As her nickname “Scabigail” suggests, the Boston terrier’s life hasn’t always been easy.

By Meghan Overdeep
March 05, 2021
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Any fan of Alton Brown is also a fan of his little black-and-white Boston terrier Abigail, A.K.A. Scabigail.

Healthy and adored, it's hard to imagine her as anything but the pampered pup she is. But as her nickname suggests, her life hasn't always been easy. In fact, before she was a celebrity, the sweet dog was in pitiful shape.

Abigail was one of 77 other dogs rescued by Atlanta Humane Society from a cruel and neglectful situation in Murray County, Georgia, in May 2018. The pups were reportedly found living in squalor with dirty water, little food, and no access to medical care.

"Sweet Scabigail was covered head to toe in itchy mange," notes the Atlanta Humane Society website. "Her skin was bright red and inflamed, her face and neck covered in scabs, and her feet swollen and tender from the infection."

Her heartbreaking condition not only inspired her nickname Scabigail, but the Instagram account that caught the eye of the Good Eats host and his then-fiancé Elizabeth Ingram.

"I can't remember if I saw Scabigail first or if Elizabeth did," Brown recalled to Atlanta Magazine. "We follow a lot of rescue organizations, so one of us just saw her [scroll past] and showed it to the other, and then we started following her, and then realized she was available for adoption. That was that."

This week, more than two years after Abigail came into his life, Brown revisited her inspiring "scabs to riches" story on social media.

"Here's our #Scabigail the day she was rescued vs this morning with @IngramElizabeth," the food science whiz wrote on Twitter alongside photos illustrating her transformation. "We're so grateful to the @atlantahumane for rescuing her."

Brown's tweet includes a link to donate to Atlanta Humane Society and the news that all donations would be doubled for a limited time.  

He and Elizabeth also appeared in a video shared by Atlanta Humane Society on Facebook Thursday. In it, Brown and other Atlanta celebrities voiced their support for the nonprofit rescue organization and thanked them for the work they do to improve the lives of humans and animals alike.

"I'll be really honest, she changed our life," Brown says of the decision to bring Abigail into their family. "The snorting alone has brought so much color to my existence."