If there’s one thing Dave Bautista keeps teaching us through his films and his actions, it’s just how powerful found family can be. The former wrestler and actor best known for his role as Guardian of the Galaxy‘s Drax has announced the Bautista family is getting a furry new addition: a three-month-old pit bull puppy named Penny. While every rescue story is just as heartwarming as the next, Penny’s journey to the Bautista family has been a pretty high-profile and particularly emotional one that started all the way back on September 16.
On the 16th, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay shared that a dog named Sage has been brought into the shelter after someone found her living on the streets with a metal chain embedded into the skin around her neck. The story was quick to go viral, and soon caught the attention of Bautista, who offered to “personally hand $5,000” to any person who had information that would lead to the arrest of the person responsible for Sage’s injuries. According to People Magazine, Bautista explained to local news channel WHAS11 why he was so invested in the case, saying that to him, “there’s nothing more innocent and pure than a puppy. 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.”
The Humane Society of Tampa Bay soon joined the actor’s efforts, adding $1,000 to the reward before Alvarez Injury Law chipped in another $5,000. While no one has stepped forward to claim the $11,000 reward and shed some light on who Sage’s past owners might have been, Bautista decided to personally ensure Sage would no longer have to suffer abuse or neglect from anyone else and went to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay to adopt the puppy.
Bautista took to Instagram to share the big news about the newly-named Penny joining the Bautista family, telling fans:
“The good news is, the puppy you know as Sage actually became Penny Bautista. So I’d like to introduce you to the newest member of my family. Healing up, nice, and recovered. She is now a Bautista and she will never be abused again a day in her life. She is about to live her best puppy life ever … and she has her forever home.”
Penny joins Bautista’s other two pit bulls, Ollie and Maggie, who he celebrated just last month during National Dog Day. Based on the picture he shared of his two other pups, it’s safe to say Penny will be living the good life from here on out.