The Face That Launched A Million Advocates

She was burned, battered and overbred. Her ears had been brutally cropped and she suffered from puncture wounds throughout her body. She was found running down the street in South Central Los Angeles in 2007 with another dog who soon died of his injuries. She was safe at the shelter and her caretakers named her Angel. Her broken body began to heal, but then more medical issues began to arise.


Angel had bad knees and endured the first of many surgeries. She needed a quiet place to recover following surgery and actor/comedian Rebecca Corry opened her home to her and nursed her broken body. Little did she know at the time, but Angel would endure 8 more surgeries, not only for bad knees, but also for a grade 2 mast cell tumor. Rebecca used her formidable talents to host a benefit at a Comedy Club to raise money for one of Angel’s surgeries.

By this time, Rebecca would have given the shirt off her back to help the big, blocky pibble that she sometimes referred to as the “Velvet Hippo.” Rebecca was besotted and Angel was her muse. She admits that Angel gave her “a purpose driven life.” Rebecca was already a successful actor and comedian, but Angel changed the trajectory of her life. Rebecca created the Stand Up For Pits Foundation to raise awareness and money for dogs such as Angel who suffered brutal abuse and discrimination at the hands of man. Together they would make history.

In 2014, Rebecca launched the Million Pibble March in Washington, D.C., perhaps the largest and most effective event to bring attention to the insanity of breed discriminatory laws. As thousands of animal advocates from around the country gathered on the lawn of the Capitol, Rebecca did what she does best – she spoke passionately, intelligently and eloquently. She inspired the masses to never be silent about abuse and discrimination. She inspired us as well.


Though we are a board of 3 women, our founder, Sande Riesett, had repeatedly pledged that Show Your Soft Side was a “boys’ club” and that female models were not appropriate for the campaign message. It was all about tough, macho guys showing their soft side. Although she stands at only 4’11’’ tall, Rebecca Corry was the first female inaugurated in our campaign. On this very sad day, we are more grateful than ever that we broke ranks and photographed Rebecca and Angel.

Poster_Rebecca Corry_V1_LR

This afternoon our hearts broke as we read that Angel crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. We shed tears not only because we loved Angel, but also because we know that this is a devastating loss to someone we love as well. During Angel’s life, Rebecca admitted that, “I love her so much it hurts and I’m honored to be owned by her.”


Grief can be wretched and the loss of a beloved animal can be one of the most brutally painful experiences we humans can endure. The pain is often both physical and emotional and it may take weeks – if not months – to subside. We can’t stop crying. Our chests hurt. Our faces are swollen. Society’s failure to acknowledge the depth of this grief only compounds the problem. It is not acceptable to stay home from work after our dog or cat dies. We are expected to pull ourselves up from our bootstraps and move on. There are thousands of animals in shelters and we’ve all been told to adopt another.

At times like this, all we have is each other. Our message is one of kindness to animals, but we need to be kind to each other as well. Take time to send your condolences when friends lose a part of themselves. One of the most meaningful gifts is to make a contribution, no matter how small, to a favorite shelter or rescue. Today we made a contribution to the Stand Up for Pits Foundation in memory of Angel.


Godspeed, Angel. You taught us so much. We hold you and Rebecca in the light of our thoughts and prayers.


Written by Caroline Griffin to reflect the incredible sadness all of us at Show Your Soft Side are feeling today. 





31 thoughts on “The Face That Launched A Million Advocates

  1. Dear Rebecca
    So sorry for the loss of your sweet Angel. The sentiments in the above message are so true-our furbabies touch us in a way that certainly leave a permanent imprint on our hearts.I recently lost my Daisy not a pibble but a Boston Terrier. Believe me when I say I understand and feel your pain.They are the most loyal of friends.Not matter what kind of day you have had,how many upsets you go through they are there greeting you with a wagging tail and a wiggling butt. The one thing that has helped me and certainly you can take comfort in where lovely Angel had a previous life that was full of abuse is the fact that she did end up finding love and happiness with someone who gave her a good life.Thank you Rebeecca for that and all you do for this great breed of dog.
    Rest in Peace sweet Velvet Hippo

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss. No words will make it better. I’d like to thank you for your kindness and compassion for these animals. They always need help in the journey. Do it again…I save whatever shows up. I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Thanks for all you do for this wonderful breed, they need it.

  3. So beautifully written. ..exactly the feelings of many. I extend my arms in gentle spirit surrounding Rebecca in her loss. I know and shared the obvious. Her dedicated and honorable, true, undying love for her. The love they shared…you would see it in their gaze upon each other, the smiles, the touch… There are no words of condolence that will ease the heart….the soul. The spirits brought them together. Fate entwined their spirits and the messages were clearly presented. To love and treasure the spirit of dogs…our companions in life. Not to abuse,… and to protect them as they in return, protect us. Unfaltering with dedicated heart. I will miss seeing the eyes of her soulful gaze… her beautiful face. Run free through the greenest grass…the warmth of the sun…the bluest skies, awaiting her loving mom at the Rainbow Bridge. Rebecca you gave the greatest gift….Love

  4. What a loving, poignant tribute to not only Ms. Corry and Angels, but to all loving pet owners and voiceless animals everywhere! Thank you

  5. There are no words to express how we feel. Thank you for what you do..
    Tater and I send our love.

  6. So sorry for your loss. I’m sure she loved you back too. You have given her the best home and love.

    She is playing and running just over the rainbow bridge.

    We have to stop this animal abuse. Stiffer guidelines need to be in place.


  7. On the other side of the rainbow,ive heard thats its an amazing place you have all the love you need all the tummy rub that you want other dogs to play with.A wonderful place were pain doesnt exist and that no evil human is allowed!!!!!!!!! RIP sweet baby girl nobody can hurt you anymore the marks that you will have on your body will be lipstick from the angels that will always be with you BEAUTIFUL SOUL XXXxxxxxxxx

  8. I’m so sad to hear the passing of your true angel. I don’t even know you but what I do know is you’re an amazing woman for all that you do and have done for Angel. I have 2 rescue pitties and they’re truly my life. I had another Pittie that crossed the beautiful rainbow bridge 2-1/2 yrs ago and not a day goes by I don’t think of him. I miss him and she’d tears quite often just thinking of him. But I then stop and realize we both had a great 13 yrs together. It just seems so unfair that their lives are so short. I truly think the same thing of my dogs and my Petey boy that passed about loving them so much that it hurts. During the day I can’t wait to get home just to see them. The only bad thing about them is they’re such bedhogs. Lol. But I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. Petey was the same way. Sorry! I’m now rambling! There will never be another Angel but there will always be another amazing dog that will need and give you the love that you both need.
    Thinking of you 🙂

  9. Thank you so much for being an advocate for these sweet babies. I’m so sorry for your loss. I know that doesn’t heal the hurt, but please know that you’ve touched the hearts of many people by your selfless actions. God bless… This scary world needs more people like you.

  10. Rebecca, our hearts break for you. How wonderful that Angel knew such love from you. I have faith that you will go on to provide a light in the life of so many other animals who need it.

  11. Love lover love pit bulls? nothing I can say will ease the pain of loosing a furry family member. I know cause our family has lost 3. The great thing to remember as we tell our kids ~ we gave them a wonderfully loving life that they otherwise may not of had. Share the memories and they will live forever?
    Sending you warm fuzy hugs?

  12. I am so sorry

  13. Rebecca, I’m so very sorry for the loss of your sweet Angel. May she run free, only knowing the love and incredible live she had with you. God bless. ?????

  14. I’m so sorry on the loss of your precious furbabie Angel I lost my (Adonis) Rottweiler/German Shepherd on 3-5-2016 I feel like I’ve lost everything they’re the closest thing to you forever giving you a slobbery licks, Jumping All Over You to greet you when you come home & even just sitting on your lap thinking they weigh 1 pound and weigh 125 pounds 🙂 but they are the best and as long as I live I will keep getting more furbabies and giving them all the love I possibly can thank you for us to be able to read your story about angel and for all that you do

    J J-M

  15. God knows your pain and your tears! May He bring you peace at this time! I am praying for you and loving your heart and devotion to your baby….. God bless and comfort you! God loves you!

  16. Rebecca I am so sorry for your loss. God speed Angel. I will keep you in my prayers

  17. how sad to hear these stories of cruel treatment of these innocent animals. All they want is love & they return with unconditional love. there is an end to our mortal life when we face the a Creator then it is too late these people who do this must have no love for the helpless animals or any one.

  18. I am so sorry for your loss and know how your heart is breaking as I have been there myself. The grief will get easier to tolerate, but will never completely go away. Don’t wait to long to give your heart to another rescue, they are just waiting to help you through this.

  19. We are so sorry for your loss :'( I am glad that Angel knew love and security for the time she was with you . For some of these furbabies that is just a dream 🙁

  20. So sorry she’s gone but be forever grateful that you got to make her life worth living!

  21. So sorry for your loss….. I wish i had words to heal…….. I would say them.

  22. This article expresses what losing a beloved dog really means. When you love your dog like Rebecca loved Angel the grief is almost unbearable. A lot of people don’t understand this but I know there are a lot of people like me who can understand this pain.

  23. You are amazing!

  24. Praying for the Holy Spirit to give you peace and comfort in this time of great sorrow.

  25. Your letter to Angel is an inspiration to us all. Through her, you have accomplished more than you could ever imagine. You and Angel will live far beyond your years, and touch the hearts and souls of so many people yet to come. It’s always hard to say goodbye, but just remember all those great times together and it can make things easier. God bless you and all you stand for, Angel must be proud.

  26. Sending condolences to everyone who loved this velvet hippo. My thoughts are with you.

  27. Dear Rebecca,
    no words can express the sadness felt by all of us who have followed both of you via the wonder of social media, your Angel inspired many and has changed the lives of many two and four legged friends but her greatest achievement in life was loving you- your grief can only be imagined so I’m sending you healing thoughts and the greatest of respect for the wonderful life you have given to Angel and all the other velvet hippos living better lives because of you. Rest peacefully sweet Angel, visit your wonderful mum as her heart heals. ??

  28. i want to know how/why Angel died. didn’t make sense to me not to put that detail in the story. though i do understand her positive influence , and heart was the focus of the story. so tell me since yall made me cry. smh

  29. My sincerest condolences on the loss of your sweet Angel. I have been where you are now and everytime I lost one of my precious furbabies my heart broke. I am in my 50’s now and have had many angels of my own. The first time I lost a baby was so hard I never thought I would recover. But, I have learned over the years that the best way to honor there precious lives would be to give another angel a chance to have a loving home. I loved them all, and they all lived long happy loved lives. I remember each and every one of them, cats, dogs, hamsters, bunny and yes a snake. I do hope you take the time to grieve and take the time to put all those photos in a special memory book. But please always remember that she would not want you to grieve forever. But also remember if you ever have a bad day or feel sad she will always be there. The memories will always help you make it through. God bless and always remember you are loved.

  30. The first photo of Angel & Rebecca from the Soft Side campaign…….That photo is stunning, emotional..I can’t come up with the right word to express how incredibly special and moving it is!! The love and the passion, and now the grief, grabbed hold of me when I saw it. I stared at it a long while. It’s really incredible. Though the article itself is very good (and thank you), that picture said it all. Such a special lady and dog—found a little piece of Heaven just for them, here on Earth!!

  31. Caroline-

    Thanks for the lovely article about Rebecca and Angel. I, too, have felt the wrenching pain of the lost of a pet. Too many times. Rebecca – Angel is so lucky to have found you. And bless you for holding her in your arms, and in your heart.

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