A Dog Named Gucci (2015) - full transcript

A DOG NAMED GUCCI tells the story of a 10-week old puppy named Gucci who was hung by his neck, doused with lighter fluid, and set afire. Doug James, standing on his porch nearby, heard the puppy's cries and ran to help. He scared away the thugs and at the request of Gucci's 15-year-old runaway owner, took the dog in for the night. Thus began a 16-year odyssey of devotion and perseverance. Together with local legislators, Doug and Gucci would see the "Gucci Bill" passed, changing the laws in Alabama, making domestic animal abuse a felony. Gucci would go from being a survivor to a rock star, the face of animal abuse in the south. And together they proved one voice can make a difference and that justice really is a dog's best friend.

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- I think if anybody who
sees animals being abused,

get involved.

Phone call, telephone call
to the police, anybody.

Do something but don't
let animals be abused.

- [Voiceover] Live,
this is Action News 10.

- Many of you may
remember Gucci the dog

and the senseless act of
violence that left the puppy

scarred for life.

- If you've been following
this story of Gucci.

- You'll probably recall
the story, Little Gucci.

- Good news tonight for Gucci.



- The Golf Coast love
affair with Gucci the dog

continues tonight.

(slow music)

- [Voiceover] There was a chow-husky mix and you can tell in

some of his pictures he looks
like a chow and some look

like a husky in the others.

He was a great dog.

Fun little dog.

- [Voiceover] This
is Halled street.

And what is known as
the Historic District,

Old Dauphin Way
District of Mobile.

And this was the
house where I lived.

It's considered a historic
house, built in about 1903.

I was selling it,
this was in '94.



I talked to the young man who
was gonna come look at it.

And he didn't show up the night
he was supposed to show up.

So I thought, well
I'll try again.

So I called him again
and he said okay I'll be

there tonight.

So I was out here in front,
it was about 9:30 at night.

My neighbor here I was coming
home from the grocery store,

and so we chatted.

And while we were chatting,
I'd heard this little puppy

yelp and so about the time
she and I were talking,

I saw this fireball
drop from a tree,

and run towards the houses.

And I thought that's a dog.

So I went running down
there and I heard,

it sounded like four people
running away from me.

And by that time the dog
was gone and I was banging

on the doors of the houses
down there because I knew they

probably knew what happened.

And so one of the fellas came
out and his name is Paul,

and I told him
what had happened.

I said somebody had burned
a dog right here and he just

disappeared under
the house somewhere.

He came on down and then we
saw the dog, it came under

to the front of the house.

Underneath, it's behind one
of those lattice works, so

Paul grabbed a hose that was
there and he turned it on

and started spraying the
dog to put out the fire.

The little dog was literally
blazing from the tip of his

nose to the tip of his tail.

The eeriest thing, he came
underneath that whole porch

and he was standing there
looking at me on fire.

And I couldn't get to him.

- I was 15.

Yeah I was a 15
year old runaway.

I was living with people that
obviously probably weren't

very good people to be around.

And the more I hung out and
the more I mean drugs we did

and whatever, the deeper
I kinda got embedded into

the wrong crowd.

And it got to a point where
they, you know didn't see me

as just baby girl anymore.

It was you know,
they wanted more.

There was a situation where
I was asked to go out with

one of the guys and
I refused, I said no.

And the threats started
coming in, okay well

you stay around, you'll
see what happens.

Me and Tony, the girl that I
was living with, we went to

dinner that night and we
came back and got out of the

cab and that's when the whole
thing with Gucci happened.

- And what they had
done, they had taken him

and strung him up by
his neck in a tree.

And they were slapping him,
that's what I heard when

I heard the yelping.

And then they got tired of
that and one of the guys went

to his car and got some lighter
fluid and sprayed it at his

head and his neck and
they set him on fire.

(slow music)

- Whey they pulled him out
from underneath the house,

and I remember them
handing Gucci to me,

it was like his whole face.

Not so much the rest of his
body but just his whole face

was burned.

I mean the tips of his
ears were singed down,

he had no hair left
on his face at all.

I just remember the black,
the blackness of burned.

You know something is burned
and you pick it up and you

get that, just that black all
over your hands of charcoal.

That's what was coming off
of his face, and coming off

of him when I was holding him.

- So I went on back up to my
house to wait for the man to

look at it.

And so the fella showed
up and while we were,

I was showing the house and
the girl came into the house,

all full of soot.

This dog had been burned
so badly and she was crying

of course and wanted to know
if I'd take him to the vet.

- I needed someone safe at that
moment and being a runaway,

I mean it wasn't like I could
call home or call mom and dad

or you know, hey I'm in
trouble I need your help.

- And I don't know
why she came to me.

I guess, I was a neighbor
and these people knew me

and knew I was a good guy.

I drove them around town,
took the kids to school

and all that kind of stuff.

- And Doug you know
made a commitment to me,

he said that night,
when I handed him my dog

and said I can't take care
of this dog, you have to help

him, you have to do something,

to help him.

- So I took him home and on
the way I stopped at a drug

store to see if the doctor,
the pharmacists could recommend

something for the burn.

So he gave me suggestions
so I got a spray.

He said put it on the paper,
on the cloth and then blot

him so you don't scare
him with the spraying.

So I stopped at the fire
station down here on the way

home to see if they
had any suggestions.

Of course they were outraged
what they had done to the dog.

So I brought him on home
and I had other dogs here

so I put in a dog bed in my
back bedroom where I slept.

He was so quiet.

I thought well, I really was
thinking all night he's not

going to live, he's
not going to live.

How can people be that cruel.

How can they be that mean.

- I woke up one
night, it was late.

I was asleep and I
got a phone call,

the first one I had
ever received from Doug.

Doug was pretty frantic
and was just looking to get

both a connection and some
advice on how to proceed

from there.

And he was wondering if I
knew of a good person to call.

- And he brought this
puppy in to my clinic,

that following morning.

This puppy was pretty small
and I could smell the lighter

fluid on him still.

And he was burned in the face
and most of his hair had been

burned off.

Nothing can prepare you
for something like that.

You think you've seen
it all, you haven't.

- [Voiceover] A local
attorney who wishes to remain

anonymous has agreed to
pay for Gucci's surgery.

Even though he hasn't
seen the dog in person.

Says all he wants is to see
the puppy fully recovered.

- It was obvious that
the dog (clears throat)

if he survived was going to
have significant vet bills.

And I don't remember if it
was Doug James or if there

were just a general plea
for help for the poor dog

and I did what I think what
most any normal, loving human

being should do.

And I called him, I said,
I mean I was moved by the,

just how sadistic that act was.

And I said I'll pay his
bills, whatever they are.

Send me the bills.

- There's been a
tremendous out pouring,

The People Mobile, I got
calls from Florida and from

Mississippi.

People who were concerned
about this sort of cruelty

to animals.

Actually he's been a wonderful
dog, he has been super.

He's never complained.

The first two weeks of course,
he was in such bad shape

he slept but he
never complained.

He ate well and the last
two weeks he's been a puppy.

He's begun to play, I have
another dog he plays with.

And he runs in the house
just like a normal puppy.

So really he's been a
delightful dog, he's just

been perfect.

- It took a while, several
months for those burns to be

treated and healed.

And I remember, maybe about
10 days after my treatment

'cause I saw him everyday.

I had Doug bring
him in everyday.

His skin started to sloth off.

And that was scary.

- When Dr. Branch debreeded
him, the first time she said

his ears literally
just broke off.

She said they were
just like crisp bacon.

- If he were here you'd see
what I was talking about.

The skin is truly
very contracted.

It's certainly the initial
surgery, it's gonna make him

a whole lot better.

If they can give him 75 percent
on this initial surgery,

I think that would be
really, really well.

Of course those people at
Auburn were really good so they

can probably do it.

(slow music)

- [Voiceover] Preparations
for Gucci's surgery started

early this morning at
Auburn's Veterinary Hospital.

By 10 a.m. doctors and students
are busy repairing Gucci's

burned face and his eyelids.

- When I met Gucci I was a
resident in ophthalmology

at Auburn University.

I had never seen a dog
that had been, you know

maliciously burned and Gucci
had second and third degree

burns.

Third degree burns,
they heal by contractor.

The scar tissue on top of his
head was pulling his eyes up

so he looked like a very, kind
of a character of a surprised

cartoon dog with very wide open
eyes and eyelids pulled up.

- [Voiceover] Gucci is now at

Auburn University School
of Veterinary medicine.

The puppies eyelids are
so damaged, he can't close

his eyes.

Doctors and Auburn hope to
correct the problem with

reconstructive surgery.

- So if he wouldn't have
had the surgery, he would of

probably eventually lost
vision because the corneas

don't do well when they dry out.

So both of his eyes were
affected, his left eye was more

severally affected.

And we did a procedure
called v to y plasty

and basically you're creating
a v and then you close it in

the shape of a y.

So what that does is it basically,
tissues that's up like

this is gonna be brought
down that way so it releases

tension.

- Gucci is recovering at Auburn
University after undergoing

three and a half hours of
reconstructive surgery to repair

his eyelids.

They were destroyed
when he was set on fire.

Gucci's condition is guarded,
the next two weeks are

critical in the healing process.

- When I was taken into
custody, I remember them running

the story on the news and
me sitting around, you know

other girl juveniles.

And them being like,
that was your dog.

You know why are they running
this story, this is big.

And there were so many people
involved in taking care

of Gucci.

Which was something I knew
that I couldn't, there's

no way I could have
done what Dr. James did.

- Golf Coast most famous pooch
is officially on the road

to recovery tonight.

Gucci is back home
recuperating after undergoing

reconstructive surgery
on his eyelids.

That protective shield you
see around his head is to keep

him from scratching his eyes.

Doctors at the

Auburn University School of
Veterinary Medicine performed

the surgery.

You remember Gucci was
set on fire awhile back.

Allegedly by a group of teens.

(Slow music)

- And then mean while the
legal system was working.

There was a police officer here
Tommy Menton, unfortunately

Tommy's not with us now, but
he was the only man with the

police force who got involved.

- Talking to one of my brothers
and I said what was his

involvement.

And he goes oh he found
the guys who did it.

And I went oh good
for him, nice work.

And then it was later I found
out that he found the guys

who did it kind of on his own.

- It happened on a Thursday
and I want to say by Sunday or

Monday I was being interviewed.

They were asking me you
know, what happened.

Why would they do this to you.

Where do you live,
where are you from.

I just remember them in a
car, obviously riding by while

the cameras were filming
me about the story.

And they threatened me and I
think that's ultimately how

they ended up getting caught.

- [Doug] The camera man just
turned his camera to the

license plate and they were
able to track them through

that.

As a matter of fact I had
called a lawyer friend,

George Hardesty.

- 'Cause he knew I was a lawyer,
he knew I was a prosecutor

and that I might be able to
give him some good advice

about what could be done,
what should be done.

From a legal stand point and
social stand point as well

with this very tragic incident.

- And I asked George if he would
represent him, he said yeah

I will but won't do any good
because in Alabama a dog is

a person's possession.

- Unfortunately in Alabama at
the time there were very few

laws protecting animals.

(slow music)

Owners of the animals and even
people who were non owners

could pretty much treat the
animals anyway they wanted

to without running any
fear of repercussion.

Without any consequences
for their actions basically.

And it became quite a long
road for, to pursue an action

against these individuals 'cause
first they were juveniles.

The more we researched into
it, 'cause I frankly hadn't

handled many cases because
we hadn't had this much

dynamic and tragic
abuse of an animal.

And particularly someone's
pet and so we found out that

we're running into more
and more roadblocks.

- [Voiceover] Gucci and his
owner Doug James headed to city

court early this morning.

There they saw one of the
people accused of beating Gucci.

- As it turns out when we
went to court there were two

juveniles and two adults
who were involved.

But one of them turned city
evidence or state evidence,

whatever, he turned
against the other three.

So there were four involved
but only three went to trail.

- The defense lawyers, they
pursued it on the level that

whatever these kids did wrong,
it expanded beyond what they

expected.

They never intend, they tried
to paint their intentions

is not being to really harm
the animal but just to get the

girls attention which it
obviously was far past that.

- They really felt annoyed
that this publicity, I mean the

whole city was involved, the
whole state was involved.

And a lot of the southeast too.

But they just felt annoyed I
think that it was just a dog,

it was just a dog.

- Mobile's Gucci the dog
has had his day in court.

The puppy was seeking justice
for the horrifying attack

he suffered in May.

- 19 year old Eddy Handy appeared in court today,
he was the

man accused of cruelty to
animals against Gucci the dog,

which you have been hearing
for the last four months or so.

- It took the judge just
seconds to find Handy guilty

and sentence him to the
maximum penalty, which will be

six months the Mobile Metro
Jail and a 500 dollar fine.

- [Doug] The significance of
that was, this was the first

time ever that anyone of
us had heard that anybody

went to jail for
cruelty to animals.

So we thought that
we made that point.

- I think that clearly
shows and gives a sign that

how much the judge believed
in the defendants guilt

and also wanted to be sure
and send a word out to this

community that animal abuse
will not be tolerated.

- [Shauna] Getting you know
six months in jail and,

I don't think it
was long enough.

The one thing that gives me
peace is knowing that everyday

that they wake up and they
look themselves in the mirror

they have to know what they did.

- It's strange that we love
animals but as far as getting

laws to protect them for some
reason we're afraid of it,

I don't know what it is.

I wish I knew.

I think the thing that
struck me the most was

I kept thinking of (mumbles)

I said this is something that
doesn't happen, this is just

something that is not real.

This is something that is
just straight from the worst

imaginations or the worst
horror story you could think of.

- Obviously I was not standing
right there when they,

you know, beat him.

So, but whether you were the
one who grabbed the lighter

fluid or whether you were
the one that stood there

and watched it happened,
you're as guilty and as sick as

everyone else that allowed
it to happen that night.

I have to carry my, you know
issue that you know I couldn't

protect Gucci more.

And that maybe I made bad
choices but he has to live

with the fact that
he was a part of it.

- I really got the impression
that it was all of them

involved, they were all just
slapping him around and having

a good time because he was a
poor helpless little animal.

(slow music)

- This is where it all began.

Where someone found a puppy
severely burned, beaten

and covered with maggots.

- First time I ever heard about
Susie, it was August of 2009

and was brought to my attention
that she had been found in

a park, local park
here in Greensboro.

And had suffered second and
third degree burns over most of

her body.

Her ears had been burned
off, her stomach was burned

very severely.

Places on her back were
burned very severely.

And so I was assigned the case
here in Guilford County in

order to prosecute it.

- Her owner did this to her
because she licked his baby in

the face.

- He took it as being
aggressive behavior.

So he snatched Susie up.

- He beat her up for
about 15 minutes.

- Took her outside on the patio,
broke off one of those long

lighters that you light like a
grill or something like that.

Kind of filtered out the
lighter fluid onto Susie's back

and body and at that
point set her on fire.

- [Donna] And she was found
10 days later by a guy walking

in the park.

And he saw this poor little
puppy laying there and like I

said they estimated by the amount of maggots on her,
she had

over 300 maggots on her, that
she was probably in this park

for 10 days.

- [Voiceover] How old
was she at this point?

- She was eight weeks old.

When she was in foster care,
that first couple of months,

I saw this little puppy and
the foster parents went on

vacation and they asked me
to stay with her for a week

'cause they couldn't take her
with her 'cause she couldn't

go outside 'cause of infection.

She couldn't be around any
other dogs, that she had to stay

in this room kind of gated
off just because of germs

and stuff, that's how
bad her burns were.

So I went to visit the puppy
because I was friends with the

foster mom and I fell
in love with this dog.

But when I adopted Susie, the
district attorney came to my

salon one day to talk to me.

And he said Donna, we caught
the guy that did this to Susie.

We got a court date set and
you will be subpoena to go to

court because you're her owner.

And I would love for you
to bring Susie to court.

So people can see
what he did to her,

although he's not gonna
get any jail time.

- It was impossible, no matter
what the facts were in the

case, he could not
receive any jail time.

There was no judge in the
state of North Carolina with

the authority to
send him to jail.

No district attorney
could send him to jail.

It was in fact the
law of the state.

- Then what's the point.

You know why do I even
need to show up with her.

I was really nervous about
her facing him, I didn't know

how she would act.

And he said but Donna we can
make a powerful impact here

about animal cruelty.

You know all the media will
be there, you know I really

think it would help animals
if you could just bring her.

- [Christopher] Our system now
runs from the worst offense

of being first degree murder
which would be a Class A felony

down to the lowest level
felony offense, which there are

several which would
be a Class I felony.

And at the time that was exactly
what animal cruelty was in

North Carolina, it was a Class
I felony which was the lowest

level felony in the state.

- So people were outraged,
the whole community was there.

We had the court room packed
and the district attorney said

everybody here for
Susie please stand up.

The whole court room stood up.

- Animals are considered to be
property, personal property.

And burning of personal property
in the state North Carolina

is a Class H felony which
is one level higher than the

Class I felony that
we just discussed.

So I indited the defendant
for the burning of personal

property, the personal
property being the dog, which

under our structured sentencing
guidelines at the time,

would allow him to be
sentenced to prison time.

So the irony is that you
could burn property and it was

actually stated in court that
it equated to burning a sofa.

So you could get more time for
burning somebody's sofa than

you could for burning
somebody's animal.

- [Voiceover] Lashaun Whitehead
admitted setting Susie

on fire.

He received four to six
months in prison for burning

personal property plus a
four to five month suspended

sentence for animal cruelty.

- We said we've got to do
something about this, we need to

change.

This law needs to change.

- I said to them and I think
it actually was in this very

room, you got to
contact the legislator.

Because we can't change the
law, the legislator has to

change the law.

We operate as prosecutors,
defense attorney's, judge's,

anybody in the criminal system.

We operate with the laws
that are given to us by our

legislator.

I said you've got
to go see them.

And I was absolutely pleasantly
surprised that they went

straight to the legislator.

They went and, I believed
they even asked me,

well who do we see?

And I said, well
go see Don Vaughan.

- In Susie's case, the law
was totally inadequate.

The judge could do community
service and do a fine

and other things and once we
researched the law, we realized

that, that law had been
on the books for well over

100 years.

We drafted a bill,
got it prepared and I found a blank bill

to be able to put
Susie's law into.

Which would actually make those
that abuse animals for the

first time in North Carolina
history go to jail for that

abuse.

- [Voiceover] On Sunday,
Susie supporters canvas

neighborhoods, looking for help.

- Hey Dr. Kaylan, how are you?

- [Voiceover] What we hope
is that they write letters to

our state representatives
and our senators and our

legislators to let them know
that we want to see a change

in our animal cruelty law.

- [Voiceover] It gives
the judge discretion.

Depending on the case, depending
on the amount of abuse.

And depending on the
perpetrators prior record.

- [Roberta] In Jun of 2010 we
went to the Governors mansion

for the signing of the bill.

- [Voiceover] The Pit-Shepard
mix came to Rowley to put her

paw of approval on
a bill she inspired.

- [Don] The team behind Susie
Rowley, when I needed them

at the legislator they
brought an army of volunteers.

Nobody got paid in this thing.

There wasn't any big fund
or anything at that time but

they all drove down to the
state capitol of Rowley.

They all sat there
on the front row.

Susie in her finest pearls
and her burned back showed up

at the legislator thanks to
the volunteers that helped.

And they sent cards, they sent
letters, they sent emails,

they sent faxes to legislators
to support Susie's Law.

You gotta know that the
people are behind you.

If not, you're not
gonna vote for it.

Those in office think about
there own constituents

and those constituents have
got to right to give you that

comfort level to go the
extra mile on a bill.

And that's what Susie's Law had.

I think one of the greatest
things was Facebook.

And to be able actually to
see a picture of this poor

animal.

And see others that are out
there all across the state

that are supporting you.

Everyday a legislator will
probably get five or six hundred

emails from people.

When 25 or 30 everyday are
about Susie, it certainly

gets your attention.

- And it doesn't matter who
you are, if you believe in it,

get behind it.

You can make a difference.

We do have a voice.

You know Susie became the
voice for all the animals in

North Carolina who had no
voice before Susies's Law.

- And instead of just asking
why and why is it this way,

they not only ask those
questions, they went to the next

level and went to the legislator
and said, it shouldn't be

this way and changed it.

- [Voiceover] And as for
little Gucci, his owner says

after some more surgery
he will be on his way to a

full recovery.

And Gucci's lawyers says the
national exposure his client

is getting may help
Gucci to get a new job.

- [George] Well we
certainly hope so.

We'd like Gucci to be an
effective spokesdog for other

animals who are abused.

I've received calls from all
over the country, people who

are concerned about the dog.

People really want to see
justice done to try to keep

animal rights in the
full front of the news.

- Mary Zoghby who's an Alabama
legislator called me one

day and said, Doug I have
written a bill for animal

protection.

And is that okay,
sure it's okay.

- Well like many citizens, I
read about the plight of Gucci,

in the newspaper.

My sister had lived on that
same street so I was familiar

with the area.

I was really horrified when
I saw what had happened to

that little puppy.

And shortly thereafter I
started looking at Alabama's

laws knowing that there
had to be something done to

correct this situation
with perpetrators.

And to raise the penalties
for animal cruelty in general.

So I asked our bill drawing
entity legislative reference

service to research the laws
that we had and to draw up

a new law.

Based upon stiffer penalties
for people mistreating

household pets.

- And so then that's when
Lynne Fridley got involved

and so several of us were
going over to Montgomery,

the state capitol to do
our politicking, to do what

we could.

And we were visiting the
various offices of the various

members of the legislator,
we were really trying to find

somebody who would
take this as a project.

- Gucci and Doug James
came to the legislator

and that's what started
turning the tide.

Gucci was our spokesdog.

Gucci was the face of
animal cruelty in Alabama.

- [Voiceover] Gucci and
his story were spotlighted

as James started working
for tougher animal cruelty

laws in Alabama.

State legislator Mary Zoghby
and Lynne Fridley wrote

and pushed a bill to make
domestic dog or cat abuse

a felony.

- In state government
and even in Washington,

killing a bill is
relatively easy.

Getting something positive
done is really hard work.

Trying something new is tough
but it was the dream team,

between Doug James and this
beautiful but disfigured dog.

They were opening doors like
I had never seen at the time.

Whether or not it was Governor
Folsom, Governor James

or Governor Segalman who
ultimately signed the bill,

it was personal.

All of these guys and their
wives, their families,

they had dogs.

And so this wasn't about an
individual case, this was about

probably a lot of inspection
and thinking about their

own animals and their
own families and what if.

- I think so many of them though
were afraid that they'd be

seen as kind of soft or
whatever because I didn't want

to make people think that
they were more involved with

animal welfare than there
were with people welfare.

- It is amazing that something
so pure and is so simple

as the intent of this bill,
would have cause confusion.

But in the world of legislation
with paid lobbyist worrying

about what if scenarios.

I think the phrase that
one of the top lawmakers in

Montgomery used to use,
that's the camels nose under

the tent.

If this, it's gonna be
something else tomorrow.

And this is the beginner kit
for freedoms being taken away.

And in agriculture, you know
what's that fine line between

animal harvesting and animal
abuse and inevitably there

are gray areas and those
who are paid to be careful

and prevent things from
happening way on down the road.

I'd argue they were being
exceedingly careful.

- I think anything, we've
got a lot of agriculture,

we've got a lot of hunters
in the south and I think

a lot of people feel that this
would have something to do

affecting farming,
animal husbandry,

affecting sport hunting.

And that was a point that we
tried to make with the bill,

this was about
companion animals.

This was about people who just
deliberately torture, maim

and kill just because
that's what they want to do.

It's not about making a
living, it's not about hunting

for food or anything like that.

- I think it's
interesting too that they,

we had the bill was
originally for all animals.

And the only way we could
get it passed was for cats

and dogs.

- There was another legislator
who said the way that I read

this bill, I cannot put a
side of beef in my freezer,

I can't kill a food
animal like this.

There's nothing there but
people had these wrong ideas

about it and they
were afraid of it.

- [Julie] We went to a committee meeting,
I think we went

to the house committee
meeting and then I remember--

- Is that where the guy
complained about the dog going,

peeing on his
Augusta grass and--

- That was on the house floor.

That was actually the
debate in the house floor.

As Jacque said--

- They decided to call it the
pee pee bill, excuse me you

could cut this out but--

(laughing)

- I call it the pee and poop
exception is what I call

it now.

- [Jacque] He says if my neighbors Jack Russell comes over

and pees on my whatever,
Augusta grass, I have a right

to shoot him and kill him.

- [Julie] We were sitting
in the gallery in the house

and while the debate on
the bill was going on,

basically what was coming
out of a lot of the debate

was my wife, my child, my
dog, don't tell me what to do.

This issue came up and he
talked about chasing off the dog

or using a BB-gun and they
put an exception into the law

for if you shoot with a BB-gun
at a dog that is urinating

or defecating on your lawn
that you're accepted out of it.

So it was rather
an interesting um--

- [Voiceover] And
that's in the final law?

- That's in the
final law and yeah.

So that's how laws, you
know it's the old saying,

there's two things you don't
want to see being made,

laws and sausage.

- But it's ridiculous, I mean
when you look at legislation

and they attack on things
like that I mean that's

embarrassing.

It should be embarrassing to
the legislator that wanted it

tacked on to begin with.

It should be embarrassing for
the people that live here that

elect these officials
to do that work.

It should be embarrassing to
everybody that lives in this

state.

I mean we're in Alabama we
already feel like we're at

the low end of the pole here
as far as progressiveness

and then we get this idiotic
amendments that make no sense

just because one of our
lawmakers has a neighbors dog

that comes over and
pees on it's bush.

- So many times, someone
will come to you with an idea

that's somewhat abstract.

There is nothing abstract about
a dogs ears who's ears have

been burned off.

There's no one that could
say, hey this kind of thing

doesn't really
happen in Alabama.

This kind of thing really
doesn't happen, there are no

people so heartless that
would do something like that

when that animals you know
through that scar tissue

face was looking out.

And frankly making
some great press.

- [Lynne] A person commits the
crime of cruelty to a dog or

cat in the first degree if he
or she intentionally tortures

any dog or cat or skins
a domestic dog or cat.

Offers for sale or exchange
or offers to buy or exchange

the fur (mumbles)

of a domestic dog or cat.

Cruelty to a dog or cat
in the first degree is a

class C felony.

- [Don] I won't speak for most
states, you'll find the state

of Alabama can be slow to
change in a lot of it's laws

concerning animals.

It's more like well if it's
been there that long, let's just

leave it.

Kind of keep things a status
quo and Doug James did a

exemplary job of convincing the
lobbyist and the legislators

Why the the status quo
was no longer good enough.

Why the status quo
was no longer right.

Why the status quo should
not be the course Alabama

took at that stage.

(slow music)

- Of all the cases I handle,
Gucci is in certainly

probably the top 10 if not
the top 5 on cases that have

stood out.

That have made a difference,
that kind of mold you

and shape you and kind of
awaken your consciousness

to hey, we need to be alert
to what's happening around us.

We need to open our eyes
and see, not just read about

it in the paper, not just see
it on TV, but to take an act

of standing, doing something
about it like Doug James did.

And he's the hero of this story.

- I know that once I was
in North Alabama to go into

Huntsville to the
Books-A-Million to sell books.

And I had an appointment
over in Florida to another

Books-A-Million.

And I called the Florida store
and said look there's so many

people in the store I'm gonna
be delayed about an hour.

But when we arrived in Florida
at the mall, there were

people still waiting
for him. (chuckles)

And really the rock star,
when he arrived people just

cheered for him.

And he walked in, he was so
proud, he knew exactly what

was going on.

So yeah, he had that
rock start quality.

I often thought he looked like
Big Bird and this is one of

the shots where I think he
looked like Big Bird (chuckles)

at one of his signings.

And this was also at one
of the book signings.

He would take to this just
like it was all apart of

his life.

He was supposed to
be where he was.

We made so many trips to so
many groups who where doing

fund raisers and Gucc
was a guest of honor.

But I believe this was
up in Tuscaloosa, we went

and we were given this
brave heart award.

This was for Gucci of course.

You know the first time we made
an appearance, we went into

the door of the school and
they had the big sign up there,

hero.

And I wasn't sure, are they
talking about me the hero

and I didn't say anything
about it but I wanted to ask

'cause I thought
Gucci was the hero.

I just happened,
I'm just his driver.

- It was the morning
of September the 7th.

I remember it very plainly.

It was a normal morning
and we got a call from

The Humane Society telling
us that they had a transport

dog on the way that had
been set on fire and burned

very badly.

Within a matter of minutes,
they showed up with Louis.

We didn't know his name at the
time but shortly thereafter

he told us what
his name would be.

And Louis when he arrived
was still hot to the touch.

The original plan unfortunately
was to euthanize Louis.

All the literature that you
will read on burned dogs,

tells you that if they have
full thickness burns over more

than 30 percent of their
body that humane euthanasia

is the best recommendation
at that time.

But, we drew up the euthanasia
solution and I walked in to

look at Louis and he looked
up at me through those

swollen burned lids and squinted
little eyes and he wagged

his tail.

I couldn't do it.

So tears streaming, turned
around and walked back out.

Came back, looked at him
again and again and a world of

pain that I can't even imagine.

He looked up at me and he
wagged his tail again and I knew

that this wasn't a typical dog.

He wasn't ready to give up
and without a doubt he wanted

to live.

And one of my technicians
knelt down and as soon as she

knelt down he walked over and
he crawled up into her lap.

And we decided at that point
that as long as Louis wanted

to go, we would fight
for him every second.

- My deputy contacts
me on the scene,

I advised what he had.

He said that the dog had
been beaten with a shovel

and or a stick and then some
type of flammable liquid

had been poured on the dog.

And then the dog
had been set a fire.

- [Dr. Holladay] I'm a graduate
of Auburn University and was

of course living in Alabama
was familiar with the story of

Gucci and his injuries.

And I knew as soon as we
saw Louis Vuitton that,

that would be his name.

We named him Louis Vuitton
after a designer in honor

of Gucci and the Gucci Law
that was on the books now

in Alabama.

- 'Course for our investigation
we talked to the mother

and the mother told us
that her son Juan Daniels,

who's our suspect,
apparently had been on a drug

and alcohol fueled binge.

He wanted to use the vehicle,
which was a Ford Excursion

that belonged to her.

And he was hopped up on ecstasy
and tequila and marijuana.

His mother told him that he
could not use the vehicle

and so therefore in order
to get back at her, he took

a leash and he chained
the dog to a carport.

Took a shovel and beat the
dog into submission and then

poured charcoal lighter fluid
all over the dog and set

the dog on fire.

(slow music)

After we received this
information of course we

automatically know that
it's gonna be a felony,

we're gonna charge
the suspect with.

At that point in time we
need to start looking for the

suspect.

It took us a little over
two weeks to track down

Juan Daniels.

- The shelter had mailed
out a letter a little small

picture of Louis.

And telling about what
had happened to him

and that they would be raising
funds for his treatment.

And not telling of his
location because that was

kept confidential for awhile.

But to tell everybody that
they needed funds for his

medical care because his
injuries were very severe.

And the story broke, I
think the first time we saw

it was on the nightly news,
the local nightly news.

I just kept telling
William, I want that dog.

I want that dog, I know that.

That's all I could think about.

And William kept saying
we don't need that dog,

but I kept feeling he needed us.

For some reason I just had
a really strong tug in my

heart that we really, we
could do something for him.

- Started going to see the guy,

at lunch everyday we'd meet
out there and they encouraged

us to bring him anything
that we thought a dog might

like to eat.

So we pretty much did.

He kind of liked us 'cause
he got McDonald's hamburgers

and cheeseburgers
and Vienna Sausage

and you know whatever but...

So that's how we got
introduced to him.

It worked out
pretty well for us.

I think we've done pretty
well with him but I know it's

really done us a lot of good.

- Now I knew there was
a relatively new law,

I didn't know a lot of
history about it because our

law became effective in
2000 but we hadn't in

Montgomery used it.

But you begin to think,
wasn't there something

and when you hit the
books and you find it,

you went yes!

We've got a felony.

- I know for Alabama, that
he got the longest sentence

in state history for one
count of animal cruelty.

Which is the maximum
sentence to 10 years.

- [Voiceover] Were you
still nonetheless surprised

when he got the maximum?

- No, not at all.

Pleased, yes.

Relieved, certainly.

- Ecstatic.

Ecstatic--

- We were.

- As a matter of fact Judge
Price had warned everybody

there was a courtroom full,
they're supporting Louis.

All the humane shelter staff
and people just you know,

people in the public that
had been following the case

and knew about that.

And we were all there, we
had a packed courtroom.

And first thing Judge Price
says is you know when we

announce the sentencing there's
no outcries, no comments.

And still there were, there
were because people were

so excited.

I happened to go on Facebook
and saw where there was

a petition to deny parole
for Juan Daniels, already

circulating.

- I went to the prison system
and I got a copy of his

records in prison.

And unfortunately for him, he
had not been a good inmate.

So I thought we had a great
shot at keeping him in prison.

And of course the best witness
was Louis Vuitton himself.

And it was a stroke of
genius when the Hartley's

stopped to bring him
to the parole hearing.

The parole board unanimously
denied his parole

and to this day Juan
Daniels remains in prison.

He'll get out, we all know that.

We pray he's learned his lesson,

but my fear based on his
prison behavior is he will be

in trouble again.

- A lot of things have
changed since then.

Now we hear phrases on the
street, don't mess around

with the animal cops,
they'll put you in jail.

We've heard that
a couple of times.

I think that since the Louis
Vuitton case, especially the

residents of Montgomery
County, Alabama know that we

mean business.

We're serious.

We're a law enforcement
agency, we're not dog catchers.

- I have learned in my 30
years of being a prosecutor

that good laws get passed
only after a tragedy.

It takes a rallying cry.

It takes some reason for
people to focus around an issue

and push and push and push.

- The minute a person gets
involved, they've made

a difference.

The minute they pick up that
phone, they make a phone call,

hey this is going on at my
neighbors house or hey, when

I was at the grocery store
I saw this car with a dog

locked in it.

We're not gonna know about
the situation unless someone

calls us and tells us about it.

So the minute they call,
they have made a difference.

- We have to take a stand.

Social media is a great tool
and it can get people really

riled up and get things done.

- When I was 12 I wanted to
do something more to help

so I created NYC
Teen for Animals.

It started out as a small
Facebook, you know to raise

awareness and share some
causes and share the dogs

I work with personally.

A couple years later
John the dog came in.

So I took pictures of him,
posted them on the page

and we started sharing
his daily updates.

People started liking the
page from all over the world.

He was about 18 pounds
when he first came in,

which was extremely,
extremely underweight.

He probably should have weighed
somewhere around 65 pounds.

We couldn't even tell he was
alive, the only way you could

tell was because
he was blinking.

He couldn't even wag his
tail or lift his head.

And he started to get better
and better and it was really

one of the first dogs that
I had really, really helped

nurse back to health from
such a horrible condition.

It's hard with animals because
they can't tell you what's

wrong, they can't call for help.

It's really up to people
to do the right thing.

If they see something,
say something.

I mean you can't just say,
oh it's not my problem,

somebody else will do
something about it.

- Social media is amazing in
the fact that you can reach

so many people in two seconds.

And I think that's another
thing people can do, is when

you see those stories on
your news feed that friend

shared about this poor
dog that was abused,

share it.

Read it 'cause eventually
you're gonna get fed up with it.

You're gonna say I need to
do something because this is

just getting to me.

I did one or two stories just
covering different cruelty

cases throughout Mobile
County which was,

several.

I mean there was at least
you know two a week that we

could have done.

And I started getting calls,
just a lot of calls from

different rescue groups.

They called me every time
there was a different cruelty

case and that's how Linda
got in touch with me

and said, hey I got a bill to
pass and I want you to help.

- [Voiceover] She's pushing
a bill designed to impose

harsher penalties for
animal cruelty and neglect.

- [Voiceover] In 2012
we're still having to put,

you know tools in the
hands of the judges

and in the hands of the
prosecutors to say we're not

gonna allow animal abuse.

- Gucci's Law kind of
laid the ground work,

in the sense that
there is a law.

- [Voiceover] Now abusing a
domestic dog or cat is a felony

in Alabama.

A legacy that Dr.
James is proud of,

but he believes
more can be done.

- It does not take
into account livestock,

it does not take into
account stray dogs or

any other animals.

- The new law, A made
it easier to prosecute.

It changed the wording to
where you'll only have to

prove the act was malicious
rather than the intent

was malicious.

- It makes torture,
prolonged animal cruelty,

severe cases of neglect,
it makes it a felony.

- The bill passed the Alabama
house with no opposition,

passed the senate committee.

Again no opposition
but over the weekend,

the Alabama Game Fowl
Breeders Association

took a stance against the bill.

The group is standing up
for cock fighting which is

already legal.

- And there issue was that
they didn't want this bill

to apply to them.

It's an illegal activity so
for it not to apply to them

it really amazed me
that we had to take that

and put that amendment in there.

However we had to put
it in there because

when you're writing a
bill and when you're going

through a bill, you have
to be able to compromise.

- [Voiceover] Nearly 5,000
of you signed Fox 10 News

online petition to strengthen
laws protecting animals.

And today with the passage
of HB27, you were heard.

- 31 eyes, one day
and one extension.

Final passage as
amended has occured.

- When I first got involved
with covering stories

concerning animal cruelty
that was the first thing

people told me about, was Gucci.

And that's the first thing
I tell people about when I'm

explaining the issue in Alabama.

Whenever I think of Gucci I
try to smile because of the

happy ending that
that dog received.

And that he should have
never been in that position

in the first place.

But what a blessing that
dog was to the entire state

of Alabama.

For getting the ball rolling,
it took a very long time,

but I don't think the law
that we passed could have

been passed as
quickly as it did.

It wouldn't have been passed
you know it wouldn't be there

without Gucci.

- I think it has a very
positive impact for people's

perceptions of animals as not
just only being possessions.

And so you know Doug's roll in
that is not inconsequential.

- This is a man that was
standing on his front porch

that didn't know
what was coming.

- I cannot take any
credit for what happened.

I just rescued him
and I was glad,

and my mother, I told you
was a great animal lover

and she had died a
couple years before.

But I don't know how far
these things go but I wondered

many times.

See the first time, the
first night George Swan was

supposed to come look at the
house, he didn't show up.

The second night I stood
outside to make sure he knew

this house was safe.

And I often wondered if
somehow (chuckles) my mother

had me out there,

waiting for this to happen
so I could take over.

I've often thought about
that but no I was just

a participant.

But Gucci was the one who
really gets the credit.

- You know he was very, very
proud of his role in allowing

something very positive to
come from something that

was pretty negative.

- [Doug] It is the funniest
thing here, if I go any place

and people know him,
had no idea who I was.

It was always fun, I didn't
mind that he was the star.

(chatter)

I was talking to a fella the
other day and he always calls

me Mr. Gucci, can't remember
my name but Mr. Gucci.

The Playhouse in the Park
which is just a few blocks

form here actually, was doing
a production of the musical

Annie.

Said I've got Gucci and of
course they knew Gucci and

said could we see if he
could play the part of Sandy

'cause I think he
looks like Sandy.

The right color and the right
size so sure bring him down

so I went down and he was just
perfect, he was just perfect.

And of course he loved the
kids and the kids loved him.

So that was one of the
things, people would come to

the play because of him.

And the Mobile Press
Register was wonderful,

I've got this one shot of
Gucci, his publicity shot.

And he's looking into the
camera and he's got this

intelligent, happy quizzical
look on his face and I thought

that's gonna sell to this play.

So people would come to see
the play because he was in it.

He was in it three times over
the years which was really

great.

- [Annie] I said don't worry
I'm not gonna let them get you

or me, I'll take care of you.

And everything's going to
be fine for the both of us.

If not today well,

* The sun will come
out tomorrow...

- But he was a publicity hound.

He literally loved publicity.

And when the camera would
come out he would get so

excited.

And when I'd put him in the
car to go places and he'd

see the crowds there
he would just light up.

And he would go into that
crowd just like I'm gonna

get all the votes I can.

He was number one, he
was always top dog.

And I have, this was
his favorite toy.

This was a bear that I guess
I bought for him, I can't

remember.

But the strange thing,
any time he'd get an

animal, a pet, a toy like this.

Since his ears were gone, he
would always take off the ears.

It was the strangest thing.

I don't know if he had some
sort identity crises or what

but he'd take off the ears
and he'd take off the label

and that was the rest of it.

He would leave the
rest the way it is,

but this was his favorite.

- [Voiceover] And the other
question I want to ask,

The Gucci Gram?

- [Doug] That was just a
little way of letting people

know what was going
on in Gucci's life.

Because at that time
he had a big following,

just a number of people and--

- [Voiceover] Would you
actually hand mail those?

- [Doug] Yes, they're all
done by hand, but that was my

life at the time.

It really took up just
about all my time.

Which was fine, I
didn't mind that at all.

(slow music)

- [Liz] We really had a
wonderful relationship when

we considered him and his
wife our good friends.

We celebrated with them,
went out to dinner with them.

I mean we spent, I just don't
want people to think that

we picked his kennel like
out of the yellow peaches

and didn't do our homework
'cause we most definitely did.

And a few years later my
dad who lives out of state

suddenly was
stricken with cancer.

And he was by himself
so I had to go of course

and be wit him.

And Nitro was not
always the easiest dog.

I mean there I will not
lie, I mean he did require

an experienced handler.

- Liz's father lives in New
Jersey, it's about three to

four hours away from here.

It wasn't a close trip so it
was tough to go down there with

the two dogs and handle
two dogs down there.

- I thought it best, that rather
than him sit in a kennel in

New York that we would bring
him to Ohio where he could

be with Steve and also work
on his training and be well

cared for.

We would call, sometimes I
would talk to him two, three

times a week and he assured us
he was doing very, very well.

His training was excellent
and in fact his favorite

place to lay in the kennel
yard was under a big oak tree.

We had called and Tom spoke
to Steve and Steve said

you know what Nitro's doing
very well, why don't you leave

him a few more weeks while
you take care of all these

odds and ends and catch up
at home and catch up at work.

And I said you know what
Tom, that's a great idea.

Let's do that.

Let's get everything, all
of our affairs in order.

About a week or two later
we kept trying to get him on

the phone.

When we called him on the phone
he didn't always call back

the same day.

Many times it would be the
next morning, I mean after all

he's running a business
and he's busy too.

And then when we didn't
hear back from him,

basically I was only trying to
get a hold of him to tell him

that we were coming to Ohio
that Saturday to pick Nitro up.

And I can't even begin to
tell you how excited I was.

That Saturday morning I got
up about five in the morning,

I went to the computer because
I remembered as part of

the references was one of the
men that we had met during

training and he lived
very close to the kennel.

So I went to go on to get
his full name so I could look

up his phone number
and give him a call.

And when I typed in the
name of the kennel--

- [Voiceover] Steven
Crowley the owner of

High Caliber K-9 Boarding
and Training Facility,

entered a not guilty plea
to animal cruelty charges.

After police and humane
agents found seven dead dogs

and eight starving
dogs at his business.

- And I heard Liz from the
other room scream at the top

of her lungs, Tom get in here.

- At this point we didn't
know where he was, if he was

clinging to life because they
said that many of the dogs

were taken to the
humane society.

And they were feeding them
very slowly and trying to nurse

them back to health.

- We got to Ohio
late that evening.

The first place we went to, we
went to the police department

in Hubbard and they told us
where all the animals had been

brought to.

I think it was animal
charities at the time.

So the following day we
went to the humane place,

the animal charities
as it's called.

And we were talking to one
of the humane agents and we

were asking the humane
agents about a Rottweiler

and the humane agent said,
no there was no Rottweiler

here, we don't have a Rottweiler,
there was no Rottweiler

taken.

He did say he had a doberman
and I said well let's just see

if this, what this
doberman looks like.

Since you're telling me that
there was no Rottweiler.

We went into the basement
of the animal charities

and they went down and there
was a meat locker freezer

like they have a chest freezer
and he pulled out a body bag.

And in that body bag was my dog.

Okay when we dropped him
off, he weighed 105 pounds.

And I had them weigh him
and he weighed 45 pounds,

frozen solid.

Okay his nails were split open
from him trying to escape.

It was just horrible, his
ribs were protruding through

the sides of his skin.

And he was chipped when he
was born, we had him chipped

before we brought him home
and then they micro-chipped

and they micro-chipped
him and it was my dog.

It was my boy, it was him.

It was him.

He was dead.

He was shriveled up in a
fetus position and I'll never

forget that.

It's embedded in my brain
for the rest of my life.

- [Voiceover] For the past two
weeks the couples been trying

to reach the owner of High
Caliber, Steven Crowley,

to arrange an appointment
to pick up their dog.

Then over the weekend they
come to find out the shocking

news, the dogs were starving
to death that were being

boarded at that kennel.

- Starvation doesn't
just happen over night.

This wasn't a case of, I forgot
to feed the dogs one night.

I mean this was repeatedly,
over and over and over.

Nitro was the only dog found
at the kennel with absolutely

no bowl in his kennel.

Because what he would do
if he was hungry or thirsty

and his bowl was empty,
he would pick it up

and he would just throw it.

- And I can't imagine how many
times he must have in that

kennel flung that thing while
that S.O.B. stood in that

house and heard that and
did nothing about it.

- And I know that he removed
them because I'm sure

he just kept throwing his bowls.

But nobody ever came
and filled them.

The next thing I know, I
mean I'm at the prosecutors

office and he explains to
Tom and I that animal cruelty

in Ohio is just a misdemeanor,
no matter how horrific

the crime.

And we just couldn't
believe this.

I mean I was speechless.

And I just knew that, that
couldn't possibly just be

acceptable.

- [Voiceover] Another question
has to do with the charges.

Crowley was originally charged
with 19 counts of animal

cruelty and neglect but was
arraigned on only four counts

in court.

- The humane agents didn't
obtain a search warrant.

So 14,15 of those charges
were dropped down to four.

It seems that at the time in
Ohio there was no certification

required.

No training was required.

And while these agents thought
they were doing the right

thing by immediately going
into the kennel and trying

to help these dogs.

Only the four dogs that they
were able to see from the

neighbors yard, were the four
counts that were allowed.

Nitro was not one
of those counts.

- So we knew we that
had to do something,

for those dogs that day.

And that's when Liz thought
of Nitro Foundation.

- And I said I'm
going to enact change.

And I'm gonna change this
law, I don't care how long it

takes, how hard it is.

I don't care how many people
tell me no, we're gonna

do this.

- [Voiceover] Question
is, shall the bill pass.

House will prepare
and proceed to vote.

Both members now voted.

Clerk will take the roll,

59 yeas, 38 nays.

Therefore having received
the required constitutional

majority, the bill is
hereby passed and entitled.

- [Liz] Well the biggest thing
it's done is instead of being

just a misdemeanor, it will be
a felony of the fifth degree.

- [Voiceover] Some call it a
victory, years in the making.

As Governor John Kasich
signs Nitro's Law.

The Law will now make animal
abuse a fifth degree felony

for kennels that mistreat pets.

A problem Kasich recently
told us that needs to stop.

They're gods creatures and
they need to be treated with

respect and love.

And when people don't do
it, they need to be held

accountable.

- No, not at all.

No, no, closure, I'll
never get him back.

They'll never change
what happened to him.

The only closure it gives us
is that at least he didn't

die in vein, if that's what
you want to know about closure.

Then yes.

- Till this day I
still feel guilty.

I mean while I didn't do it
of course, I made the decision

to put him there.

You know and, they count on us.

- If you do not think animals
should be tortured, abused,

neglected, go to
your legislators.

Those folks who are elected
by you will listen if you can

rally them.

Email, visit, write letters.

Secondly, talk to
your prosecutors.

The people who have the
ability to bring these charges

or not and work with them.

Train them, educate them.

And thirdly, when a case
gets made don't walk away,

be there.

Let people know you're watching.

Too often I walk into
court and I look around

and there may be somebody
up there for the defendant,

but I look around and
frequently the victim,

human or not is standing
pretty much alone.

- We need to have
people that are active

in the way our laws work.

If there's a law passed and
it's a felony and the law

enforcement isn't gonna enforce
it or the prosecutor is not

gonna prosecute it,
what good is the law?

- And it goes right back to,
which I find very offensive,

the statement of it's only
an animal, it's only a dog.

Well it's a living thing.

You know it's alive,
it breathes, it feels.

- People need to see
animal abuse differently.

They need to see it as an
actual issue which a lot of

people don't.

- Gucci was never
an animal problem.

It was always a people problem.

And people need to
take that and own it.

- [Doug] I've said many times
that he was probably the

perfect dog.

And even when I fussed at
him, he would just look at me

and like this is alright.

You know some dogs tuck their
tails under and carry on

but if he did something bad
I'd say you were a bad boy

and he would, okay
I can handle that.

But he would never show any
real remorse but he would

just stick and
follow a way through.

- Gucci the dog is famous for
toughening the consequences

for animal cruelty.

Yesterday Gucci died.

- He was arthritic
and he just gave out.

He could no longer
get up and move around

and function normally.

And Doug was carrying him down
steps and outside for weeks

before he could finally come
to terms with letting him go.

They were very bonded.

Gucci, I remember we euthanized
him in exam room four,

which is further down the hall.

And Gucci was just in
lateral recumbency.

He was just laying flat on
his side and that's really

all he could do

He couldn't even get
sternal at that point.

And Doug was just crying and
you know trying to maintain

his composure but
struggling with that.

- After what that dog went
through he was so kind

and he was so loving
and you'd see him,

there'd be children
all over him.

There'd be people all over him.

We'd be at the Greater
Gulf State Fair, we'd be

at a pet store or we'd be at
the mall and it didn't phase

Gucci a bit.

He did love everybody.

It's amazing and I think
that's what people reach out

to 'cause they see the dog.

And animals are so forgiving,
they're not like people.

They do, they give and they
give and Gucci gave and gave.

- [Doug] He just never
lost that wonderful

spirit of loving life and
loving people and being a

happy boy.

- [Voiceover] Gucci who
died of old age earlier this

week found a peaceful
end and a loving home.

Exactly what he deserved.

- He thought he was beautiful
and in his own way, he was.

You know saving one dog is
not gonna save the world.

But it saved his world.

- In some weird way (clears
throat) what happened

to Gucci probably saved my life.

And I think in some weird
way it saved Doug's life.

I think it gave
both of us purpose.

- When Gucci died,
I had him cremated.

And had him put in
this little box here.

So I could have him even though
I didn't have him so I have

him here and every morning
when I get up, I give him

his good morning and then
when I go to bed at night

I give him his goodnight.

So it's still kind of
like I still have him.

(slow music)

Anybody who could see
what had happened to

that dog would have to be moved
and would have to speak up

or step up or do something.

- [Don] Doug James
was the quarter back,

the offensive line,
the running back

and the wide receivers
on this team.

He did it all.

And the head coach
for that matter.

- [Voiceover] (chuckles)
Okay, what was Gucci?

- [Don] Gucci was a star
athlete, Gucci scored some

touchdowns on his own.

He sure did, I guess the
center 'cause he's the one who

kind of snapped the ball
and took off down the field.

- It's happening
everywhere, everyday.

And it's not just stray
dogs, it's not just kids that

are bad apples that are finding
animals and abusing them.

And I think you need to
open your eyes to that,

because it's easy to ignore
those stories when you see it,

oh I don't want to look at
that, I don't want to look at

that but you have
to look at that.

You have to look at that
and say that's wrong.

And you have to make a stand
for it because obviously

animals don't have a voice.

* Every animal is my friend

* Every animal is my friend

* I've been here before

* I've been here before

* People are the worst of all

* People are the worst of all

* I've been here before

* I've been here before

* I'll never hurt an animal

* But if you raise your hand

* If you raise your hand

* Every animal is my friend

* Every animal is my friend

* I've been here before

* I've been here before

* I've been here beore

* I've been here beore

* I've been here before

- There are a lot of Gucci's
out there, unfortunately.

But um--

- I think Doug James.

- I was gonna say--

- Was the perfect storm.

- Yeah.

- I think, so that's hard to
say obviously but Doug James

just stuck with it.

- I mean he obviously had
the perseverance to do it,

he had the passion and he had
the bravery to step forward

and say something needs
to be done about this.

He had the bravery to
step forward and rescue a

little puppy.

- [Matt] It's important to
remember The Gucci Bill, this is

something where
people did something.

Not even people,
really just one person.

It made a huge difference you
know so when in doubt as to

whether or not a person can
make a difference, they can.

And if you don't know that
for sure, think about Gucci.

(slow music)