High school rugby teammates rescue injured, stray pit bull — now he’s their mascot

With a little love and care, a dog’s life can completely change overnight. That’s the story for one dog, who went from being a stray on the verge of death to a beloved high school mascot, thanks to the kindness of some teens.

Last month, the rugby team at St. Pius X High School was practicing at the park when they were approached by a stray pit bull. He was dirty and hungry, but most of all he was looking for a friend.

“He was being incredibly friendly with us,” team member Grant Stringfellow told FOX 26 Houston.

Facebook/Animal Justice League

But the dog’s friendliness soon got him in trouble: he approached two chained-up dogs, looking to make friends with them. But they weren’t as friendly as he was, and attacked the poor stray.

“He had no idea what to do. He looked like he was just waiting to die,” Grant recalled.

The rugby players jumped into action. They got a blanket for the injured dog and gave him water, and rushed him to the animal hospital. The scared dog was grateful for their kindness.

“You could tell he was just happy to be around people, and know he would be taken care of,” says teammate Riley Battenfield.

As the injured pit bull — now named Buster — received treatment, the Animal Justice League raised funds for his care, and tried to find the stray a foster home.

Thankfully, it didn’t take long for him to find a perfect one: Grant Stringfellow’s family happily agreed to take Buster in.

Which also meant that Buster got to continue spending time with his new friends at the St. Pius X rugby team — and now, he’s become their mascot!

Happy #NationalPuppyDay from Buster! Tune into FOX26Houston at 9 pm tonight to view the full story of how our rugby team welcomed him into our hearts! #WeAreVeritas

Posted by St. Pius X High School on Wednesday, March 23, 2022

“As he continues to recover, Buster has become a huge supporter of the boys’ rugby matches, cheering them on from his new home,” St. Pius X High School wrote on Facebook.

Photos show Buster decked out in SPX gear, offering words of encouragement or celebrating a victorious score.

With Buster cheering on from the sidelines, the team has been more motivated than ever. “They are playing their hearts out for him,” writes the Animal Justice League.

“It’s really special,” team member Hayden llorens told FOX 26. “He’s a fighter. We’re fighters, so we are all just trying to stay in the fight and win.”

Happy #NationalPuppyDay from Buster! Tune into FOX26Houston at 9 pm tonight to view the full story of how our rugby team welcomed him into our hearts! #WeAreVeritas

Posted by St. Pius X High School on Wednesday, March 23, 2022

It’s a very happy ending: Buster has gotten the love and friendship he desperately wanted, and these young athletes have learned a valuable lesson in helping others that will last a lifetime.

“What they did for him is going to be an experience they’re going to take with them for the rest of their lives,” said the boys’ coach David Selby. “They are going to know the reward they get out of helping someone.”

“These guys did such an amazing job. A lot of people would have just turned the other way,” said Corley Garcia of the Animal Justice League.

When he’s not rooting for his favorite team, Buster is now living a happy comfortable life in his foster home, with “two beds and more toys [than] any dog could want.”

“His life went from roaming around eating trash, bleeding everywhere, to now he’s sleeping on a coach,” Grant Stringfellow told FOX 26.

Veritas men and women do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason. Last week, the SPX rugby team saved a…

Posted by St. Pius X High School on Thursday, March 10, 2022

Thank you to these kind teens for saving Buster and giving him an amazing new life! Buster makes one great mascot!

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