people like you. I hope that the former owner gets what he or she deserves. God bless you for being such a good human being.

  3. Cheryl Cross says:

    I am so glad you are going to Court. THe former owner needs to be punished severely. Thank you for being “human” and loving Squish back to health.

  4. Stefanie Reavis says:

    God bless you for being such a wonderful advocate for these loving creatures!!!! It is so hard for me to understand why some people treat animals so cruelly! My Truth is a rescue and it still baffles my mind as to why someone would have treated him so bad! All he wants is to be loved and cuddle with his people! I’m so happy there’s wonderful people like you that stand up and become the voice for these beautiful animals who can’t speak for themselves! You are truly a Angel!

  5. Pam Milam says:

    Thank you! Thank you! I am so happy Squish has a new family. Thank you for all you do.

  6. Rosa mueller says:

    Oh my I am bawling…this is the most horrific thing anybody could do to this precious animal…thank God for you her caregiver…I love people that help animals…especially the precious pitty…I have 2 and they are the sweetest animals on earth and they children and are treated like it…I hope the person or person that hurt this beautiful dog gets exactly what they deserve which would be euthanasia…and never be able to see the sun again..shame on you are obsessed with Demons and will go to Hades.

  7. Joyce Dobkins says:

    Such a sad story with a wonderful happy ending for Squish. Thank you so much for the love you have shown him. As for the person who caused him so much pain……may she be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

  8. Carolyn Wolfe says:

    Thank you for taking in and taking such good care of this sweet dog and for having the courage to write that letter! I rescue animals and have seen first hand the kind of treatment that people like that do to animals. Thank you for your heart and your strength. May the previous owner get the punishment they so deserve. Much Love to your Pup!

  9. kathy says:

    I am sitting her crying. Its so sad that people treat their animal this way. I am so happy she is on the road to recover and is loved. Where did this abuse take place? What city and what is the court date? I would love to come..

  10. Laurie zerrenner says:

    Many thanks for loving squish and taking
    Such good care of him…
    I thank God for angels like you in the work
    That you do for these innocent loving beautiful

  11. Shawn Slattery says:

    This brought tears to my eyes, I am happy for her new life however. I foster dogs and it’s always sad when they are neglected and also adopted to a furever home. Great letter

  12. Shawn Slattery says:

    This brought tears to my eyes, I am happy for her new life however. I foster dogs and it’s always sad when they are neglected and also adopted to a furever home. Great letter

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