TAMPA, Fla. — A few years ago, Mandy Figarola closed her animal shelter down, but not before making one more save. She found Ziggy, full of puncture wounds and emaciated. So, Figarola, alongside her husband Raul, who’s a veterinarian, bought him back.
“He became, you know, my sole dog. And when we reopened the rescue, we named the rescue after Ziggy,” explained Figarola.
Today, Ziggy’s Legacy Rescue has a very strong following on social media and prides itself on rescuing the most critically injured animals. Ziggy is symbolic of a lot more than this rescue's name.
“He came to me as, like a final, a final save. And he renewed my strength to continue rescuing. So, you know, here's the reason that we have saved so many dogs since then,” said Figarola.
She added that the rescue's success rate is really high with the most critical animals. Her husband works miracles to save these animals, and one of those successes is Justice.
Both of her back legs were removed, and she now works with a prosthetic device. Justice is also a service dog, and Figarola said she spends time with wounded vets and kids.
“A little boy who was like seven and had a few days left to live. He leaned into her, she leaned into him, and they had this like five-minute moment. It's crazy. Yeah, she really understands people, that dog,” said Figarola.
Running a rescue is incredibly difficult and time-consuming, but for Figarola, she would not have it any other way.
“Watching how they come in. So, like mentally defeated and physically broken, and then watching them walk out wagging their tails with a new owner. It's a feeling that I can't describe. It's just It's addicting. It's like soul renewing. It's, I don't feel complete when I'm not doing it,” explained Figarola.
Don’t forget to share your rescue dog or cat stories on the Tully’s Tails Facebook Page. We might even share it on Good Morning Tampa Bay.