Hope will live with Leigh Sockalosky, who has traveled three hours each day since March 23rd to visit her.
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -
In the end, Hope prevailed.
40 days after enduring a horrific act of abuse, a tough little pooch named "Hope" is embarking on a new life.
It's a story of survival that has touched the hearts of News Channel 8 viewers and people from around the country.
Hope is more than the name given to this 1-year-old, mixed breed dog who was severely burned.
It's what her rescuers depended on when doubters said she might not make it after her owner allegedly doused gasoline on her shed and set her on fire.
After more than a month of 24-hour care at Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners in Tampa, on Tuesday afternoon Hope walked out the door and into the arms of the woman who traveled three hours a day, every day, to visit her.
Leigh Sockalosky is president of Hardee Animal Rescue Team. She believed in Hope's survival from the start, in part because of her spunky spirit. Sockalosky couldn't hold back the tears Tuesday, thinking about the last month of watching Hope heal and recover.
"She's given us new insight of this is why you do what you do, this is why you sacrifice so much," Sockalosky said.
She's one of hundreds who've cheered Hope along her recovery. As of Tuesday afternoon, nearly $57,000 had been raised for her care. Any excess funds will be used to care for other animals rescued by HART.
Hope will continue to get laser therapy on her burns and get bandage changes daily. On Tuesday night, she arrived back home in Hardee County. Some of the volunteers who have stood behind her during the process were in tears.
"When Hope first came into my life there was a question if she would even survive through the night," Margot Ayre said. "To have her back here with all of us and for all the friends we've made all over the world through her journey ... honestly, this is one of the top days of my life."
News Channel 8's Josh Green contributed to this report. Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.