Susie & Donna’s Story of Love, Hope & Forgiveness
This is an amazing story which starts in tragedy and miraculously ends with love, hope and forgiveness for both Susie and her new owner, Donna Lawrence.
Susie’s previous owner had flown into a rage after the 8 week old puppy (a part pit bull and part German Shepherd) had innocently licked his baby’s face. The man beat the puppy for 15 minutes, left her with a broken jaw, teeth kicked out, set her on fire and left her to die in Greenfield Park in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Susie suffered second and third-degree burns across 60 percent of her body and her ears were burned off. Miraculously she was still alive when she was rescued ten days later. After a 2-3 months of intensive medical treatment by the dedicated folks at Guilford County Animal Centre, Susie was able to return to life as a happy, playful little pup.
Donna herself was once mauled by a neighbour’s dog, leaving her with hand and leg injuries. The attack also caused her to miscarry and lose the ability to have children. As you can imagine, she was terrified of dogs after this devastating event. When Donna saw Susie, however, she felt guided to let go of the past and care for this sweet innocent pup.
“We were like kindred spirits. I could relate to her and her scars. She was just a light in my time of darkness.”
She trained Susie to become a therapy dog, which included working with burn victims. From that moment forward, Donna and Susie began to teach children and adults the importance of love, kindness, and treating dogs with respect. In 2014, the American Humane Association named Susie its “Hero Dog” in the category of “Dog Therapy.”
In North Carolina at the time of Susie’s abuse, animal abusers did not receive jail time. So Donna and her friends set out to have the law changed. The team went before the NC House and Senate in which there was a unanimous vote (47-0) to sign Susie’s Law into effect. Susie herself put her paw print on the official document when Governor Bev Perdue signed it into law on 23rd June 2010.
“It was a big celebration that day and now people who abuse animals can get jail time,” said Donna.
Susie’s Children Books
Susie’s Hope Initiative
Susie’s Hope is a 501(c)3 Nonprofit organization. Their mission is to raise national awareness about animal abuse and safety by providing education and advocating for animal welfare. Follow them on Facebook and/or Twitter.
We are deeply inspired by Susie and Donna’s brave and compassionate story, as well as their continuing mission. Thank you both for sharing this miraculous story.