UPDATE: Once-Abused Mastiff Makes Transformation In Weeks That Should Have Taken Months

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

February 23, 2016

**Update: April 13, 2016**

Barely two months ago Violet was severely underweight, having been starved, repeatedly bred, and finally abandoned. Taken in by Mutts Matter Rescue and placed in the care of foster mom Debbie Gretz and her family, Violet made progress in a matter of weeks that should have taken months.


up close violet

Gretz tells WJLA:

So she was one of the worst cases I’ve seen. It’s just incredibly rewarding to see them recover from that and to know that you got to be a part of that.

Of course, Gretz always knew Violet wouldn’t stay with her forever. She was just one stop on the long road to recovery and a major stepping stone for Violet’s emotional and physical healing. Her personality blooms everyday, and she can now climb stairs and play with other dogs.

violet rolling in grass

It makes us here at BarkPost emotional and extremely proud of both this girl and her caretakers to see that her ribs are almost no longer visible, and to see her learn to trust humans unconditionally. On April 8, Violet joined her permanent family in West Virginia. Her new human, who is unnamed but who tragically lost her own sweet Mastiff to a sudden illness, says:

We were devastated when we lost [our Mastiff, Baya] unexpectedly and I believe Baya sent Violet to us. I really believe she had a hand in it. She needs us and we need her. I think we will heal each other, move forward together.

new family

It’s the epitome of a perfect relationship: two souls, once broken but with the capacity to heal, working together to again find that happiness in each other.

Congratulations on your new family Violet! And a sloppy kiss and tail wags to Gretz, her family, the veterinarians, and everyone who played a part in this amazing dog’s journey.


Thank goodness Violet the Mastiff was given a second chance in life just in the nick of time. Violet was found at only 56 lbs. (nearly 100 lbs. underweight) after being thrown out of a car in Clinton, MD and left to die. Local animal control officials found her and placed her with Mutts Matter Rescue, at which point Debbie Gretz—a fairy dogmother of sorts—stepped in to nurse her back to health.


Gretz is the ultimate dog lady and has fostered dogs in need for nearly 10 years now. Gretz told WJLA that it’ll probably take another six months for Violet to get back to her normal weight.

Until then, Violet is improving every day at Fat Dog Farm in Haymarket, VA, where she lives with Gretz. According to Violet’s Facebook page, she recently learned to climb the stairs and now enjoys the run of the house. That’s pretty impressive when, just last week, she had to stay in the basement because her legs were too week to pull her up the stairs. Congratulations, Violet!

Featured image via Saving Violet/Facebook


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Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

February 23, 2016

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