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Nativity Scene Pit Bull Finds Family for Christmas

ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio (Angenette Levy) -- A battered, underweight pit bull found curled up in a nativity scene is spending Christmas with a foster family thanks to a rescue group.

The dog, named Gabriel, was found in a nativity scene in Glendale last week. The dog was curled up in straw next to a manger holding baby Jesus. He had gashes on his head and leg along with injuries to his jaw and eye.

He's found a temporary home with Tarah Ross and Mike Berning in Anderson Township.
"Knowing that he's warm and he's not curled up in a ball somewhere looking for food, I think is awesome," Ross said Christmas morning as Gabriel snuggled next to her on the couch.
The Cincinnati Pit Crew, a pit bull rescue group, heard about Gabriel and offered to help him. The group posted photos of him in the manger scene on Facebook. The group named him Gabriel after the archangel who told the Virgin Mary that she would give birth to the Savior.

Berning saw Gabriel on Facebook and felt compelled to offer him a home.
"The fact that he was in the manger and all that stuff was cool but anytime I see a dog I say, oh, Tarah can we foster this dog? So finally she said yes," Berning said.
Gabriel spent Christmas morning as any young dog should: playing with his new toys.
"He's a sweet dog. He gets along with everybody," said Berning.
Gabriel's been with Berning and Ross since Sunday and in those four days they say his condition has improved.  His gashes have started to heal, he's eating well and he has gained a little bit of weight.
"He's looking fantastic. And he's so soft. I can't believe how soft he is," said Max Webster, of the Cincinnati Pit Crew.  "Even though we get monetary donations, the opening of the home is really what we need. It was great to be able to find the perfect fit with those two."
If everything works out and Gabriel can get along with Mike and Tarah's other dogs, his foster home could turn into a permanent one.
"He really, I think, gives us the meaning of Christmas. I mean look at him. He's got the unconditional love and that's what it's all about. So he's really our gift instead of the other way around," Ross said.




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