Skip to main content

PawTracks may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Dave Bautista adopts abused puppy and offers $5,000 reward for more information

There is nothing more cruel or more egregious than animal abuse, and the statistics are harrowing. According to the Humane Society of the United States, almost 1 million animals are abused or killed due to domestic violence. There are a multitude of ways you can help prevent abuse in your community, and former WWE star wrestler and award-winning actor Dave Bautista is a shining example for pet parents everywhere. Beloved for his portrayal of superhero Drax the Destroyer in Marvel’s The Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, Bautista proves he’s just as heroic in real life as he is on the big screen.  

Dave Bautista attending a Build Series event.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The backstory

The Dave Bautista puppy adoption story is both heartwarming and heart-wrenching. On September 26, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay (HSTB) shared the story of an abused pit bull puppy named Sage, who was found eating garbage, a metal chain cutting dangerously into her emaciated neck. The HSTB also revealed that poor Sage, who had been in the shelter’s care for weeks, required surgery to remove the chain. Then 3 months old, Sage was put up for adoption. Bautista heard Sage’s story and called to inquire about the person — or people —  responsible for her injuries. Bautista promises to “personally hand” $5,000 to anyone who could provide information resulting in the arrest and conviction of the abusers, and Alvarez Injury Law of Tampa, Florida, has matched his offer. The HSTB also promises to give $1,500 to anyone willing to provide information. Sage’s former owners have not been found thus far. 

Actor Dave Bautista at the IMDB Show.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Everyone loves a happy ending

Earlier this week, Bautista took to Instagram with incredible news, saying in a video, “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.” Already a pit bull papa to Maggie and Ollie, Bautista is no stranger to the breed. The Humane Society of Tampa Bay stated in an Instagram post: “Dave saw Sage’s story and knew that she belonged with him! We are so excited for Sage! 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.” Well done, Dave Bautista, and congratulations to Maggie and Ollie on their new sister, Penny. 

Actor Dave Bautista attending the Venice Film Festival.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What to do if you expect animal abuse

Unfortunately, not all abuse stories have such a happy ending. If you witness animal abuse, try to film it if you can do so without putting your safety at risk. Contact the police immediately to report the location and give a description of the abuser. Not all abuse happens in plain sight. If you have reason to suspect an animal is being abused or neglected, get in touch with your local animal welfare agency or contact the Humane Society to file a report. 

Editors' Recommendations

Mary Johnson
Mary Johnson is a writer and photographer from New Orleans, Louisiana. Her work has been published in PawTracks and…
5 must-see, dog-friendly places in New York to visit this fall
New York provides the perfect escape for you and your pup
Dog with human and orange suitcase

Without question, fall is one of the prettiest times of year on the East Coast. Nature puts on quite a display as the sugar maples change color, dotting the landscape with brilliant shades of red, yellow, and orange. The weather is cooler, too, making it a great time of year for the whole family to plan a getaway and explore this annual phenomenon up close and personal.

Which East Coast state should you visit? We recommend New York, mainly because accommodations, parks, and attractions welcome your four-legged family members, too. No matter what part of the state you choose to explore, these dog friendly places in New York are fantastic to visit with your pet.

Read more
5 incredible things to do with dogs in Florida this fall
Your dog can hit the beach, stay at Disney World, and learn to paddle board in the Sunshine State
Border collie catching yellow frisbee on beach

If you’re suffering from a bad case of wanderlust but aren’t crazy about leaving your favorite furry family member behind while you travel, consider booking a trip to Florida. Bordered on both sides by hundreds of miles of beaches, the Sunshine State produces the most oranges in America and is home to the most golf courses of any state.

It seems the state has literally rolled out the welcome mat for you and your favorite canine companion, too, with a variety of dog-friendly beaches, lodgings, restaurants, bars, parks, and activities to choose from. Don’t worry if you don’t know where to start — we’ve got you covered. These are the top things to do with dogs in Florida that will be a great time for both of you.

Read more
PetSmart Charities director shares tips for a successful pet adoption process
Advice from a pro at PetSmart when adopting your new best friend
PetSmart Charities director Heidi Marston kisses her special needs Great Dane mix, Gatsby

If you're ready to adopt a pet -- or are even considering adding four more paws to your family -- it can help to do your research before jumping into things. Not only will this prepare you for what to expect throughout the pet adoption process, but it will give you a good idea of what to expect when you bring your furry friend home, too. Hopefully, that will eliminate some of the stress of your adjustment period ... for both you and your new best friend!
With the internet and social media running the world, there's no shortage of resources for new pet owners to learn from. Still, it's important to get your information from a source you can trust, which is why we spoke to Heidi Marston, PetSmart Charities' director of pet placement, about the best ways to set yourself up for a successful pet adoption process -- from start to finish.

Here's what you'll want to know while you're looking for the best pet for you
Before you even start meeting animals, you'll need to know where to look for your next BFF. This is the perfect time to research local animal shelters and rescue organizations, as well as the way their adoption process works. Some cat adoption centers have everything you need to send you home with a pet the very same day, while others might require a waiting period. Every shelter is different!
You can start the pet adoption process before you're ready to commit
You don't have to be committed to adoption in order to visit a shelter. As Marston mentions, anyone who feels unsure about adopting can "try a foster-to-adopt program so you can get to know an animal before committing." 

Read more