ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Domestic violence victim Melissa Dohme and a pitbull named Khalessi are bound by their ability to survive.
Only ABC Action News was there as bay area photographer Lisa Otto brought Melissa and Khalessi together for a special photo shoot. “Since they are both survivors of abuse, it all came hand-and-hand,” Otto said.
Dohme was stabbed 32 times by and ex-boyfriend in 2012. Many of those wounds were to her face. “Having to look in the mirror each day and see I’m different because of what someone else did was hard to accept,” Dohme said.
Many ABC Action News viewers have followed the story of Khalessi the dog as well. The pitbull was severely abused in August and likely used as a bait-dog.
Khalessi has lost a lot of her face, but all Melissa sees is the beauty inside. “Her soul is beautiful. She just wants to love and wag her tail,” Dohme said.
Khalessi has been recovering for the past three months with the rescue group Passion for Pits. Melissa has come a long way as well in the three years since she was attached.
She had surgery in August in Boston to restore movement in her face and gain the ability to smile once again.
“You can’t keep us down, and we won’t be silenced,” Dohme said. “I have a voice. I was given my voice back. We will care on Khalessi’s voice and we will do all we can do to help abused animals and people and show that love wins.”