How Vultures – the Harbingers of Death – Brought Life to an Unloved Dog

“Lilo has also attended a few education outreach sessions with me at local schools to help educate kids about rescuing and how to interact with dogs correctly.”

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Seeing vultures gathered around another animal is never a good sign.  In fact, it’s a macabre, pre-death funeral.  But not for Lilo.  These bird were photographed waiting around for her to become their dinner, and it’s because of them that she’s now living inside, and beloved beyond measure.


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In late 2014, this saturnine photo circulated the ethersphere, bringing to light the bleakness that is the life of a chained dog.  These wonderful creatures want nothing more than to be our constant companions, yet so many humans insist on their confinement – in the bitter cold, in the driving rain, in the blistering heat – with little to no nourishment of any variety.  They often die of starvation or hypothermia, and Lilo was likely on her way to join the thousands before her who have perished in this manner.


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On December 30th of 2014, a number of concerned neighbors called the Guilford County Animal Shelter in Greensboro, North Carolina after seeing Lilo scrooched down in her meager shelter, besieged by a venue of vultures.  She was picked up by an animal control officer, and a notice was left on the resident’s door.  The owners said the vultures arrived on Christmas day (yet they chose to force Lilo to remain outside).  They said they’d be coming in for her, but they never did (*phew*).


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Guilford does not allow people to adopt pit bulls from them – they have to be taken in by already inundated rescue groups, or else they’re euthanized.  Thankfully, Merit Pit Bull Foundation spoke up for her, and from there she was placed in a foster home with Keana Lynch and her boyfriend, Travis Henley.  She was named Lilo after the character in Travis’ daughter’s favorite movie, Lilo & Stitch.


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The eight-month-old girl wasn’t quite ready for the vultures, but she certainly wasn’t the picture of health.  She was underweight and had some healing cuts and sores on her ears and tail.  In addition to becoming physically well, this puppy had to learn what was expected of her as an indoor pet.


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“She definitely didn’t know what it was like to live inside,” Keana told the Greensboro News and Record. “But she’s got a great personality. She loves to snuggle. She loves her antlers, loves to chew on them. She has no clue yet on what to do with the other toys, though.”

That was a year ago.  Now she’s a permanent member of the family.

“She was a foster fail,” Keana told me.  “She was a foster fail the moment I saw her.”


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And now Keana and Lilo are helping to put an end to the cycle of animal abuse by working in schools.  For kids who aren’t learning how to properly treat animals at home, this is hugely important.

“Lilo has also attended a few education outreach sessions with me at local schools to help educate kids about rescuing and how to interact with dogs correctly,” Keana explained. “She is an absolute natural to help educate about pit bulls and rescuing.”


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Lilo also participates in a reading buddies program, wherein kids read to dogs, which allows them to practice their reading skills without having to feel self-conscious.

Hopefully programs like these will mean that many more kids will grow up to be adults to who not only respect animals, but truly love them.


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“[I’m] so happy that Lilo is making such a difference in rescue. Hopefully she will inspire some to unchain their pups,” Keana concluded.

If you live in the Greensboro area and are in the market for a playful, snuggly ball of endless entertainment, head over to Merit’s Facepook page and check out some of their adoptables.




89 thoughts on “How Vultures – the Harbingers of Death – Brought Life to an Unloved Dog

  1. This was such a beautiful story. It brought a tear to my eye. Educating our youth is the key and speaking up when you see abuse. Thanks for rescuing her and making a difference in the lives of many people!

    1. For ETERNITY, Dana… What form of human being could do this? I hope their PAYBACK is close
      at hand… There must be a special place for such human garbage.

    1. Because they are inconsiderate, have no empathy for anything, and frankly are just down to earth lazy, selfish, or just plain crazy. A law should be passed to convict those who abuse, abandon any animal.

  2. A beautiful story indeed. One thing, though: this makes me angry that the pits must be rescued or euthanized. Really? No chance for pits there, ever? If the pits rescue group or some other wonderful folks that rescue don’t step up, the dog cannot be adopted out regardless? Then a sad end to it’s life comes next? Oh well, thanks to all who saved this cute little girl. <3 She is what mattered at the moment. 🙂

    1. Please think of the rules about “rescue groups only” as protecting the animals. City shelters are always underfunded & do not have the time or manpower to check every single adopter individually & vet them as good owners. Many criminals that run dog rings & puppy mills will go to city shelters pretending to be responsible, caring individuals. Then, the poor pets they receive will be sentenced to horrible lives as either prey/bait dogs, fighters, or continuous breeders until they are dumped or killed for not being useful anymore. When shelters “outsource” the finding of good owners to rescues, they make it more difficult for animal abusers to get their hands on stray pets. Animal control is mainly a *gov’t* department that works for public safety, & their responsibilities go way beyond pet welfare. They have to also deal with public safety connected to livestock & wild animals.

    1. That was the first thing I noticed…her beautiful smile as she looked up at Keana. Thank you for giving her the home she needs and for teaching others how wonderful pits really are!!!

  3. I will never understand the coldness and soulless people that do crap like this, I mean seriously, are they sociopaths? No feelings? No heart? No soul? When they look at their dog outside shivering, starving, thirsty, scared…do they feel nothing at all? What possesses people to do this to animals. Makes you wonder what happens inside their home, do they have kids? Are the kids starving? Being beat? If I see a dog suffering I am going to help save that dog (or cat) anyway I can.

  4. I know a little about vultures. I doubt they were gathering waiting for the dog to die..that’s not how they cartoons, sure..but this is real life.. they aren’t attracted to animals that are alive, and they don’t do well in the cold. more likely they were waiting for the temperature to rise, so they could move on, and that’s just where they happened to land. the cold also interferes with their sense of smell, which is the primary way they find food.

    vultures are not good fliers. gliding, they’re experts, and beautiful to watch, but flying, especially taking off? not so much. they’re also not particularly strong as far as beak and jaw recently dead is still a bit tough for them. I think the vultures had more to fear from the dog than the other way around.

  5. What we need now is to know where these jerks live. *THEN* we can teach them what it’s like to treat an animal like that. I would dearly love to put them out of their misery, but that would be too easy.

  6. Everyday you make me soooo glad to know you Lord Jesus. Praise be to you for opening our eyes and hearts to our furry and not so furry friends.

  7. “this saturnine photo circulated the ethersphere”

    seriously? are you studying for the SATs or just that pretentious?

  8. What writers will do pr say to get people to click onto an article never ceases to amaze me. While i am glad for the dog getting cared for, vultuers DO NOT stand around and wait for an animal to die. That does not happen ever. Vultures are our sanitation crew of the highways and roads, not waiting for a meal to become one. How stupid to post such bull.

  9. It never ceases to shock, stun and anger me how people treat animals…they have a heart, a soul…they are a living, breathing loving being! Why people CHOOSE not to see that pisses me off!

  10. There is no such thing as a bad dog it comes down to really bad owners all dogs can be trained to be nice with a little help and this was a great story for once

  11. I love how the new owners took a terrible life for this dog and turned it into, not only into a loving one, but one that will change the lives hopefully of other dogs by educating children. Amazing idea and I pray that more people do this.

  12. Lilo wanted me to thank all of you for your kind messages and support! She is so excited to have such a fan club! She feels like a total superstar thanks to you all!

  13. When it comes to animal Husbandry… Especially Dogs! There are some real idiots out there! Thanks to all the Great people who care for dogs/animals hopefully most do not have to endure the inhumane treatment too long!!! Thank you to all the Rescuers out there.

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