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humane society Tampa bay/ instagram
Dave Bautista is celebrating the addition of a new four-legged family member after adopting a sweet, formerly neglected rescue dog.
On Sept. 16, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay (HSTB) shared that a dog named Sage was brought in by a good Samaritan, who found the canine eating garbage with a metal chain embedded into the skin around her neck.
According to the shelter, after going through surgery to remove the chain and remaining under the care of HSTB staff members for several weeks, the 3-month-old pit bull has made an excellent recovery. Once Sage reached full health, the shelter put her up for adoption and received "extreme" interest from animal-loving families.
Dave Bautista/ instagram
Sage's story quickly grabbed the attention of Bautista, 52, who posted photos of the neglected puppy on his Instagram asking for answers.
Last week, the Guardians of the Galaxy actor told his followers that he would "personally hand" $5,000 to anyone who had information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for Sage's injuries.
Dave Bautista/ instagram
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"To me, there's nothing more innocent and pure than a puppy," Bautista said, WHAS11 reports. "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."
Though Sage's former owners have not been found, Bautista shared an update on Sage's future on Thursday.
"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," he said in a sweet Instagram video where he cuddles with the newly named Penny.
"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," the former professional wrestler added, also thanking those who have already reached out to help the dog.
After bringing Penny home, Bautista also posted a video to his Instagram Story of the hyper pup jumping on his legs and tugging at her leash — sharing that her energy continued through the day and into the night.
Penny joins Bautista's other adopted pit bulls, Ollie and Maggie, who the actor celebrated last month during National Dog Day.
The HSTB thanked Bautista for adopting Penny, sharing a photo of the star signing the dog's adoption papers and a video of him preparing to take her home in an Instagram post.
"Dave saw [Penny's] story and knew that she belonged with him!" the shelter wrote in the post. "She went from eating trash in a cemetery with a chain embedded around her neck to starting an AMAZING new life with Dave and 2 new Pitty siblings!"