Let’s celebrate and take a look with the rescued pit bulls this Christmas season. 

Once traumatized by illegal dogfights that were streamed online, the pit bulls rescued from an illegal Korean dog fighting syndicate in Laguna in 2012 were nursed back to health by Compassion and Responsibility for Animals (CARA Welfare). Some 130 dogs are still waiting for families to adopt them.

There are prejudices against the breed; writer Bea Carag notes that people think Laguna pit bulls are ‘unadoptable’, given what they’ve been through. “What they don’t know is that these (strengthen) the bond you form with your dog… because you know what they’ve been through and you know what it means to have them here with you today.”

Christmas is a family affair— and animals are family. For 17 pit bulls, this Christmas is extra special because they are now safe and loved by people who have accepted them despite their past and the breed’s undeserved reputation for violence. Here are five happy endings to make you smile this season.

This story appeared in Animal Scene’s December 2015 issue.