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Meet Bubbles, the one-eyed rescue dog taking a bite out of animal abuse in Houston

HOUSTON – Want to hear something truly terrifying? Since the start of the pandemic, rates of animal cruelty have gone up a scary amount. But have no fear, one local dog named Bubbles and her human, Kylin Horton, are on a mission to raise awareness about both animal and domestic abuse.

Shortly after Hurricane Harvey, Horton and her family volunteered to assist Houston Pets Alive with the overwhelming amount of misplaced animals that were rescued during the flooding. During that time, they had their first encounter with Bubbles who was saved from a horrible case of animal cruelty.

When Kilyn Horton first met Bubbles, the dog was in bad shape, requiring four surgeries to repair damage from being abused and shot in the head. (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

“She was in a pretty bad shape,” said Horton. “She was very thin. She was missing her right eye. She had a head tilt, and she was having difficulty eating.”

They discovered that Bubbles' most critical injuries were due to her being shot in the head, which severely damaged her right eye and ear and shattered part of her jaw.

When Kilyn Horton first met Bubbles, the dog was in bad shape, requiring four surgeries to repair damage from being abused and shot in the head. (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

“It took about four surgeries before she was fully recovered,” said Horton. “It was an eye opening experience. Even though you may know that it happens, it was something to find out that it happened so often.”

Horton recalled that despite Bubbles' physical condition, she was never fearful of humans and had a very loving demeanor.

“She just wants to be held. If you come up to her, the only thing she wants is to curl up into your chest and just lay in your lap. She’s been that way from day one” said Horton.

After adopting Bubbles, Horton started documenting Bubbles' progress on Instagram, as she had already captured the hearts of many people who wanted to see how she was faring.

“There had been so many people involved in her rescue and recovery. We wanted to do that just to let them know that she was doing good and thriving, and it just kind of blew up from there,” said Horton.

One of Bubbles' many followers was Laura Brown, a volunteer with a nonprofit group called Pibborafi that creates plush toys modeled after real-life rescue dogs.

“I just reached out and told her a little bit about what we do,” said Brown. “It is all about passion and love for rescue dogs and also teaching children that different is beautiful.”

Pibborafi encourages people to nominate their unique rescue pets to be made into plush toys. The public can then vote on which dog they want to be made into a toy. Winners can then choose which nonprofit organizations they want their dog’s toy proceeds to support. 100% of Bubbles toy proceeds go to supporting nonprofit organizations, including Houston Pets Alive and a domestic violence shelter.

“Unfortunately for a lot of people, home is not a safe place,” said Horton. “We’ve gone into the relationship between animal cruelty and domestic violence. When you see animal cruelty, it needs to be reported because a lot of times it is also linked to abuse within the home.”

Horton is using Bubbles' platform to help raise awareness about these serious issues, which have become even more prevalent since the start of the pandemic. In the future, Horton also hopes Bubbles can help provide comfort to victims of abuse.

“We are working towards getting her certified as a therapy dog,” said Horton. “Her face tells a story. You know that something happened, and you empathize with her.”

To follow Bubbles' journey, visit her Instagram page.


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