Earlier this month, Andi Davis was hiking on the same deserted Phoenix mountain trail she follows each morning when she spotted a wounded pit bull.
The two-year-old black-and-white dog had been shot multiple times. He had been left for dead.
And while Davis admits to being usually afraid of pit bulls, she knew she had to help.
"I realized I have two choices I can try to help this animal or run down the mountain to try to get help," she told Fox 10 News.
She chose the first option — and carried the 47-pound dog down the steep mountain for half an hour.
Davis's 10-year-old daughter, Jessica, immediately fell in love with the dog.
"I just thought, 'How could such a beautiful dog be feeling this way?' I just thought, 'This is terrible, we have to do something,'" Jessica told Fox 10 News.
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Davis's family brought the dog to the Arizona Humane Society where veterinarians found bullet fragments near his spinal cord, a bullet in the middle of his neck and an open abdominal wound. They treated the dog and sent him home with his new foster family: the Davis family.
Andi Davis and her husband and daughter are now nursing the dog, whom they named Elijah, back to health. They have plans to adopt him.
"I was so, so happy when I got to see him. When I found out we could adopt him and for good, I was thrilled!" young Jessica wrote in her letter to the Arizona Humane Society.
"After all you have done for us, I want to help animals too," she added. "Thank you so much for making our lives better. You rock.
On Friday morning, PETA notified Davis that she was the recipient of PETA's Compassionate Action Award. The Arizona Humane Society will present the award to Davis on PETA's behalf.
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